In honor of Halloween, pumpkin spice, and all things fall…
There’s something I don’t understand and never will: clowns. We are all human. We have unreasonable fears — things that make our palms sweaty. And this is my blog, so I can vent and no one can stop me. Someone recently asked if I’ve seen the blockbuster movie, It, and I gave my typical response: “Hell, no! I hate clowns.” My fear doesn’t come out of nowhere; I have many reasons to dislike these creepy characters. I don’t trust clowns. I don’t find them funny. I don’t think they’re amusing. Here’s why:
They are unpredictable
At any moment a clown can pull something unexpected out of its clothing. The common clown practice of hiding objects in large pockets and baggy outfits is supposed to be entertaining. However, I have never been amused by this and think clowns should reconsider their tools of the trade.
They blur the line between good and evil
There is absolutely no way to know if a clown is good (i.e. Ronald McDonald, Bozo) or bad (i.e. Pennywise, The Joker, Twisty the Clown, Pogo) until the clown has perpetrated evil. Both good and bad clowns wear the same disguise — baggy clothes, a terrible hairline, and a painted-on smile. Some of them even drive clown cars so stuffed with clowns that the only explanation is magic.
They invade my personal space
I do not like people touching my face. I do not like people standing within six inches of me, exhaling their hot breath on my face. My grandmother once took me to a circus in Marion, Indiana, where six-year-old me quickly learned about personal space. She may not remember this moment, but I’ll never forget it.
As we walked toward the arena, a clown with a handful of balloons approached us. I knew what he wanted to do: “entertain” us by manipulating air-filled plastic to look like wiener dogs. I did not want to talk to the clown, and I foolishly thought if I didn’t make eye contact then my beautiful grandmother and I could walk right by him. However this clown had a different plan, cutting us off at the tent entrance.
He touched my face, grabbed my cheeks, and stared into my eyes only six inches from my face. He said, “Well, young man, aren’t you just the cutest thing ever! Do you want a balloon?” My memory will never be able to erase the image of his face so close to mine.
Mr. Clown in Marion, Indiana, you ruined that circus for me, and I haven’t returned to one since.
If you get the feeling there is more to my hatred than one clown encounter, well, you are right. As a child I had reoccurring nightmares about them. These dreams always involved two clowns — one fat, one skinny, both male — chasing me and my family around some alternative world that reminded me of the Rainbow Road on Mario Kart (which makes me think I did drugs as a child, but I had good parents so I know I didn’t).
The dreams started lasted until middle school. I have no clue why I experienced them; honestly I just think I was created to hate clowns. I’ve accepted this stance over the last 28 years. If you hate clowns, I am here for you. If you do not, then I want to hear your reasoning. However, do not think you can change my mind… I hate clowns. Oh, and Happy Halloween!
By Ben Higgins
Do you share my sentiments about clowns? What’s your most irrational fear?