Mr. Twister, the Meter-Feeding Clown

So the story goes this way. About fifteen years ago there’s this clown in Santa Cruz, okay? Okay, back up: Santa Cruz is this weird, weird town about a hundred miles south of San Francisco where weird, weird people go to be young and normal, normal people who want to believe they’re weird go to be old. Anyway, there’s some clown named “Mr. Twister.” Back up, wait, I mean, he’s not just “some clown,” he’s actually a clown — honk honk, that kind of clown, got it?

Anyway, there’s this clown in Santa Cruz and he supposedly gets a ticket from the Santa Cruz PD, and almost gets arrested and hauled off to the hoosegow, for going around feeding other peoples’ parking meters, right? The Santa Cruz cops are pretty much famous, like Wayne Newton famous, for pissing off the hippies by doing shit like kicking them in the groin while they’re sleeping and impounding their backpacks and telling them “You can’t sit there” and just generally being complete douchebags in a way that would make Vic Mackey give them a lecture on serving the public.

Anyway, so no one’s sure what Mr. Twister was cited for, or why he was almost arrested, but according to the Santa Cruz Wiki, he protested to the Santa Cruz City Council, who supposedly put on clown noses and honked during the City Council meeting, then voted to repeal whatever undisclosed “law” had given the cops their opportunity to give this clown his ticket. See, that’s the funny thing about Surf City. The people who run for city council seem to be complete freaks, while if you listen to the hippies, the cops all commute in from Orange County each morning in a giant black jetliner with a skull and crossbones on the tailfin.

Anyway, the Honking City Council entered the annals of local legend, and Mr. Twister, his point made, fled the sunset for points east — Sin City, where I’d lay odds the members of the City Council don’t even own clown noses. If they honked anything for Mr. Twister, I’m sure it was the horn of a Cadillac El Dorado telling him to get the hell out of the way or he’d end up impaled on their hood ornament — the horns of a steer they shot themselves from five feet with a tommy gun. Those city government people are serious in Vegas. Serious, I tell you.

The Santa Cruz Sentinel, which incidentally once failed to hire me as a junior reporters (cryin’ in your soy milk now, aren’t ya, fuckers?) is reporting that Mr. Twister, who also goes by the stage names Oatmeal the Clown and — get this — “Cory McDonald” (dumbass hippie stage names!) has returned to The 831 and has been glimpsed feeding meters again. He’s been working in Las Vegas for Fairfield Resorts and clowning around as a freelance “licensed latex manipulator.” But, as McDonald says, “It’s great being in a place where the sun’s not killing me, the air’s not full of dirt and sticking on my makeup, it’s not 116 degrees in the shade, and people actually smile and wave back.”

I have to say, in my experience certain people in Vegas do smile and wave back — just before they puke on you. The rest of them, seeing a clown, probably figure it’s either animatronic or an out-of-work actor, which to them amounts to the same thing.

Since “he estimates that on a given day, he spends from $1 to $12 saving parkers’ bacon on downtown streets,” Mr. Twister is unlikely to make a huge impact on the Santa Cruz city budget. But that’s not the question on everyone’s minds; it’s “Mr. Twister! Are you going to run for city council?” In this, the clown’s 2007-era MySpace page offers little illumination; his 2009-era Bring Twister Home MySpace profile is even less helpful. But he’s already brought the cheers of Vice Mayor Ryan Coonerty, who says he’s “pro-clown” and that Mr. Twister won’t get cited for feeding parking meters this time.

Unfortunately, immediately after the Sentinel article went to press, Mr. Twister’s brain was eaten by a giant balloon spider, as evidenced by the photo above, from the Santa Cruz Wiki.

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