Let’s keep clowns funny

Jake Keeley

Clowns are not meant to be scary. Instead, clowns are meant to be funny. Skilled in the ancient art form of balloon animals, the only reason clowns exist, as far as I can tell, is to perform at 5-year-old birthday parties. Typically equipped with a never-ending handkerchief, some sort of apparatus that you wouldn’t expect to shoot water, yet inevitably does, and a large red nose that makes a strange noise when you compress it, clowns are often the life of children’s parties.

However, some kids don’t connect with clowns, and I can’t blame them. Oftentimes, this results in the clown directing their attention at the kid not enjoying the performance, which then results in tears, and furthermore, an irrational fear of clowns for the poor kid. Little did the kid know then that this was only the beginning.

Although recent incidents regarding clowns harassing people continue to add up, I find myself not scared of individual clowns, but rather of clowns as a group of people. I can’t help but wonder if this was one big set-up job by the clown community.

Are the clowns really interested in whether or not the kids like them, or do they have ulterior motives? Have clowns been instilling fear in us at a young age, only to use it against us at a later time when it is convenient for them? Are we simply pawns in the clowns’ bigger game? Are clowns that much smarter than the general population? These are all questions that I would love to have the answer to one day, until then we can only speculate.

The way I see it right now, there are three types of clowns out there. First, clowns who perform at 5-year-old birthday parties and that is it. Ultimately, we respect these clowns. Second, clowns who have never performed at a party who are simply out harassing people. We not only lack respect for these clowns, we also don’t like them. Lastly, there are clowns who both perform at birthday parties, and harass people. These people are in clown costumes day and night. I compare this group to crooked cops, you don’t really approve of their actions, but you can’t knock the hustle. Unfortunately, the closer it gets to Halloween the likelihood of seeing the clowns I described second and third only increases by the day. So, you need to be prepared if, or when, you see one.

As with anything else, the first thing you need to do is assess the situation. First, ask yourself ‘do clowns scare me?’ If the answer is yes, the solution is simple, get the heck out of there. If you are unsure of clowns, or would just rather not cede any ground to a stranger in a costume attempting to intimidate you, I recommend taking everything on a case-by-case basis.

Some key things you should consider are as follows: Is the clown chasing anyone? Are there multiple clowns? Are the clowns directing their attention at you? Does the clown’s makeup indicate a smiling clown or a frowning clown? Is the clown wielding a weapon? The wrong answer to any of the above questions is cause enough for concern followed by appropriate action, probably running. If your assessment proves to be non-threatening, then by all means proceed, it is probably just a weirdo in the costume anyway.