"We found that clowns are universally disliked by children. Some found them quite frightening and unknowable."
"We call to order this month's meeting of the National Fraternal Order of Professional Clowns. Slingo, what's our first order of business?"
"Big trouble, boss. A study in Nursing Standard found that 100 percent of the kids polled in the survey disliked clowns."
"Hmmm. What kind of kids were they?"
"Living, breathing kids."
"Living. Breathing. Hmmm. That's a problem. 100 percent, eh?"
"Yeah. Pretty much all of them!"
"What don't they like about us? Our big feet? Our purple hair? Our white body make-up?"
"According to the study, they find us frightening and unknowable."
"So they want to get to know us? Hmmm, I don't think that's a good idea. I got to know you, Buttcheek Bandit, and I'm not so sure that was such a good idea!"
(From the back room) "Well, I kind of liked it..."
"But frightening, huh? Hey, maybe we can do something about that."
"Maybe we could take the free chainsaw out of the membership package for joining the union?"
I don't know. I guess I find clowns a little scary, myself. I know that Corb's terrified of them.
Part of it probably has to do with the culture we live in. All those movies about evil, twisted, Stephen King-inspired clowns. Certainly no haunted house would be complete without a chainsaw-wielding harlequin. Ever since a particularly bad incident with a pack of evil clowns at a haunted hayride, Ashes refuses to go to anything that has the word "haunted" in it.
But was there ever a simpler time where a clown's rep was a little kinder and gentler?
Maybe a little, I think, but not much. Evil clowns linger in our psyche. Perhaps that's part of the appeal, frankly: the outward desire to make you laugh, to entertain, but there's something far more sinister lingering around the edges.
I think part of it is that with all the make-up and wigs, you simply cannot see the face underneath. That makes it awfully hard to trust clowns. And, it frees them up to be more wild, to take more chances. To go crazy with that seltzer bottle, but maybe something worse, too. Even though most clowns know what lines they can and cannot cross, there's always that chalk outline there, just waiting to be blurred.
And quite frankly, although clowns are part of a grand and glorious tradition, they're usually not that funny, either. The only clown I ever laughed at was Chuckles.
And that was only AFTER he was shelled.