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I’m Afraid of Clowns—Because I’m Smart!

I don’t like clowns. They’re scary, they’re mean, and they have evil secret agendas. My family teases me about it, but I consider myself a prophet. Someday I may have to wear camel skins and eat locusts to prove my seriousness. If I can find camel skins with hip-slimming vertical stripes, I will do it gladly.

Once I began to publicly admit my clown-uneasiness, I started to come across other people who gasped, “YES!” They were relieved to have found someone who actually understood them—and who was willing to brave the scorn of society to admit it. When you know there’s a kindred soul waiting for you, it’s easier to come out of the clown closet, so to speak.

Killer Klowns from Outer Space

Fear of clowns is not silly and it’s not childish. It’s common sense. If you doubt me, I advise you to watch a powerful documentary on the subject, written, directed, and produced by the Chiodo Brothers: Killer Klowns from Outer Space. You will never look at a red nose the same way again.

I was triumphantly vindicated by an article from Reuters, written by Michael Holden. The University of Sheffield in England was studying ways to make children’s hospital wards more cheerful. What’s an obviously cheery figure? A clown, of course. Then the University conducted a poll of 250 patients, ages four to sixteen. 100 percent of them disliked clowns. This included the teenagers!

250 people. 100 percent.

When was the last time you got four people to agree on a pizza topping?

One of my favorite tee-shirts is black with jagged white writing on it that repeats over and over:

Can’t sleep … Clowns will eat me.
Can’t sleep … Clowns will eat me.
Can’t sleep … Clowns will eat me.

If you understand that shirt, you’re one of us.


8 Responses

  1. And I can’t believe I spelled my own name wrong–and with a comma! I’ve reached a new low…

  2. I hate clowns–they’re definitely hiding something.

  3. When our first child was born, my father gave us a 3′ Pinocchio doll for the nursery. According to our childrens’ folklore, this was a 3-foot doll with 4″ eyes that stared and apparently glowed in the dark. Of course none of them mentioned this while they were growing up; the terrifying Pinocchio remained in the nursery, staring and scaring the toenails off the three siblings that followed. I probably should have buried it under rocks in some godforsaken forest out of state, but it was simpler to pack it off to Goodwill. I often think of the poor child who’s mom picked it up for a song and blithely continued the horror.

    • I think I’ve seen this movie! Seriously, what a great story, Leigh–and what a great expression, too, “staring and scaring the toenails” off your four kids. But if it’s true, I wonder why none of them said anything. None of them? Maybe the doll threatened them at night in a whispery voice.

      Interesting . . . The secret life of dolls . . .

      • When I overheard our teen-aged children giggling over how frightened they’d been by Evil Pinocchio and for years, I was shocked they had never told us. But they were raised Catholic in a school run by a nun with a sharp frown and a strict list of rules that obscured the marshmallow we adults saw underneath. Perhaps they thought Sister A and Evil Pinocchio were in cahoots and would get them if they told.

        Thanks for the compliment. I smiled as I typed that one too. Love your blog. And not only because it’s slow and easy to follow.

  4. Lol! I’m passing this on to my best friend, I’m thinking you two should meet . . .

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