Keep It Up and You’ll Freeze Like That

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A family that dresses up as clowns together stays together. At least, that was Father’s idea. So he bought costumes for himself, his wife, and his young son and daughter. They didn’t take them off for two days. The father wore his to the office. The wife wore hers to the grocery and a PTA meeting. The boy played shortstop in polka dots. The little girl in the purple wig had tea parties with teddy bears and a stuffed owl the family inherited when Grandfather died. After two days, Father decided they’d had enough. Together at the dinner table, he said, “We’ve had our fun.” That was when they discovered they couldn’t get the costumes off. The slap shoes were as if glued to their feet, the baggy jumpsuits made from steel fabric with no zippers or buttons. The oil paints wouldn’t wash away, no matter what solvent they tried. In their panic, they pulled at each other’s red noses until they lifted one another off the floor.