Friday, May 16, 2008
In my previous post I wrote to a circus director that we both knew similar clowns. I need to go on the record that I meant ACTUAL CLOWNS. I was in no way referring to my family, co workers, friends, superiors, local union people or any ethnic or religious group I have had contact with in the past 44 years.
My friend Nancy Schwartz left Drew University, where we both were studying, to attend Clown College in Orlando. Nancy was four foot tall and she felt she could really carve out a future for herself if she could master the unicycle and learn how to cram thirty people into a Volkswagon Bug. I went to visit her on Spring Break and I can tell you that there's no fraternity in existence that can out-party the kids at Clown College. Two words: Naked Juggling.
As fun as that experience was, I admit to not being a fan of those who don the red rubber nose. Maybe it was Stephen King's book IT--in which he wrote graphically about a clown's face appearing in in the space between the sidewalk curb and the sewer grate. Maybe it was the fact that most children's party entertainers I met smelled of a mixture of flop sweat and beer. Or maybe it was Judy Collins singing ISN'T IT RICH, DON'T YOU AGREE. (Until recently I used to think she was singing ISN'T IT RICH, DON'T YOU LOVE TEA.)
Along with all the other odd proclivities and genetically programmed angst that I have passed on to Jesse, FEAR OF CLOWNS definitely ranks in the top 5 (Along with FEAR OF BALLOONS FLYING AWAY and FEAR OF CHOKING ON A PIECE OF POPCORN.) He was two the first time we encountered a band of them, randomly strolling on stilts through a restaurant, wearing clothing with patches and bright red smiles. Ours was the child that had to be physically removed from the setting, screaming hysterically at the top of his lungs, and obviously SCARRED FOR LIFE. Since then we must always be certain that anywhere we go is a CLOWN FREE ZONE.
Just like Pagliacci did
I try to keep my surface hid
Smiling in the crowd I try
But in a lonely room I cry
The tears of a clown