At the circus, we once hired a clown who performed under the name Malingo. I think we all knew, right from the start, that there was something wrong with Malingo, and if you're considered odd amongst our ragged crew, there is something seriously wrong. He stank, not only from the booze (which seemed to be his only intake of nutrients), but of something sickly-sweet, like an animal carcass left in the summer sun. He moved in a rather clumsy way; not clown-funny-clumsy, but rigid, both on and off the stage. From day one he kept to himself, and no one really cared to befriend him, anyway.
One night, he seemed more... off than usual. He was mimicking the acrobats in one of his numbers. The idea was that he would use the trampoline and do a couple of flips in the air, and then crash-land. During the practice sessions he had always gotten up right after the crash, since that was part of the act. But this night, in front of the audience, he didn't get up. I was the first one to reach him, since I'm always there during the clowns' act. If the stench didn't tell me something was wrong, the huge gaping hole in his stomach did. It was like had had simply burst open. Thankfully, I managed to get the clowns to play ambulance and carry him out before the audience realized it wasn't part of the show (I also managed to hide his wound with the help of a table cloth we had on stage).
We have a doctor in our troupe, and after examining Malingo, he said that the clown had been dead for weeks. That last trick had been too much on his decomposing body, and he had simply burst. None of us understood how this could be, but he hid his condition (if one could call it that) under a mist of booze, and thick layers of makeup.