The last 3 days I have had crazy, fever dreams. Of course, they are never about anything pleasant. Fever dreams reach deep down into your subconscious and like to gently push your fears, anxieties and phobias right into the spotlight. So, my dreams? Clown dreams (shiver). Perhaps it was circus music that wafted upstairs while the kids watched Dumbo, or maybe it is just the fact that clowns scare the ever lovin’ crap out of me. As a kid, I had a general distaste for clowns. Ronald McDonald? Creepytown. John Wayne Gacy? Obviously. Aside from these creepy clown “norms”, life made sure I had enough terrible clown experiences to turn distaste into a full blown phobia. If you want to see a grown-up pee their pants, have a clown at your next party and invite me.
Exhibit Real Life Clown Terror # 1: At age 5 or 6, we went to a birthday party at a local park. They had a clown. He was enormous. He must have been over 6 feet tall. His clown suit was dirty. His face makeup was runny and terrifying (Granted, it was summer). His balloon animals kept popping. Clown fail.
Exhibit Real Life Clown Terror # 2: Early 20s – Las Vegas, I was in a bar. Admittedly, I had tee many martoonis. All of a sudden, a pack (yes, a PACK) of scary clowns wandered into the bar. Full costume, Full scary clown face makeup. I lost it. I started crying…hysterically. In retrospect, that probably left me with a scary clown makeup as well. My boyfriend walked over to them and said, “WHY?” and the Leader of the Crazy Clowns looked up and with the creepiest grin I have ever seen just said, “Because, it’s FUN.” AHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHH! Let’s just say, there was a trail of roadrunner dust behind my ridiculous Vegas heels.
Exhibit Real Life Clown Terror # 3: During a lovely shopping outing with a sister-in-law in Downtown Los Angeles, while stopped at a traffic light, a homeless/vagrant clown crossed right in front of my car. This might take the cake. This clown was covered in dirt from head to toe, his clown outfit was ripped and soiled, the wig askew and horrifying. The makeup? Let’s not go there. The walk from one side of the street to the next, slow, deliberate and totally terrifying. I remember the palms of my hands starting to sweat profusely as my shaking hands grasped the steering wheel. WHAT THE WHAT?
I have had less serious clown offenses, watching Stephen King’s IT too early in life, (sidebar: child murdering clown WAY scarier than the big bug at the end. Horror Fail.) and a host of parties with clown “entertainment”. Regardless of the severity of the clown experience, I feel like the universe is trying to tell me something. That “something” is, “BETHANY, STAY THE HELL AWAY FROM CLOWNS!”
Will my kids ever go to the circus? Probably not with me. Bad Parenting Moment? Yes. Worse Parenting Moment? Mommy running from the circus tent screaming, “RUN! We’re all going to die by that circus clown’s big white gloves!!!!”
(post script – there will be no pictures of real clowns to accompany this post. I think the reason is obvious!)