Friends, the saga continues. It pains me to tell you, but I can hide it no longer. There is a clown in my psyche screaming to get out.
I know this because I have uncovered something, which is more ghastly than the birthday greeting card I received for my sixth birthday. There’s no easy way to say this, so I will let you see for yourself. After all, one picture is worth a thousand words. Or in this case, three pictures.
Yes, I am secretly obsessed with clowns. So hush-hush is my obsession that even I did not know about it. I have been deluding myself and now I am coming clean. Apparently, as a child, I’d draw these pictures of clowns over and over. Incessantly. Ad nauseam. And these are just the tip of the iceberg. What does it mean? I wish I knew.
Which brings me to the latest clown terror in my life. I’m talking about the creepy, maniacal toy clown, that has firmly planted its over-sized clown feet, smack in the middle of our pop culture. It’s a toy clown gone postal! And we can thank the United States Postal Service and its ad agency for this addition to our collective consciousness.
In the words of Johnny Depp, “Something about the painted face, the fake smile. There always seemed to be a darkness lurking just under the surface, a potential for real evil.”
Well said, Johnny. Well said. But Mr. Depp wasn’t referring to the toy clown in the Postal Service commercial. According to a blog post, Top 10: Scary Clowns of All Time, he once shared this insight in an interview with The San Francisco Chronicle. But, if you ask me, he might as well have been talking about this particular clown gone postal.
For the few who haven’t seen this commercial, in it, an unassuming family of four has just returned home to find an ominous toy clown on their living room floor—apparently the result of an online purchase gone awry. Too afraid to go inside the house, they talk to a mailman about how to get rid of it. Each time the camera pans back to the clown, it has mysteriously moved closer to the family, ultimately terrorizing all, even the hapless mailman.
The Postal Service commercial is frightening, and yet I find myself obsessively drawn to it each time it airs. Perhaps I’m hoping for a different ending, one where the toy is vanquished. Whatever the reason, this shocking commercial rattles even the hardiest of psyches. It should only be played late at night when little children are asleep. Because the next thing you know, they’ll be drawing pictures of clowns. Again and again. Ad nauseam. It’s a vicious cycle.
So maybe I’m obsessed with clowns. Maybe there’s a clown inside me, screaming till its curly orange hair stands on end. If so, I take solace in knowing that I am not alone in my phobia. There’s a website, and a Facebook page called “i hate clowns”—with 6,670 people who “like” it, including myself. Our fear has a name: coulrophobia, which means, a persistent, abnormal, and unwarranted fear of clowns. Unwarranted? I don’t think so. We coulrophobia-sufferers know better.