• Tuesday, February 19, 2013

It's not a kept secret in regard to my feelings about clowns.
I saw a sign this weekend saying the circus was in town. A chill of fear crept up my spine.
I don't like clowns. They scare me.
I was the fearful child, riddled with neuroses and phobias, cursed with the wild imagination that rendered all impossible and improbable things a definite possibility and an absolute certainty.
What is it about clowns, anyway?
It's their freakishly long, water-ski feet, the wild orange hair and the big red ball nose, the leering, white faced grin spreading from ear to ear as if deliciously pondering the notion of what it would feel like to devour your soul as you slept.
It's the tall clowns on stilts, rising to the Big Top rafters, and especially the short clowns, running everywhere, falling down and then bouncing right back to their feet as if they were made out of rubber.
Clowns are not the representation of the hidden sad face, clowns are pure evil incognito.
Clowns do not speak – another thing I don't like. Mime clowns, the worst kind.
A friend of mine asked me, how do you ever eat at McDonald's?
It wasn't easy. I kept my eyes downcast, staring at the floor, repeating the same mantra over and over again, “Don't make eye contact with the clown… don't make eye contact with the clown.”
And if the clown doesn't get you, the talking Big Mac head will.
Puppets get me almost as much as clowns do. Puppets are merely clowns on strings. And the whole frog and pig love thing going on with the Muppets. Creepy.
I don't like mimes, either. Mimes are evil cousins to the clown.
Mimes are patient, deathly pale in pallor, regarding you with that silent open-eyed stare of curious mockery, silently waiting for you to make a mistake while seemingly trapped inside their invisible boxes. And when you do, they will pounce on you in droves to attack and pretend to beat the snot out of you.
I was in Walmart the other day and saw a mother demonstrating the fun of a Jack-in-the-box to her two year old. Here, crank the little knob and a pretty little song plays.
Then, just as you're enjoying the song, perhaps even singing along, you get to the end and “POP!” goes the weasel and a dismembered clown head on a spring jumps out of the box at you.
The only reason no one in Walmart could hear the kid crying was because I was screaming like I'd just lost my legs. 
My aunt had several Red Skelton clown paintings hanging in her living room, and one in particular, a painting called “Cloud Clowns” that showed the clouds forming into dozens of clown faces.
Hideous it was.
For years I had trouble even looking up at the sky for fear of what might be looking back at me.
My clown dreams though rank right up there with tornadoes and giants as all-time favorite nightmares. Friends of mine know this, and Carma, a good friend of mine last night brought up an interesting scenario.
“Think about it,” she said, “A tornado forms from a cloud ... from a clown in the clouds.”
A tornado with a leering clown face coming at you, Carma said, and chuckled.
An evil woman you are.
Probably a clown spy in disguise too, I'll bet. Oh yeah. I'm sleeping with the lights on tonight.

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