I have always been fairly confident that secretly, I’m possibly the smartest guy I know. It’s really quite a burden I have to bear. I find it extremely hard to believe I have all of these thoughts and beliefs that for some strange reason, the general public just doesn’t comprehend. However, it is good to see the rest of the world is finally catching up to my way of thinking as it pertains to one particular subject — clowns are pure evil.
Evidently, there are all sorts of creepy clown sightings that are occurring in different places every day. And we’re not just talking about in the United States either. There have also been sightings in Australia and the United Kingdom. Forget about the zombie apocalypse, this clownocalypse sounds like the real deal.
Coulrophobia is defined as the extreme or irrational fear of clowns. To me, there is absolutely nothing irrational about being freaked out by a clown. In different surveys that I stole, I mean ... researched off of the Internet, the polling firm Rasmussen reported in 2014, 43 percent of Americans “don’t like” clowns. In 2015, the Chapman University Survey of American Fears found clowns were a cause of significant anxiety for 6.8 percent of Americans. That means 93.2 percent of Americans are crazy.
My earliest recollection of fearing clowns had to do with the portrayal of The Joker by Cesar Romero on the 1960’s “Batman” television show. Some may say Jack Nicholson or Heath Ledger played the part better, but neither of them were creepier than Mr. Romero. Because of him, I don’t care much for jokers on playing cards either.
Ronald McDonald also gives me the heebie jeebies. If it weren’t for two all-beef patties, special sauce, lettuce, cheese, pickles and onions on a sesame seed bun, I wouldn’t have any need to visit the Golden Arches. And did you know that television weatherman Willard Scott was the original Ronald McDonald. Willard Scott always made me nervous, even without the makeup.
Nemo, the menacing Clownfish in Pixar’s horror feature “Finding Nemo,” is the scariest cartoon fish in the history of Hollywood. Flippers of unequal size just aren’t right.
While we’re on the subject of animated terror, Krusty the Clown is probably my least favorite Simpson’s character. I cringe and avert my head in fear during his on-screen cavorting with Bart and Homer.
And finally, on the subject of why I detest clowns, it was during the summer of 1989, while I was serving a stint as a caricature artist at Great America in Gurnee, Ill. I got to inadvertently meet a famous clown. I won’t say his name because that just seems kind of tacky, but his name started with a “B” and rhymes with “ozo.” He had a special appearance at the park that day, and I didn’t even know that he was there or I would have been much more careful.
I had gone to lunch that particular day and had passed through one of the gates to one of the “employee only” parts of the park when I witnessed the blood-curdling sight. There he was, not 10 feet from me, in full clown regalia, plopped down on the cement curb, puffing away on a Marlboro. And by the amount of smashed butts by his big shiny shoes, he’d been there awhile.
From their grease-painted faces, with bright, flaming hair, down to those over-sized shoes, squirty lapel flowers and ridiculously small cars, I do not like clowns or anything clown-like in any way. My fight-or-flight senses immediately take over. I either want to run, screaming like a little girl or punch them square in their crimson red, bulbous noses. For the record, mimes are weird too.
But maybe that’s just me. It’s strange how clowns can inspire raucous laughter in some people while bringing spine-tingling terror to the hearts of others like myself. Take the other night for instance. My wife was in the living room watching what I thought was one of her girly television shows while I sat out on the porch flipping channels, cursing between baseball and football games. Out of nowhere, I suddenly heard her spasming in uncontrollable giggles. During a commercial, I had to go find out just what her deal was.
As I strolled into the room, I audibly gasped in horror at what I saw on the television screen. There they were, not just one, but two of the most frightening clowns the world has ever seen. They were prowling around on their stage contorting their scary faces and uttering evil clown noises through their evil clown mouths. It was weird, my wife thought that they were hilarious, and I was scared to death.
And I really don’t want either one of them to be president.
You can contact Wallace at firstname.lastname@example.org. You can follow him on his blog at http://gregwallaceink.blogspot.com.