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If Clowns Are Scary, Why Do We Hire Them?

sad-clownClowns do not scare me. Which apparently makes me something of an anomaly in this world. Especially if you consider a British circus has put together a new workshop specifically to help convince people they should attend the circus – that clowns aren’t scary.

Which begs the question: if clowns terrify the pants off John Q. Public, why do we continue to hire them for our kids’ parties? And why does the circus continue to be one of those “musts” experiences with your kids?

Google clown and “clowns for hire” lands at number three on the list – just past the ubiquitous Wikipedia entries – making it pretty clear they’re in demand (as mystifying as Google rankings may be, that we get) for kids parties.

On the other hand, there is an actual word in the English language for fear of clowns (that’s coulrophobia in case you’re wondering) and there was a survey a few years back (of an incredibly small sample size, but still) that claimed most kids find clowns scary.

Stranger still is standing at a child’s party, watching the clown interact with the kids and listening to the host parent confess she finds clowns “freaky.” Bully for you for putting it aside if your kid wanted it, but if coulrophobia really ranks in the top ten fears (according to the Guardian report on this circus workshop), chances are he’s going to freak out one of the kids at this little shindig.

Perhaps it all mystifies me most because I’m not able to summon any fear for a guy with a rubber nose and shoes that are too big for his feet. One look at those suckers, and I know I can outrun him.

Now rats, on the other hand . . . well, let’s just say I won’t be throwing a Ratatouille party for my kid.

Image: stephen brace, flickr

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