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Writer finds the joke's on her

Soon I realized if I had asked, it would have been completely appropriate, although I didn't need to because Mrs. Kleinberger told me it was them.

She told me this right before opening up their wedding album to show me that the couple had gotten married 10 years ago as clowns. I have to say, it was the most colorful wedding I have ever seen, and those who were not dressed in clown costume seemed out of place.

After I flipped through the album, Mr. Kleinberger prepared to give me a lesson in ballooning.

He started by putting two kinds of balloons in my hand, showing me the two sizes of long balloons clowns work with. He then took a third balloon and made me a bumblebee then a sword then a poodle then a leash for the poodle then a heart then an alien. He ended with a step-by-step tutorial on puppy-making and let me make a few of the twists myself.

I was swimming in a sea of balloon animals, and I was as happy as a kid at the fair.

Afterwards, we moved to the kitchen for Kleinberger to show me makeup tricks.

I sat down in front of a big mirror while Kleinberger got out all of his tools. He took out a jar of white face paint, a black liner, and a red crayon-type stick. Kleinberger explained to me several different makeup techniques clowns use: whiteface, where the clown's face is covered in white; Auguste, where the clown's normal skin is mostly visible, with a lot of white accent around the eyes and mouth; light Auguste, where even more of the clown's normal skin is visible; and character, where the clown may use as little makeup as possible to represent a real-life character.

Character clowns and light Auguste clowns are commonly seen in hospitals and nursing homes, he said.

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