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There is not room enough in this chronicle to fully explain the lengths Vancouver authorities had gone to to strangle every last “woo-hoo!” of joy out of the city, but the whole horrendous war on fun can be adequately summed up in the tale of Bobus the Clown.

“He’s not really much of a clown, though,” says Jebidiah the Jew, as the Rhinos pow-wow at The Bourbon to discuss Bobus’s plight. It’s true – Bobus isn’t much of a clown. He doesn’t do anything more than twist balloon animals, which he sells to the parents of delighted children who while away their days in StanleyPark. But the Vancouver Park Board has had enough of the lousy excuse for a clown and his attempts to bring smiles to the faces of children. On February 26, 2001, Bobus’s 15 year run in StanleyPark will be terminated by Park Board commissioners. Why? Because they’re assholes, that’s why.

“I don’t care of he’s a fucking pedophile,” laughs Liar Liar, “we’re going to war for him.”

“He doesn’t have to be a pedophile. He’s a white man, so he’s shit,” says Mother, who sits surrounded by nothing but white male meat. Fuckin’ Hell. She’s in a foul mood again. A silence falls over the table. The white men wait to see if the surly, burly, old broad is going to harangue them yet again. Mother smiles and cackles. “Is all that beer just for you, you fucking alcoholic?” she yells, pointing at Jebidiah the Jew. “Pass that fucking jug over here.” Jebidiah the Jew does as he’s told. “This asshole is right,” Mother says, nodding at Liar Liar. “We have to go to war for the pedophile.”

The Rhinos request to be put on the speakers’ list for the meeting. Claiming that the request has come too late, the Park Board denies the request.

Before they can even get down to debating whether or not they should revoke Bobus’s license to be a lousy excuse for a clown, the members of the Park Board are rudely interrupted. Lead by Mother the Merciless, the Rhinos storm into the meeting yelling, “Leave the clown alone! Leave the clown alone!” and filling the air with silly string.

The horrified Chairwoman demands, “Order! Order!”

Massive and menacing, Mother the Merciless stares down the Chairwoman, points a two pound finger at her and says, “You shut up!” The Chairwoman does as she’s told. “These gifts we bring to you. Apparently you are in dire need of them” says Mother. “A brain,” she says, placing a Jello brain on the table. “Some hearts,” she says, handing the Chairwoman a box of heart-shaped chocolates. “And this,” she says, handing over a 24 pack of toilet paper, “because it’s obvious that you have not shat for a long time and when you finally do you’re going to need a lot of this.”

Green Party Park Board commissioner Roslyn Cassels describes the scene on her blog when she gets home later that night:

Angry protestors from the Rhino Party, who had been denied their democratic right to speak to the board in support of Bobus the Clown and against rigid busking regulations enacted by the board last year, made a grand entrance to the delight of many.

The protestors, in solidarity with Bobus, dressed in various clown outfits, spoke out against the undemocratic behaviour of Chair Laura Macdairmid, who discriminated against them as delegates at last night’s meeting. The protestors brought her a replica brain, a box of hearts, and 24 rolls of toilet paper, items they felt were lacking around the board table.

The horrified Chair, instead of inviting the protestors to address the board at the table, called a recess (attended by only two commissioners besides herself) and ordered the Sergeant at Arms to forcibly remove the group. Although the group left of their own accord, the Sergeant at Arms locked the entrance doors to the building.

Magic mushroom munching Rhino reporter Stephen Moron filed the following report on the festivities:

The Vancouver Park Board saw one of its most colourful meetings ever, February 26, when an elite squadron of irate Rhinos stormed the Park Board inner sanctum to protest the merciless bullying of Bobus the Clown, a harmless balloon artist who has been banned from performing in Stanley Park.

As part of a black plot to rid the city of good times forever, the Vancouver Park Board gave our man Bobus until summer 2001 to pack up his balloons and get out of Stanley Park forever.  When news of Bobus’s plight reached Rhino HQ, an emergency meeting of the Rhino Illuminati was called, and a detailed counter-offensive strategy was launched within 24 hours.

‘’his latest measure of the Park Board will not be tolerated,’ Pinky the Chimp, Rhino Minister of War, said.  ‘This is obviously nothing less than genocide.  Our enemies at the Park Board must be stopped before matters get out of hand.’

Lord Dinknose the Friendly Sodomizer, Rhino Minister in Charge of Dinknoses, Friendliness, and Sodomy, was equally infused with righteous indignation.  

‘Why would anybody want to bully a harmless old clown who makes a simple living by twisting balloons into wiener dogs and swan hats? The answer, my friends, is sad and simple: because this city is run by a bunch of tireless assholes,’ Lord Dinknose said.

Following direct orders from HQ, we here at the Rhino Ministry of Truth broadcast the following Call to Arms to Rhinos all across the Rainy City:

‘Attention Vancouver fun-lovers!  The time has come for all brave souls to rally in defense of our poor, persecuted brother, Stanley Park balloon artist, Bobus the Clown.  We must act immediately! The forces of doom and gloom are closing in!  On Monday, February 26, the Park Board will meet to make a final decision on Bobus’ fate – this is when we will strike.  One-thousand-plus irate Rhinos will dress as clowns, pile into a tiny car, bust into the Park Board meeting, and set Park Board Vice-Chair, Clarence Hansen, on fire while performing the first few numbers from Godspell.  This should take about twenty minutes.  Then – as a tribute to local babe and prize Rhino candidate, Watermelon – we will strip nude, get baked, and tell jokes until we are hauled off to the tank.  The Rhinolution has begun.  Be there.’

Despite a valiant effort on behalf of the Rhino Arson and Drama Committee, the protest did not go quite as planned, but we still managed to get our point across.  Armed with silly string, liquor, and assorted noisemakers, we marched into the Park Board meeting chanting ‘LEAVE THE CLOWN ALONE,’ then presented the Park Board commissioners with a human heart and a human brain (donated courtesy of Mr. and Mrs. Jonathan Dake of Abbotsford). 

When the protest was over, Liar Liar, Rhino candidate in charge of Tylenol and Pepsi Cola, took a leak at the side of the building, and everybody headed to the Bourbon for beer and nachos.  Everyone agreed that Operation Balloon Dog had been an awe-inspiring success.

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