California Storm Drain Systems Augmented with Parched Clowns


Written by: Millie You

“I’m really glad the government started taking the flooding seriously and stopped clowning around,” said Quin.
Photo by Amit Roth

As California braced itself for a torrent of unprecedented rainfall, a plethora of dangers arose: mudslides, car accidents, and flash floods. Since the beginning of January, people have been forced to leave their waterlogged homes as dams burst and the threat of drowning escalated. To mitigate the worst of the flooding and alleviate the pressure on overwhelmed drains and reservoirs, the state has employed an unconventional means of drainage: thirsty clowns.

“Look, it’s not like the rest of the state doesn’t know what it’s like to be constantly dehydrated as fuck,” said Gary “Goose” Lard, the head of the State Water Resources Control Board. “Have some sympathy, jeez. We’re all tired of letting our lawns die, but I don’t see anyone else lining up to guzzle rainwater. These clowns are like tardigrades in space. They absorb water like sponges, and they’re serving the people admirably.”

True to Lard’s words, the residential areas in which clowns have been deployed have reportedly been able to avoid floods as they take shifts to quaff the constant heavy downpour. Residents, however, have expressed mixed feelings. “I’m pretty sure this isn’t ethical,” said Margot Harley, 16. “How can you just stuff some guys into terrible working conditions to inhale water? You’re basically giving them dysentery! They could drown!”

“im in tears and can’t breathe” read a Twitter post with 8,000 likes, featuring a “freak-ass looking shot” of a man in full clown gear peering out of a storm drain. “HE IS GOING TO TAKE OUR SOULS.”
However, not all Twitter users are anti-clown. “i have nightmares about clowns, but honestly, they’re just some depressed hoes milling around in a STORM DRAIN,” read another Twitter post. “if that isn’t a fat mood…”

Some locals also share this positive outlook. “This fine young gentleman is providing excellent service to the community!” a Facebook post declared. “I had some doubts at first, but not only are thirsty clowns highly effective, one of them even kindly retrieved my son’s toy boat before it could wash away! Disappeared just as I arrived. It was clear he didn’t expect thanks. Well, I’m saying thank you, Mr. Clown!” Another California resident agreed. “They’re not so bad,” said Robbie Quin, 24. “One of them gave me an animal balloon yesterday. They deserve better.”

After word spread about residents’ mixed feelings, Gary Lard spoke out on social media. “It’s a little bizarre seeing them stare out of the drains, sure,” Lard admitted, “but where else is all this water gonna go? California’s reservoirs are the size of my niece’s fishbowl. And just you wait until summer comes,” he added in a viral YouTube Short. “You’ll all be wishing you were a clown in these times.” Lard refused to comment on future plans to improve water infrastructure.

The clowns themselves seem unfazed by the public response. “Well, for one thing, this is the most lucrative gig I’ve ever done in my life,” said Joaquin Penny, a local clown. “So I’m not looking to flake any time soon. I can see a real future in this. You know how much free shit washes down? Wallets, phones, money clips, a couple of chihuahuas — now those things I don’t keep — a lot of kid’s toys … ”

When asked about the many concerns of residents, Penny maintained a positive attitude. “Yeah, them’s the breaks. This is just a job for me. Tell you what, though, the kids love it. They’re queuing up at every gutter for some good fun. I think we’re gonna start handing out balloons.”

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