Too Many Sweets! from Brian Andrew Whiteley on Vimeo.

There was one exhibit, however, that was utterly fascinating. An attractive young man called out and asked Bethenny and Crackerjacks if they wanted to feed the clown. He pointed to a man who looked like Patton Oswalt’s ugly younger brother with some clown makeup smeared all over his face and wearing a Party City clown costume. It was open in the back, and though you couldn’t see it, you know he was wearing a diaper. He looked like the worst thing in a Poltergeist movie, or Courtney Love on her best day.

Bethenny, always up for an adventure, said that she definitely would want to feed the clown. The cute young man told her that she would have to pay $3 to feed him. She asked if she could give him $30 and a bottle of Skinny Girl Vitamin Syrup to hold while she did it, but he said no and just took her $3. She was given what appeared to be a Chipwich ic- cream novelty and put it in the clown’s mouth. (If you ask me, this whole thing would have been a lot more successful if they used Choco Tacos instead, but no one asks me anything about clown-related activities after what happened with that go-go boy that night at Circus.) The clown didn’t just eat the Chipwich, he shoved it all in his mouth, smearing the makeup further on his face and losing his round red nose, revealing the tip of his nose underneath was not painted. He smiled and grinned, like a gorilla about to attack, and chewed frantically on that Chipwich through his smirk. Crackerjacks clutched her statement necklace and then clutched Bethenny’s arm, dragging her away. “Wait, I paid $3 for this,” Bethenny said, still watching the clown gum on his cookie and ice cream as LuAnn carted her away.

That’s when it struck me that this, though inadvertent, might be excellent art. At least it was indicative of these women’s lives. Here they are, feeding this grotesque figure of entertainment, stuffing its mouth full of a sickly corn-syrup treat that is surely going to kill it, but they are giving it what it craves, making it gag on its own sickly desires. Not only are they doing this, they’re paying for the pleasure and they’re getting nothing in return. It costs them money and dignity and morality, and still, they can’t look away. They want to spend all their time with that sneering clown, even as it spits up half-chewed ice cream all over the industrial carpet of an impermanent structure somewhere on the beach in Miami.