Get out the way, clown! 

A seven-year-old boy stands up from his chair and looks at the clown. The boy has a serious look on his face. The clown looks back with an expression as if to say “what should I do?” The boy looks at the clown and gives him a big gesture. This gesture was meant to communicate - get out of the way. The boy wants the clown, Dr. Jelly to move out of the way so that I, Dr. Squeeze, (the other clown) can perform a juggling trick with my hat. Every time I start to do my hat trick, Dr. Jelly gets in my way. The boy wants to put a stop to this. He is earnest about the gesture! He sincerely wants Dr. Jelly to move out of my way. However, the slight smirk on his face betrays the seriousness of his command. When he says, “Move!”. He is playing… WITH …us.

I see an eight-year-old girl laughing at us. So, I ask her I tell Dr. Jelly to stop talking. His talking is interrupting me too. The girl is eager. She tells Dr. Jelly to stop talking because his talking is distracting me as I try to do my hat trick. Dr. Jelly hears the girl, but it doesn’t stop him from talking and distracting me. She and her family laugh at this. Now, both the boy and the girl are giving Dr. Jelly orders as they giggle. They tell him where to stand and when he is allowed to speak. None of this works on Dr. Jelly. He continues to interrupt. All the families in the waiting room are laughing, laughing at Dr. Jelly’s inability to follow instructions, laughing at the kids telling Dr, Jelly what to do — laughing at me as I get frustrated with Dr. Jelly for interrupting me.

Three minutes before this happened, Dr. Jelly and I entered the radiology waiting room. There were five patients there. Each patient had family with them. Each family is sitting, sometimes talking to each other between glances at their smartphones. There was a silent uneasiness in the waiting room. They were individual groups waiting for their turn to go into the radiology unit for treatment. 

The real trick in that waiting room had nothing to do with juggling my hat. The trick was getting the patients and their families laughing, as the kids became part of our clown routine. Dr. Jelly never got out of the way. I don’t remember if I ever performed the actual hat trick. I do remember the families joining in on the fun. The room applauded as we walked out. There was a shimmer of excitement in the room as we heard the families talking to each other.