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Dad: No son of mine is going to Indiana State. End of discussion.
Bobby: See what I mean? It's impossible to talk to him.
Mom: Now, Rob, give the boy a chance. I'm sure he's given this a lot of thought. At least hear him out.
Dad: I'm listening.
Bobby: Mom, look at him.
Mom: Rob, please. Put that down.
Dad: (wearily) All right, all right. So you want to go to Indiana State. What's the reasoning behind your decision?
Bobby: Well, first of all, with in-state tuition, I could pay for it without having to take out a loan. And it's close enough that I could come home on weekends and help out around the house.
Dad: And drop off your laundry and take my car, you mean.
Bobby: (defiantly) And start building a strong professional network in the area for after I get my degree.
Dad: Oh, a professional network. Well, that changes everything. And what, pray tell, will this degree and profession pertain to?
Bobby: First of all, I'm going to major in communications, and--
Dad: Oh, for Christ's sake--communications? That's what the jocks take! Who the hell goes to college to learn how to communicate? That's it--this has gone on long enough. You're going to clown college. It was good enough for me, it was good enough for your grandfather, it was good enough for his father before him.
Mom: Now, Rob, maybe the boy doesn't want to be a clown.
Bobby: Yeah, Dad. Maybe I don't even want to be a clown. Did you ever think about that?
Dad: I never said he could be a clown. Hell, with his sense and his work ethic, he'd be lucky to get a job shoveling poodle shit.
Bobby: You're living in the past, Dad. Nobody cares about clowns anymore. The Internet is changing everything. It's all about communications now, media, new forms of entertainment. There's a new world out there. Nobody wants to sit around and watch some tired old man juggling on a unicycle.
Mom: Now, Bobby--
Bobby: Forget it, mom. Look at him. He's an anachronism. Maybe his life is over, but mine's just beginning, and he's not going to hold me back.
Mom: That's enough. Your father's work comes from a long and honorable tradition, and it put the clothes on your back and the food on this table, too. You show some respect.
Dad: No, Helen, leave him alone. Maybe he's right. I've outlived my usefulness. Look at me--a grown man, wearing makeup and floppy shoes. Who am I to tell anybody what to do?
Bobby: Dad, wait--I didn't mean it like that. It's just ... I'm proud of what you do, I really am. I just don't know if it's right for me.
Dad: Sure, sure--you're a young man. You've got your whole life ahead of you.
Bobby: Yeah, exactly. And the things they're doing with computers now, it just--it would blow your mind, Dad, it really would.
Dad: Computers. Sure. And you wouldn't learn much about computers at clown college, now would you?
Mom: Bobby, you know that we want what's best for you. We want you to be happy, and to have exactly the life you want to have. We want you to have every opportunity there is.
Bobby: And you could visit me there whenever you wanted, too. And Dad ...
Dad: Yes, son?
Bobby: Maybe you could come and do a show at the campus some time?
Dad: A show? Of course. Of course, son. I'd be honored.
J. Daniel Janzen went to clown school.