Hospital Clowning: Training Rounds #2

Friday, October 13th 2017

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Here we go for my second training day at Boston Children’s Hospital!  Today I have the honor, joy and pleasure of following “Doctors” Mal Adjusted and Gone Golfin’.

My newly joining the team causes them to count how many years they have been doing this job and the answer is -collectively- 41!!!

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And we’re off.  First up, party time at the Reception Desk!

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(Don’t ask me what department this is.  Thankfully I am not expected to know my own way around this unbelievable labyrinth for quite some time.)

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[Stage whisper]:

OKAY!  We’re gonna

clown real quiet now!

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Who let the clowns out?

The question is also, who will let them IN?

Here Dr.s Mal & Gone Golfin are invited into a room in which they clown around and then naturally cannot properly operate the door on the way out.  Finally Mal backs away VERY gently, closing it ever-so-tenderly so as to avoid getting hit in the face with it A-GAIN.

This day also took some interesting turns in that;

  1. A patient’s mother couldn’t find the LAUNDRY ROOM, but luckily bumped into these two clowns who provided her and her son a merry escort all the way.

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2.   I got to say hi to one of our esteemed colleagues in Child Life Services over in the E.D. (Emergecy Department).  She is in fact so esteemed that one of our team *married* her… something like 14 years ago!

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Her office is aptly labeled a “closet!”

3.  By far the most bizarre turn happened after the hospital could not furnish me with a *badge* on account of some of my own medical records have not been processed.  This prompted a trip over to the “Occ. Health” department, in a whole different building.

A solitary clown diffuses administrative ennui by solemnly bouncing his red nose off the back of a smiley face ukulele…

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Suddenly I am required to switch into Death-con 5 Mode when the lovely Occ. Health administrator invites me to remotely access my own medical records online, capture screen shots of every vaccination record I have and send them to her in an email right then and there.  I’m like, “DO WHAT!”

After a couple failed attempts I’m about to give up when Brian (Gone Golfin’s secret alter-ego) encourages me again, and together we figure it out.  I’m feeling guilty about holding up these clowns -my friends- from patients who deserve their attention, but they remind me this is important too.  “Look at me,” I’m told, “It’s OKAY.”

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“It’s OK!”

Seriously.  How can I stay stressed out looking at these faces??

What fine frigging human beings I am privileged to be joining, is all I have to say about that.

Back to work:

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Then lots more stuff happened.

And that’s how you do that!

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Thank you Mal and Gone Golfin!  I am gonna love it here!!!



Posted in art, education, Hospital Clowning, love, making art, mental health, patience, work | 2 Comments

Hospital Clowning: Training Rounds #1

Wednesday, October 11th 2017


On this day I was privileged to follow these two extraordinary hospital clowns on their rounds at Boston Children’s Hospital:

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Drs. Bucket Buster and Mal Adjusted.

After getting ready,

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filling up on bubble solution…

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connecting with your partner…

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and summoning the Clown Within…








It’s time for bright lights in the big city.

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And to pull over immediately for photos:

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As we make the rounds, every protocol on every floor is followed, nothing is presumed and every entrance to a room is plied ever so gently:

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Clowning in the elevators and hallways is *almost* as ubiquitous as washing hands:


This day was anomalously interesting in several ways including;

  1.  It was National Coming Out Day, and I got some information, stickers and a my own beautiful new rainbow Children’s Hospital lanyard:

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2.  A giant fly was loose in the hospital a nurse, a rabbi and a social worker flailed around their office trying to kill it, entertaining the clowns for a change:

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3.  Dr. Mal helped herself to the flu clinic, with an assist by Dr. Bucket Buster:

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Look out behind you Dr. Mal !

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Ah, nothing to worry about.  









4.  All this excitement required a lunchtime nap for Dr. Bucket Buster.

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(Pardon the invasion of your personal time Dr. Bucket Buster, butt…           I just think you’re wise and wonderful.)


Good thing she napped too because no sooner did we round a corner than one of the hospital workers flew into a frenzy upon seeing her, challenging her to some ritualized pirate duel dance or something, which melted into hugs (not shown here).

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The amount of joy this lady exuded at seeing her FAVORITE CLOWN IN THE WORLD was frankly incredible.

The overall degree to which the clowns are beloved by the staff and the amount of spirit lifting that happens- is inescapable.

There is a lot more that happened on this day, but only so much one little clown heart can process at a time.  So before I squeak on out of here and I just have to say; THANK YOU Drs. Mal & Bucket Buster for showing me around on my first hospital clown training day!







Posted in comedy, education, health, love, making art, mental health, work | Leave a comment

#TakeAKnee: How Racism Works

racism protesting america


Can you believe this is how our PRESIDENT’S administration doubles down on profane and racist remarks???

sanders appropriate to say son of a bitch

Just #wow

how racism works


And as a good egg in our family put it:

Ryan re knee protests


Here’s to raising MORE GOOD EGGS!
Whether or not we’re able to help other relatives overcome their racism.






Posted in activism, art, education, family, fight, forgiveness, grandparenthood, mental health, politics, racial injustice, social justice | Tagged , , , , | Leave a comment

#TakeAKnee: Historically…

1 protesting public transportation


2 protesting injustice


4 Rosa Parks & Kaepernick


5 without national dialogue

hee hee haw haw “satire” by the Onion


3 Acceptable Protests

for blacks in this country, that is.


Here is an artist and role model my son and I are proud to call friend:

6 Captain Corey Morgan Takes A Knee

Corey Morgan, Captain America


Posted in activism, education, fight, history, politics, racial injustice, social justice | Tagged , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

#TakeAKnee: It’s Not About Veterans or the Flag

Take it from a (white) four star general: 

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This WWII Vet: 

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This patriot: 

black veteran flag knee


These solidiers:

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This radical concept:

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Or my favorite quote about the whole issue: 

I'm a Vet





Posted in activism, education, fight, history, politics, Religious Hypocrisy, social justice, Uncategorized | Tagged , , , , | 2 Comments

#TakeAKnee: And the Racists Go Crazy

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White People vs. Peaceful Protest

the confederate flag


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white flag racists

#Smh #TakeAKnee

Posted in activism, education, fight, politics, racial injustice, social justice | Tagged , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

#TakeAKnee: The Fans Go Wild

Regarding the hypocrisy of racist football fans:

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Go ahead, protest the peaceful protests:

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Or go complain to the U.S. military:

5 US Army Football


Posted in activism, education, fight, history, politics, racial injustice, social justice | Tagged , , , , , , | Leave a comment