About a month ago, a friend called my attention to the fact that the Insane Clown Posse was going to be playing in town, and better yet, playing at the club right around the corner from the shop. His thinking, as well as mine and pretty much my entire circle of friends, was that the show would sell out, there would be several hundred Juggalos in full Juggalo get-up waiting in line (which would be directly across the street from me), and that there would be at least another hundred or so ICP fans just milling around and tailgating outside the club because they couldn’t (or simply didn’t want to) pay to get into the show itself.
The prospect of being that close to a literal tidal wave of the ultimate American trailer-trash simply screamed comedy gold to us for a myriad of reasons that I feel are too obvious to state, so plans were concocted. I made a standing offer that anyone who wanted to hang out in the store for a few hours to view the parade of ambulatory toxic waste in relative safety was more than welcome to; another friend who’s an underground filmmaker tried (and unfortunately failed) to get a permit to set up a tent on the sidewalk so he could advertise how he’d film any Juggalo who wanted to relay a message to their favorite band; I even alerted the tattoo shop guys to keep their cigarette breaks brief lest they be constantly bothered for spare loosies by obese kids in clown make-up.
Yesterday morning rolled around and as several trucks carrying stage props and skiffs of Faygo bottles parked up the street, I double-checked that my camera was charged up, started rubbing my hands together in anticipation, and thought, “Here we go, as soon as I flip my sign to ‘Open,’ it’s going to be non-stop trailer Orcs coming in to ask to use my bathroom and berate me about where the section of music for down-ass Ninjas is located. I better eat lunch know before it gets too wild.”
And then nothing happened.
As amazed as I am to say it, I’m actually really disappointed that I didn’t have droves of mouth-breathing fake-gang-members in carnie face-paint bothering me all day. Honestly, I didn’t even see as many Juggalos out walking around as I usually see on any given day until about 5 pm, at which point a regular came in and said that a few of them were lined up by the door of the club. By about 5:30, a slow but steady stream of ICP enthusiasts were walking down Chestnut Street and queueing up around the corner, but besides the head-to-toe Wycked-Clown-affiliated wear, there was nothing out of the ordinary - no endless chanting of “FAM-A-LY!!”, no screaming obscenities at passing cars, no impromptu free-style rap battles where the participants can only rhyme words under three syllables, no Thunderdome-style combat in the parking garage on Water Street, no nothing.
Around the shop’s closing time, the club doors opened and about 300 people filed in and that was that. I even held out hope that when I arrived this morning, I’d have some unconscious Juggalo lying on my stoop in a pool of foamy Faygo-vomit, but didn’t happen either.
A month or two ago, something called Pierce The Veil played here and until the doors opened, I had a solid four hours of teenage girls in Pierce The Veil t-shirts running in (literally, running), asking to use the bathroom, and then giving me a disgusted eye-roll when I said that they couldn’t use mine, but that they could use the perfectly clean bathroom at the police station literally 15 feet from where they stood. So, in my experience, the Pierce The Veil audience is more high-maintanence and annoying than Juggalos, who are the fan base of the band that even the average person on the street knows as being the cultural equivalent of the putrid gunk that collects around the filter of the sink that’s only used to wash out the mop bucket.
So, disappointingly enough, the only worthwhile picture I got was of this - a bunch of husky crew guys rolling a giant inflatable clown head around the corner of the art school across the street. And it’s not even that great of a picture - there was a red light and shit, so there’s cars lined up and what have you. Bummer.