Don't send in the clowns

Published: 10/13/2016 10:00 AM
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BY JENNA WASAKOSKI

THE NEWS-ITEM

jenna_w@newitem.com

Trends come and go even if they do arrive late to the coal region.

Sometimes they are as innocent as a clothing style, but as if we need more ridiculous happenings around here, sometimes they come in the form of creepy clowns.

We’ve addressed it in previous articles, but in watching the morning news and perusing the Internet Wednesday, I discovered this plague is still hanging on. So much so, national figure and burger pusher, Ronald McDonald is now in hiding (see article below.)

People are freaked and threatening the lives of suspicious jesters donning the traditional or “creepy” ensembles associated with the big-shoed buffoons.

This is ridiculous on so many levels. So much so, it trumped another article idea because I can’t believe it’s sustainability. It’s almost as dumb (albeit not as dangerous) as the bath salt scourge.

People were legit jumping out of buildings and trying to find people in their walls and seeing imaginary bears, and others thought, “Hey, that sounds like something for which I’d like to sign up!”

I have joked about going to clown college, but at times I was half serious because I wanted to infiltrate the life of carnies. I’ve always been fascinated with circus folk. Had I pursued that dream, who knows where I would be right now. I’d likely be out of work, hanging up my clown shoes because these lurking idiots ruined my career.

Really dodged a bullet there.

But let’s put my silliness aside and address how utterly insane this is:

• People are citing, “How am I supposed to know if it’s a real clown?’ I’m sorry, Dumbo, but there is no such thing as a real clown. If we can agree on anything, we can agree no one is born a clown.

No one, as a newborn, is handed to their mother with the announcement, “It’s a clown!” It is a costume. I think the word you’re looking for is “it is a criminal?” Is this person dangerous?

• It’s not illegal to dress as a clown. Just as it’s not illegal for me to paint on my “clown makeup” as some of my very favorite haters refer to it as. So, people have irrational fears of clowns. I also saw people on Maury who were afraid of birds, cotton balls and Jell-O (although, looking back, I’ll blame Cosby for that last one.) As long as a clown is not trespassing, terrorizing or threatening anyone, they’re allowed to stand wherever they wish in public.

• We’ve been conditioned to be uneasy around clowns. Movies, especially, have turned the birthday party balloon artists into something evil. Blame Hollywood; I do for most things.

• People are followers and they get bored easily. Luckily for the world, trends are short. I didn’t think this would last this long, but I felt the same way about pajama pants as acceptable clothing in public places and look how long that old goiter has stuck around.

I truly feel these people dressing as “creepy clowns” will be onto the next thing when it comes around and the great clown scare of 2016 will be a thing of the past. Attention spans of those who need to feel a sense of belonging by doing what everyone else is doing instead of being original is that of a gnat.

And yes, I know there have been assaults. That makes them criminals, not clowns.

• I don’t like clowns. You may think I’m sticking up for clowns because of an occasional desire to run off to clown college, but truthfully, I’m not a fan. I never was. Not at birthday parties, especially not at the circus — dear Heavenly Father, there was that one time I was drug to the center of the circus ring by a clown who only used a whistle to speak and I froze like Hans Solo. So, if I’m not traumatized, no one should be.

• Now you’ll hit me with “how would you feel if there was a random clown staring at you or your child.” OK, one, I don’t have any children and, two, I’ve had clowns staring at me for much of my adult life. They just don’t wear the traditional garb.

So, can we please calm down and stop fueling this?

I mean, America is over as it is. We have two clowns running for president. Let’s just take care of our own, on our own level, be decent people,and move on.

The more you feed into those who want attention, they more they grow. Next thing you know, they’re the ruler of our country.

Buy your kid a book. Go experience nature. Step out of the torrential media storm of fear.

Keep reading The News-Item, though. We’ll try to keep the clown content to a minimum....well except for politics.

(Jenna Wasakoski is an assistant editor at The News-Item. Her lifestyle column appears Thursdays)

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