Get me to a therapist! I have had an epiphany! While rummaging through a box of old photos, I came across a frightening little gem, which I am certain is the reason for my irrational fear of clowns. It’s simple, it’s cunning and it’s scary. Reader, be warned, what I’m about to show you is not for the faint of heart. Small children should leave the room, lest they be scarred for life like me.
The year is 1961. My sixth birthday and my mother throws a party for me. Among the invitees is Anita, my dear, childhood friend—or so I thought. She is also my next door neighbor. Anita brings me a gift (long since forgotten) and a birthday card that is sure to make any child’s hair stand on end. Not just any card, mind you, but a Hallmark card. You know the one that has the slogan, “When you care enough to send the very best.” Well, very best, indeed, if your goal is to terrify the birthday girl.
And yet I can’t help but wonder how this card, featuring clowns with maniacal grins, slipped through the Hallmark channels of approval to be green lighted as a suitable card for unsuspecting six year olds. Ok, Reader, this is absolutely your last chance to divert the eyes! Still there? Don’t say I didn’t warn you! Here it is:
I am sure that this card was the beginning of the end for me. No doubt leading me down a path that was anti anything clowns. No longer would I be able to laugh at a Volkswagen Bug overstuffed with clowns. Clowns slipping on banana peels would henceforth be lost on me. Ditto for Red Skelton’s persona. And getting anywhere within a five-mile radius of a circus would be simply out of the question, thanks to Hallmark and my so-called friend, Anita.
I am not one to mince words so here it is, this clown menace must stop once and for all! Wake up, America and cease subjecting your children to clowns. These creatures are neither entertaining nor enlightening. And, contrary to the sentiment on this particular birthday card, I refuse to “act like a clown, laugh and have fun!” I will not send in the clowns and I will not fall for their mind games and become one of them.
Learn from the mistake of my friend, Anita. Unbeknownst to her, she became an innocent pawn in a world that prizes clowns as good, safe fun. Clowns are good for one thing only, to torment and scare the living daylights out of small kids. I am living proof and if I ever see Anita again, I will let her know.
In the meantime, know this: I long ago put clowns on notice, but after coming across this nightmare of a birthday card, I know that just putting these red-nosed harlequins on notice is not enough! As such, clowns are now dead to me. The buck stops here, my friends. So, find another victim to menace. I’m through with clowns!