This month’s on-line writing group has the topic of ‘Clowns’ to write about and share. I’ll be interested to hear what others have written because it’s a subject which provokes very different reactions. The following is not what I’ve written for the group, I’ll share that tomorrow. This is something I wrote several years ago:
I wonder why so many people have a phobia about clowns? I think it has only come to prominence recently; when I went to the circus as a child I used to like clowns, I think everyone did… so why are they see as sinister or frightening now? I do understand the fact that the hidden face and the humourless eyes aren’t necessarily everyone’s cup of tea, but some people are really frightened and get into an utter panic if they see one.
I read an item on the BBC news site about people getting in a tizzy because there was a clown in Portsmouth dressed in a normal suit who just stood lurking… and possibly stroking people… Now that, I admit is not nice! One person who was interviewed said it would freak out her children… freak out? Really? Another said her twenty-two year old would have ‘full-on hysterics’… I am a little baffled. OK so you don’t like clowns, but being freaked out or having full-on hysterics? Well apparently people do have these extreme reactions, and how unfortunate they are…
Where does it come from? From Stephen King? The Joker? John Wayne Gacy? Or is it just irrational and has one person’s unease and dislike transferred to another as hate and fear? Who knows! I confess I do have a painting of a clown, a sad old fellow with only a little make-up sitting on a balloon. I bought it about forty years ago and I actually like it… but my daughter doesn’t!