This is not the clown. But a clown in town here caught me passing alone by the Zocalo and drew me into his show. At first, I tried to ignore him, but there was an audience of at least 100 people looking on, and he started to make fun of me, saying I did not know Spanish (it reminded me of a poetry reading I did recently).

I responded politely, told him where I am from, what I like about Oaxaca, etc. Nearing the end of my patience (and the crowd’s), he asked my name. I gave him some more material as I said, “Gracias, no.” I mean, I don’t want a whole crowd of people calling after me in the street.

Of course, people could approach me with my new name: “Gracias, no.” However, it has been a week and no one has.

As I walked off (the stage), the clown synthesizer whistled in my direction, so the people I was walking toward could also enjoy the show of me turning red.

I’ve met people who intensely dislike clowns. They are pretty feisty — and omnipresent — here.

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