Here Comes The Clown

I’ll be the first to admit I’m not an art critic.

But even somebody who does good to draw stick people is able to recognize what she likes.

Or doesn’t like.

Take a look at the following picture, for example:

Clown figurine

This little statuette depicts a clown (or mime) kneeling on a stand of some sort, holding a parasol in one hand and a bird in the other. If you turn the circular base, it plays a somewhat scratchy version of Stephen Sondheim’s “Send in the Clowns” from the Broadway musical A Little Night Music.

Lovely song. Sad. A song of regret and the disappointments of life.

But as people who know me realize by now — Clowns. Creep. Me. Out.

Mimes, too.

I don’t have a true phobia (panic attacks, heart racing, etc.), but I don’t like them. And if I have to bypass attending the circus when it comes to town, well, that’s okay.

Fear of clowns, called “Coulrophobia,” is actually more common than one might think. Some say it’s because clowns — with their made-up facial expressions — are able to mask what they’re really feeling.

That works for me.

Others blame it on scary novels about killer clowns like Stephen King’s “It,” or on real killers like John Wayne Gacy.

That makes sense, too.

There’s a ginormous word for fear of mimes — Metamfiezomaiophobia. That, too, is supposed to be related to their blank expressions, monochromatic wardrobe choices, and pantomiming expressions.


Psychologists can theorize all they want as to the reasons people fear clowns or mimes. And they can try every trick in the book to eradicate it in those who find such fear paralyzing.

Doesn’t matter. Clowns and mimes are still creepy.

I found this statuette lurking in one of my mom’s closets during a trip to her Gulfport, MS, house. By the looks of it (and the dust clinging to it), it’s been in there for a while.

Don’t say I told you so, but my guess is Domer put it in there when he was a child (or had me stash it there for him).

He, too, doesn’t like clowns. Or mimes.

Somebody well-versed in objects like this (Antiques Roadshow, perhaps) might consider it a gold mine, but I don’t want it.

I don’t want anything to do with it!

So, Sis, if you’re reading, start looking for a place to exhibit Mr. Clown one of these days when you inherit him, okay? Because as far as I’m concerned, he’s got your name written all over him!

25 thoughts on “Here Comes The Clown

  1. It’s interesting what gives us the Heebie-Jeebies isn’t it? I have always said we all should be allow one thing (or category of things) that we can be afraid of with no questions asked….and nobody could say–well “My Uncle is a clown and I’m sure you would enjoy his act.” I’m sure your sis will love the clown…if not there is always e-bay.

    • The words “enjoy” and “clown” don’t belong in the same sentence, Katybeth!! As for e-bay, that’s probably where this statuette will land, unless of course, somebody deems it valuable — then it can just stay under wraps in the closet, haha!

  2. My Oldest dislikes clowns as well…must have been that crib toy clown he had as a baby! Took the kids to the circus and everything and didn’t know he didn’t like clowns until he was a teenager when that clown horror movie came out.

  3. Debbie,
    Now I know why I never liked the circus! And here I thought it was just that I didn’t like crowds! Seriously, I never thought of being afraid of clowns or mimes. Thanks for educating me on the actual official names for all these little quirks. I shouldn ‘t be surprised having worked in the medical field. There’s a name for everything and it has to be one that is not easy to pronounce. Thanks for entertaining and enlightening us again!

    • You too?? I’m glad to be in such good company! I must have blocked out the whys and whens of my clown/mime dislike — there’s probably a story in there somewhere, and my guess is it’s a doosey, hehe! Thanks for your lovely compliments and for coming along on this odd post!

  4. I think clowns are odd, but I’m not afraid of them. (I’m sorry, but I did laugh at your fear of them and the desire to unload that figurine.) Maybe it’s lack of exposure for me? I wasn’t around them much as a child (circus was too expensive) so I didn’t have an early reason to fear them. At any rate, hope your sister like clowns 🙂

    • I’m not offended that you think my aversion to clowns is funny — it is, when you think about it! I really don’t know when and where it started — probably as a child — but I can’t see paying somebody to acclimate me out of it at this point. Domer isn’t going to any circuses, either!

    • Monica, these posts were hilarious — thanks for linking to them. It’s nice knowing I’m not crazy in my dislike and mistrust of all-things-clown!

  5. Hey Debbie, I was going to tweet your post, but am I missing something? I can’t find the twitter button to click on so that it posts to twitter? Are you on twitter? What about a Facebook or Pinterest button? Let me know where to find them.

    • You found me out, Monica!! As of yet, I’m not on Twitter, Facebook, OR Pinterest. I am on LinkedIn and Google+ (whenever I think to check ’em!), but I’m waiting to choose an author pen name before setting up accounts on the others. I’ll post about that when the time is right. Thanks for your kindly nudge!

      • But, FYI, you don’t have to be on Twitter, Facebook or Pinterest to have those buttons on your posts. WordPress allows it. As long as I’m on twitter, all I would need do is click on the button and it would allow ME to post to twitter to promote your blog. I do that all the time (when I find a post that resonates with me). Same with Pinterest and FB. You don’t have to be on them; just your readers!! So go ahead and put the buttons on for our sake!

        • Thanks for bringing this to my attention, Monica. I had sharing under a “Share This” button, which expanded to allow people to share my posts. Perhaps that was misleading, so I’ve changed it so all the buttons for sharing will appear. Yes, I’d be delighted for you to share posts with your circle of friends — so go for it!!

  6. My sister has a pretty good FEAR of clowns. As in will go out of her way to get a way! Of course, she’s not crazy about monkeys either..any connection, you think?
    If your sis doesn’t want your Mom’s figurine, sell it and enjoy a dinner together!

    • Great suggestion!! I’d much rather share dinner with my sis than foist something so creepy on her, hehe! By the way, I’m not terribly fond of monkeys, either, so I totally get your sis’s feelings!

  7. I agree. Clowns are creepy. I remember a story book I had as a kid that was all about clowns. It had real photos in it. I still wonder what the allure is to a grown person to dress up in make-up, silly clothes and big shoes!

  8. Debbie, I don’t blame you for allowing “sis” to inherit Mr. Clown. He is of the creepy variety. While I do not have a phobia of clowns, I’ve always found Harlequins to be a bit disturbing. I mean, a sad clown? Really? Doesn’t that defeat the purpose? Jot my name down on the list of those not visiting the circus when it comes to town. The only circuses I visit are family dinners with my extended Spanish family! hee hee! 🙂

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