No laughing matter


The world has had a hard week.  All over the place.  There is a lot to be worried about right now.  And there is much…. SO much… that is going wrong.

You’ve heard it all today, so I won’t linger with this topic.  I only want to say that we should keep trying.  There has to be change.  It starts with us.  With me.  With you.

There are no absolutes.  All of us are identified with a certain “group” in this world.  Whether we are white, black, male or female.  Heterosexual, or homosexual.  Christian, Muslim, Jew, or Atheist.  Meat eater or Vegetarian.  Tall or short.  Whatever the pigeon hole, we are in one.

There are amazing people in each of these “labeled groups.”  There are terrible people in each of these groups.  We have to quit thinking or acting otherwise.  There are good and bad people in the world.  Just because someone good or bad is a part of a group… does not make the entire group good or bad.

Keep peace in your words, and your actions.  Today and every day.

Now.  How about if we visit the lighter side.

Some people have a fear of Clowns.  Seriously.  Just the sight of a circus clown,  or the mere mention of Bozo…  they run and hide.  These are the people who will never see the inside of the Big Top.  They can’t.  Clowns lurk within.  Right behind the elephant butts.

The term coulrophobia has been coined in the context of “informal” -phobia lists.  But this term is not yet recognized by the  World Health Organization’s ICD-10 nor in the American Psychiatric Association’s DSM-5 categorization of disorders.  But it is out there. Trust me.  Scary Clowns and the fear the instill in the unknowing.

It must sort of come naturally, as it starts to show up early in most children. In England, for instance, they conducted a study at Sheffield University.   It was a study aimed at improving hospital design for children.  So the white-coated-researchers polled 250 children regarding their opinions on decor for a forthcoming hospital redesign.

Wouldn’t you  know it?  All 250 children, whose ages ranged between four and sixteen, reported that they disliked clowns as part of hospital decor.  Ha.  How about them Red Noses?

And it continues on in life.  It is estimated that 12% of the adult population has an active fear of clowns.  I mean… we all know why the Circus Lions won’t even eat clowns.   It is because they taste funny.

My Uncle Albert was a Circus Clown.  He worked for The Ringling Brothers traveling troupe from 1951 to 1957.    He died in 1976, but I remember his funeral vividly.  All of his friends showed up in one car.

Okay.  Seriously.  They can be a little scary at times.  It doesn’t help nay that there are a gazillion horror movies staring odious clowns.   But I will even note performances like those  of Cirque du Soleil.  Some of THOSE acts feature some  downright creepy clowns.

Just remember.  There are good clowns and bad clowns.  As with any other group.  Give a clown a break.  Go ahead.  Toot his little horn, and let him spray you in the face with his water-soaker-daisy affixed to his lapel.

Why just today, I was leaving the bank, and I held  the door open for a clown.  I thought it was a nice jester.

Oh.  There are lots of nice and good clowns out there.   I’ve know quite a few clowns in my life.  Besides their obsession with tossing banana peels about, they are a pretty good bunch, all in all.

And you know, after my uncle died… my Dad asked me if I would like to take over his clown business.  I had to say “No way.  Those are some big shoes to fill.”

The privilege of a lifetime is being who you are.  —  Joseph Campbell
Very little is needed to make a happy life; it is all within yourself, in your way of thinking.  —   Marcus Aurelius