|This article is about 'the magazine story'. You may be looking for 'the 2005, 2011 magazine story or the rhyming magazine story'.|
- “What are you playing at?"
"Thomas 'the clown' strikes again!”
- ―Percy being pushed under the water tower by Thomas
Clowning Around! is a magazine story.
While puffing through the countryside, Thomas spots two clowns practising their acts outside the big circus tent. Thomas thinks it is one of the funniest things he has ever seen and thinks he would make a good clown. The next day, Thomas sets out on his new career. At the busy quarry he sees a perfect opportunity. As workmen are filling his trucks, he pulls away sending gravel everywhere.
Later Thomas spots Percy about to take on water. Thomas creeps up behind and nudges Percy, who gets covered in water. Percy is furious. Thomas then spots Toby dozing. He decides to startle him with a loud whistle. Unfortunately for Thomas, Toby is not the only one to jump, a workman falls off his seat and onto an important lever. Sand pours down on Thomas, nearly burying him. Toby and the workmen laugh at Thomas' comeuppance. The Fat Controller tells Thomas to leave the entertaining to the clowns and Thomas agrees, although he cannot help but chuckle when he thinks about poor Percy.