Stupidly, when asked to "share," the writer makes up an outlandish story about his drunken clown father beating him with oversized shoes.
Unfortunately, my one fleeting error of judgment about my circus-clown dad had left me shackled to a rank character absurdity for the rest of my stay in Texas. I soon found myself reading aloud a passage from my "autobiography" describing a period of my father's life when he quit clowning to hand out fliers in a Fudgie the Whale costume outside a Carvel ice cream store:
I laugh about it now, but once he chased me, drunk, in his Fudgie the Whale costume. He chased me into the bathroom, laid me across the toilet seat and hit me with his fins, which underneath were still a man's hands.
Again no reaction from the group, aside from an affirming nod from José at the last part — his eyes said to me, I know what you mean about those fins.