Its an extremely safe thing to say, that every group of friends has their own inside jokes. When you get enough people together, who share any general, or specific, sense of humor, its inevitable that things are going to happen that only those 5 people find hilarious. Anything from politics to that guy in gym class that smelled like a sock bin.
I want to share with you a special inside joke that Picture Atlantic has fallen in love with, hated, and much like the movie “Terminator”, not been able to stop. All starting from when this joke knocked on our door and said “Sarah Connor?”, to when the Joke had its bio-engineered skin melt off in a truck crash fire, only to reveal its evil and futuristic metallic skeleton. Even then, Skynet continued to manufacture new, and even more sinister fuel for said specific joke: Juggalos.
I’m going to imagine that most people who are in to music, beyond a casual radio listener, knows what Juggalos and ICP (Insane Clown Posse) is. If not, here is a handy link to Wikipedia: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Insane_clown_posse
(Reading that article will help you even understand the madness below)
It all started the night before we were ready to head out on a tour that took us up, through Portland/Seattle and back down to LA so we could head out to Texas. For some demented reason, I got the idea to check out exactly what a Juggalo was. I’d heard so much about them, and like Miley Cyrus, I knew very little. What better way to get immediately exposed to the ICP lifestyle, than to youtube some videos.
What I found was the most hilarious inventory of youtube videos ever. That’s saying a lot, because the Grape Lady, and Skeleton motorcycle prank videos made me laugh for a week. Most of the videos were basically response videos, by ICP fans (Juggalos), to haters, and boy did those Juggalos really lay into the haters. These videos were proof that the American Education system failed sometime in the late 70’s to early 80’s, and that “mostest” is indeed, an actual word. My mind was blown, but I was so morbidly fascinated that I kept finding videos. Pretty soon Patrick came by the computer to see what was up. Then Ryan. Then our Tour Manager Mikey. We were instantly hooked, like some kind of retarded bottom feeding catfish.
The first segment of the tour was basically a lot of driving with some stops in Sacramento and Redding. Along the way, Cabin Fever started to set in. Long hours sitting in a van will push your human mind to the limits, and you’ll either end up throwing fire-crackers out the back of your van, or you’ll turn your thoughts and conversations to the weird and ridiculous. Instead, I brought up how I couldn’t wrap my mind around Juggalos.
You know in those movies where someone has lit a very long fuse that is ready to head for a huge powder keg, and mean while the hero and villains are punching it out in scenes of action around the slowly dwindling fuse? Soon after bringing up Juggalos we began what I will now call “The Juggalo Continuum”.
Within 30-40 minutes, we had already begun to give ourselves Juggalo stage names: Rico as Juggasaurus Rex, Ryan as 3J Network, Myself as Sir Juggalot, Patrick as Jugga’naut, Brian as Dr. Faygo, and Mikey as Guggalo. Grant was sadly not with us (you were in spirit , sweet prince), but we poored some Faygo on the ground for our homeboi.
About an hour from then, I texted my friend Ash, who had sold us our Trailer a week before the tour, and told him that I had a really serious question to ask him. Keep in mind it was about 3am when I texted him. Being the concerned friend that he was, and imagining that we had rolled the trailer on some deserted stretch of high way in the middle of some Oregon wilderness, Ash called my phone immediatly:
Ash:Nik, are you ok? Whats the serious question.
Me:Well..its pretty important..I need to know the answer before we can continue on with our friendship.
Ash:What? What is it?
Me:Ash…..are you “Down With The Clown”?
Needless to say, Ash wasn’t thrilled, but I did find out the next day, that he was indeed Down With The Clown.
The Rest of the tour continued on, and we met a lot of people. The Juggalo syndrome spread like wildfire, and most of our jokes centered around ICP or Juggalos. It was a pretty heavy bulk of our conversation. The band we met up with on that tour, to share some dates with, got to know all about ICP. I think, consistently, for every person that we met,(and I hate to be crude, but its the only way to describe) we really freaked them the fuck out.
It wasn’t long till we got a call from a promoter in Texas who had some questions to ask us about our show. Patrick answered the phone and the following conversation ensued.
Promoter: Hey, this is Dale from The Tumble Room in Texas, just calling to fill you guys in on some details for the show. I just want to let you know that you guys will have your own green room, along with a place to park your van and trailer. I’m also calling to ask, what you would like on your Rider?
Patrick:(covering his phone with his hand) Its this promoter in Texas. He wants to know what we want on our rider.
Ryan: Yeah, Faygo.
Patrick:We’d like a 12 pack of Faygo.
Patrick: Faygo. We’d like a case of Faygo.
Promoter: Are you sure you don’t want anything else? No beer? No food? Maybe some Jack Daniels?
Patrick: No. Just faygo.
I’ve never, to this day had Faygo. That show fell through, and they don’t sell Faygo here, save for specialty places. I did however, see a bottle of it in Chico, but I was too poor to get a bottle, and that’s saying something.
The jokes never left, and by the end of the tour I was positive that it had ingrained itself in our psyche. Especially during our serious lunch with representatives of ASCAP (American Society of Composers, Authors and Publishers):
Me:Are you Down With The Clown?
Me:Down With The Clown. ICP. You know, Juggalos!
ASCAP Rep:We worked with them. Myself and my partner helped represent them.
Me:Oh…(Awkwardly)You must be down then…
Or even seeing Juggalo tattoos on our sound guy’s elbows during a show in the Valley.
Basically, it never ended, and still to this day, instead of saying “Yes” or “I’m in”, we will say “I’m Down The With The Clown”.
So to top this all off (and I mean REALLY top it all off) I want to share a blog, and a video I found on the blog. The Blog is this: www.thejuggalog.tumblr.com
This blog chronicles the experience of one young man, who thought it would be hilarious to join ICP on tour, as a merch guy, and quickly regretted the decision. God bless this brave soldier.
I feel like the Video below , truly describes everything Juggalo. Two minutes into I was laughing. 5 Minutes in, I actually felt bad about myself, and by the 10th minute I started to ask myself why Cops aren’t equipped with Juggalo defense mechanisms. If you can get all the way through the video, I will personally write a letter of congratulatory effort (If you think I’m joking, just try me).
I hope this rant/story was enjoyable for you all, because for me, it was like relieving the jungles of Nam. Enjoy.