Thursday, September 8, 2016

Beware the Clowns!

Clowns are scary.

There. I said it.

Of course this is not exactly a groundbreaking statement, is it? We’ve had a lot of examples of the image of a clown being turned from a façade of mirth to a masque of horror. Pennywise from Stephen King’s It. Twisty the Clown from American Horror Story. Of course, the big example of clowns gone wrong is the Joker from Batman, the Crown Prince of Crime, the Master of Mirth, Murder and Mayhem. The Joker with his corpse white skin, his gruesome green hair, his blood red lips and that twisted smile forever frozen on his distorted face.

The idea of a clown as an amusement for innocents seems further removed from any sense of reality. 

The subject of clowns as a source of fear has been making the rounds lately with reports of clowns appearing in the woods attempting to lure children with candy. It started in South Carolina where kids reported seeing such a clown in some nearby woods. The number of these sightings have increased and expanded into other states including North Carolina. Just a few days ago, there was a clown sighting along the road not far from my home here at the Fortress of Ineptitude. That story had a bit of a twist. It seems the clown was reportedly chased back into the woods by a dedicated citizen with a machete. But we are taking the word of a dude who's first impulse was to investigate this mystery with a machete so who knows. 

You see, oddly enough for all these sightings of clowns, no one has actually seen a clown.

OK, how does that work? How can you have a sighting of a clown unless you’ve seen a clown? Well, kids will tell a grown up they saw a clown in the woods. This grown up or other authority figures will go out and check and, well, nothing. No clown. No tufts of rainbow colored hair. No scraps of colorful satin cloth. No size 24 footprints. Nothing.

So what gives? There are ideas. Perhaps these clowns are ghosts. Or they can turn invisible. Or they’re time travelling clowns that disappear back to the future from whence they came. Or they’re alien clowns shifting through space or other dimensions to elude capture. Maybe they are clown demons from the hoary nether regions of hell.

There is this really stupid idea that these kids are just making this shit up but c’mon! How likely is that?

I am reminded of a couple of things from my childhood when I was a much younger Dave-El.  One was the time I was a clown. I honestly can’t remember WHY I was a clown. There was some parade or other damn thing going on and my fellow members of the National Honor Society got roped into this. The National Honor Society was for those kids who were really, really smart. Well, if I was so smart, how did I get suckered into being a clown? 

It was probably that damn Meredith who batted her blue eyes at me framed by that golden blonde hair and said, “C’mon! You will make a great clown!” And my brain went , “Duh!” And my heart went, “Oh my God! A GIRL is talking to me!” And my penis went, “Don’t look down here! DON’T LOOK DOWN HERE!” 

So I wound up being a clown. I remember very well the torture of having make up applied to my eye lids. Yes! My! Eye! Lids! I really don’t like some pokey object thing coming near my eyes like that.

The rest of my experience with being a clown was a bit of a blur. I remember walking around the route of the parade handing out balloons and candy and luring innocent children to my abattoir of death. Wait a minute. Not that last bit, sorry. Just balloons and candy. I can’t imagine I was a very good clown. I was a teenager desperately afraid of looking stupid. As a grown ass middle aged man, I give less of a damn about looking stupid so in that, I would make a better clown. But I’m even more creeped out by things coming near my eyes than I was when I was younger so, no. And I really don’t like clowns. If I saw myself in a mirror made up like a clown, I would keel over dead from shock, another victim of a killer clown.

The other thing I’m thinking of from childhood isn’t about clowns but about the power of a story that had gotten out of control. There was a crossroads community named Sidney about a half dozen miles outside of town. Behind a trailer park off the main road running through Sidney was a stand of trees and among those trees, there dwelled a visitor from another world.  

By all accounts from a woman who lived in the trailer park, there was a mysterious light in the forest followed by the presence of a strange creature with green skin and bulbous eyes. Over the course of several days, this alien visitor would appear and disappear at random times throughout the night. Believe it or not, this brought in some actually honest to goodness media coverage. Reporters from newspapers and television came down to check this out. All this added attention spooked the alien who vanished back among the stars from whence he had came.

There was this really stupid idea that this woman in the trailer park was just making this shit up but c’mon! How likely is that? Yes, she had a drug and alcohol problem but hell, it was the 1970s in the rural south. Everyone had a drug and alcohol problem.

Today, instead of big eyed green aliens, we’ve got clowns. Creepy, sinister clowns lurking in the woods seeking to lure children to slave away in the soul mines in the depths of the fiery pits of hell. Or something. Who knows?

Clowns are scary.  

Until next time, remember to be good to one another.

And… beware the clowns. Beware! 

Action Comics#1000

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