The loud, flamboyant, overstuffed clothes. The novelty nose and white face paint. The oversized shoes and handshake gag. The fake flower that shoots tepid water from the vest lapel.
That’s right, you guessed it: The humble clown.
Now that Halloween has come and gone for another year, and local children are probably at this very moment suffering from the scintillating paroxysms of sugar-rush sensation that comes on the heels of All Hallow’s Eve, the Times can now be blunt in its stout defense of the institution of the humble clown, notwithstanding the overblown phobias of nefarious editors who shall remain nameless.
It’s no secret clowns have been taking it on their oversized red beep-beep beaks in recent months, with reports out of the U.S. of child-luring clowns conjuring up old memories of the Stephen King mini-series “It,” and by now the phenomenon of creepy clown sightings has spread to almost every U.S. state and nine of 13 provinces and territories.
While deeply tempted to dismiss this as a prime example of mass hysteria at its finest, the Great Clown Scare of 2016 has invariably been described as an “uprising” or “invasion.” To believe, for instance, that a few creepy clowns running around North American cities constitutes the prelude to an “invasion” or “uprising” of disgruntled clowns bent on revolution really requires elevating one’s paranoia to Everest-like heights.
Forget Communist agitators meeting in quiet alleys and back rooms across the nation — the new evil Anarcho-Clownist Underground and their charismatic spokesperson Bozo the Unabomber is the new threat to national security.
Or maybe these clowns have just been laughed at one time too many? Remember the epic Far Side comic depicting a clown purchasing a pistol in a gun shop? “Laugh at me, will they…” We’re thinking of you, Gary Larson.
Let us state here, and for the record, that despite any leanings to the contrary on the part of other members of our editorial staff — who shall remain nameless — The Taber Times is pro-clown. An institution that has brought cheap, harmless low-brow entertainment to millions of children across the globe is surely undeserving of the negative wrap it has been receiving in recent months.
Isn’t it? Not every clown practitioner is a John Wayne Gacy in the making, but they’re not all Ronald McDonalds either, as has been witnessed across North America recently. Besides, one doesn’t have to have giant yellow shoes and green frazzily hair to be a clown. We see them every day.
Clowns pack the halls of the House of Commons. Our provincial legislature is chock-a-block full of all manner of Bozos and Bimbos. What we should now be asking is if these clowns are so despised, why do we keep electing them to positions of power?
The world, on the other hand, needs laughter. It is, after all, the “best medicine.” And despite all the haters, sad indeed is the clown that doesn’t manage to crack a few half-hearted smiles, if not infecting others with weepy-eyed belly laughs that could shake a mountain to its foundations.
So maybe we should recruit some of these clowns, create a new Clown Corps to bring a little mirth to desperately un-funny backwaters around the globe. Laughter bereft in the deserts of Syria? Send in the clowns. Forestalling an angry Kim Jong-un from pushing the button? Send in the clowns. Decorum deteriorating in the presidential election? Sorry, that circus already has clowns enough. Russia back on the march in Eastern Europe? Send in those clowns.
Although unlikely to stop any bullets or hold back a military offensive, they might just succeed in adding a little hilarity to the deadly seriousness of current affairs. That is the best argument that this pack of clowns can possibly make.