Friday, January 18, 2008

Listen Up, Bozo

Transcript from NPR:
Morning Edition, January 18, 2008 · Researchers have finally hit on the essential truth previously known to horror film makers: Clowns are not necessarily funny. Britain's University of Sheffield wanted to find a way to improve the children's wards of hospitals. They conducted a survey of 250 kids. Every single young patient disapproved of using clowns to cheer them up. The big painted smile didn't persuade them, and even some of the older kids found them scary.

Ah yes, the fear of clowns. It's official. It's been quantified.

Note those filled in dots are someone else's answers. Not mine. Because I don't fear clowns.

I loathe them.

All of my siblings do. One of my friends from college, extrapolating from her mother's PTSD horror of dentists, assumed we'd been molested by a clown. But unless you count my dad dragging us all to the Ringling Museum on one of those horrible family vacations, there was no circus-specific abuse in our family. Nevertheless, our hatred of clowns runs deep.

I was once at a reception celebrating the end of a certain liberal art college's 100 million dollar capital campaign, where for some ungodly reason they had clowns circulating through the crowd. I was talking to a friend and this freakin' clown came over to interrupt. So I said, in a tone far more polite than someone with oversized shoes and a fake nose really warrants, "Please go away. I don't like clowns." Immediately it starts making that clown crying gesture. Thereby proving how insufferably annoying clowns are. Which I pointed out, which finally got the clown to move on to harassing someone else. The friend I was with said, "She was pregnant. How could you treat her like that?" I thought the fact that she was breeding more clowns made my action all the more valiant and satisfying, like when you step on a pregnant spider.

I've been known to chant "Down with the Clown" at the mere glimpse of a red fright wig.

Perhaps the most disturbing aspect of clowns, and one I only became aware of recently, is that they are often represented with accordions. Which is weird because think about it, you are stuffed in a car with 347 other of your miserable clown breed, you'd be lucky if you could play even the harmonica. Pumping open the bellows on an accordion? I think not.

There is no one I'd be more upset to see playing my beloved squeezebox than a clown. Well, maybe a crazed Ugandan dictator. But otherwise the clowns are definitely the bottom of the damn heap.


french panic said...

clowns are scary. My boyfriend "won" a creepy clown mask in a weird Christmas contest once.

It hangs in our window and probably annoys the neighbours.

Burglar deterrent?

yersis said...

thank you for bringing this to the attention of the masses.

Anonymous said...

Lois, I wanted to alert you and your readers that shortly after I read (and agreed) with your post, I received some disturbing clown spam. I have attached the link below but want to caution readers that it has disturbing content: pictures of clown heads in cages and clown propaganda. It lists a series of workshops including one called "Know Your Clown." I could not read further, as I found myself blocked by the mere suggestion of clown ownership. I have never considered myself a conspiracy theorist, however, this recent spam has me ruminating over the insidiousness and underlying motives of the Patriot Act. After all, there is a groundswell of opinion that it was written by clowns.

View the link at your own risk.