Authors note:

This is the start of Book 3, a new story a part of the Grigsby Series. If you’re interested in starting from the beginning, check out Book 1 and Book 2. It’s being developed into a novella and I’ll be giving it away for free to my community. Learn more by emailing me at hi@robertmaisano.com. Now enjoy book 3.


The fire spread faster than anyone anticipated. The relay race seemed to be going smoothly. Footage later proved a clown tripped over a piece of equipment setting the stage ablaze. It wasn’t a good start to the first day of filming Very Ferry Grigsby’s new game show.

The FDNY wasn’t happy when they arrived. Grgisby shooed them away and motored the ferry further up the Hudson. The camera crew held onto their equipment and the contestants, three of which were actual clowns, went below to keep warm. The contestants were in prime physical shape, except the clowns. Their regalia didn’t help them either, loose fitting clothing doesn’t bode well on firey obstacle courses.

Ira came topside to speak to Grigsby. “Grigs, the clown that set the fire has been kicked off the show.”

“Good, he wasn’t cheery enough anyway. What kind of clown does he think he is?” Grigsby said chomping on a cigar.

“Beside the fire, I think we’re doing well. We’re just working out the kinks.” Ira said. He’d been a good sport about the new game show that Grigsby started. Grigsby had made a deal with a group of Tokyo businessmen to bring a Japanese game show to the United States. “Ryūki has been a great translator.”

“He better be, it’s his native tongue. Hang on,” Grigsby sounded the fog horn twice at some nearby paddleboarders. They scurried by and the ferry wake knocked them into the water. They screamed profanities but no one could hear.

“Didn’t Mr. Hayakawa say he’d be sending over a hypeman today? He’s not on the ferry.” Ira asked.

“He’ll be here, just a matter of time.” Grigsby said.

Grigsby anchored the ferry upriver from the George Washington Bridge. He positioned the ship in a way that if any debris or clowns fell overboard, they’d wash up in New Jersey. As he readied the helm he noticed an orange blur coming toward him.

An orange cigarette boat barrled along like a missile over the surf. Grigsby realized who it was and groaned. Ira asked what was wrong. “Mr. Hayakawa said he’d provide a level-headed hypeman.” Grigsby began powering down the engines. He pointed at the huge cigarette boat approaching, “That’s Joji, our new hyperman, the least subtle person on the planet.”


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