Sunday, October 16, 2016


     A Cartoon in a recent New Yorker showed a clown at the podium surrounded by 
     an audience.  The clown angrily announced: "Other organizations are l  aughing
     at us"

"Clown hysteria has taken the country by storm, fueling both fear and fascination while prompting calls for calm from police departments and even from the master of horrors, Stephen King.
And, then, I learned that they are calling it "the great Clown Panic of 2016."

OK, it had to emerge at some point. Now seems to be the time. I have to admit that for the past 6 years many of these Posts have been inspired by nothing more than my lifetime coulrophobia -- my absolute fear of clowns. It first happened when my parents forced me to  watch the Howdy Doody Show, z'l, on which appeared the frightening Clarabell the Clown. Maybe it was when I went kicking and screaming to a local TV show -- the eponymous show of Ray Raynor of blessed memory, where the immortal and original Bozo the Clown stepped on me with his enormous shoes. Rather than take me to therapy, my parents thought they would cure my burgeoning fear by dragging me to the Ringling Bros. Circus only to watch me collapse in screams at the appearance of Emmett Kelly in full makeup. Even hearing "Send In The Clowns" would send me into paroxysms of fear.

Yeah, many years passed and, as a presumed adult, I managed to avoid all clown contact. My children and grandchildren were deprived of my presence at circuses over the decades. I was declared to be "clown free" by my psychiatrist. I was cured. Or so I thought.

And, then came...Jerry... Smiling' Jerry. And, ever since, my coulrophobia has returned, non-stop, raging. So, here I am today wondering: When will wearing the Bozo outfit finally get too heavy? When will wearing the big floppy shoes wear him out? Soon? Please? Yet, there is the continuing reality that Jerry is being paid at an astonishing pace -- more than Clarabell or Bozo or any of the the aggregate.

And, then, a friend, not knowing of my irrational coulrophobia, sent me the photo of Jerry wearing that bright red clown nose and a look of total bewilderment (!!) (See, Post of July 3). Oh, the paroxysms of fear and loathing.

Now I am absolutely aware that Bozo and Clarabel and Emmett Kelly were great clowns. We all know that. They performed their clown stuff with perfection. But even the work of the best of them inspired my own coulrophobia, exacerbated it, in fact. But I had been pronounced cured, the shock treatments worked. But when Smilin' Jerry popped out of the JFNA Klown Kar, wearing that bright red clown nose (or not) there I was, shaking in fear once again.

If you hear the squish, squish sounds of the big floppy afraid; be very afraid.


* Yes, I paraphrased the clown's admonition.


RWEX said...

A wonderful friend and a great professional reminded me of the "Clown's Credo" episode ef The Mary Tyler Moore Show, z'l, when Chuckles the Clown was eulogized as follows:

"A little song
A little dance
A little seltzer down the pants"

Ahhhh, clowns.

Anonymous said...

Not funny - very sad!

Anonymous said...

OMG. The first time I went to a UJC meeting when Jerry was present, I discovered I suffered from Dumasaphobia. I haven't been back since. Therapy won't help. Radical surgery is required.

RWEX said...

For those of you who do not know what Dumasaphobia is, as I did not, check the Dictionary, as I did.

Anonymous said...

You are aware, of course, that the clown problem could be solved by an engaged Board Chair.

Anonymous said...

This board chair engaged? That's about as likely to happen as the CEO voluntarily stepping down.

Anonymous said...

clowns are supposed to be funny - so why are we all crying?
and as we continue to cry - when are we finally going to realize that crying is not a plan of action?

Anonymous said...

Our boards and "leadership" are so conflict averse to the point of turning sycophancy into an art form