Hello and thanks for coming. My name is Bob and I’m afraid of clowns.
(crowd responds) HI BOB!
I first developed a fear of clowns when I was six years old. We were at my father’s company picnic when a strange looking man wearing red and green size eighty-two shoes and sporting really bad hair tried to stuff a pound of steaming hot bratwurst down my pants. When I finally came to, my pockets were turned inside out and, well, let’s just say I was red and blistered. My father then pulled me aside and told me that I had met a very bad man. “Gee, thanks dad for that stunning observation.” I never got over that incident and my fear of clowns has only intensified over the years.
Obviously, the good clowns outnumber the bad clowns. OK, not obviously, but hopefully. I’m also sure many parents of newborns raise their fresh from the womb additions high up in the air and exclaim with tears in their eyes, “Son, you’re going to be everything I wasn’t. You’re going to be a clown, damnit!”
My old roommate in New York was a clown. Prior to that, he was something equally as frightening, a New York City taxi driver, something he had to give up due to his penchant for running into fire hydrants. Mark was a great guy and at one point he even attended clown college. Yes, there really is such a thing. But, as luck would have it, he didn’t make it all the way through the entire program. Maybe he wasn’t quite scary enough but I never inquired as to the full story. He did tell me that he was infatuated with the idea of clowning because it gave him the opportunity to become someone else entirely. By the way, a few years later, Mark accomplished that in spades. He not only changed his name but his gender as well. At last check, ‘Marsha’ had found love in the arms of a fireman. A fireman, who apparently doesn’t mind getting squirted in the face with a carnation. Was it something about being a clown that forced such a life altering change? Only Marcia and her therapist will ever know the answer to that.
According to the Coulrophobia Society of America, of the nearly 328,000,000 people in this country, fourteen, at last count, had no feelings, good or bad, concerning clowns. Showoffs!
I’m a straight thinking and logical adult and I know in my heart that no clown is ever going to break into my house in the middle of the night, spray me with his tulip and strangle me with his suspenders all the while blowing his silly little horn but that’s exactly what’s going to happen and I know it.
Well, that’s my story. Thanks for coming. My name is Bob and I’m afraid of clowns.
(WILD CROWD APPLAUSE) “Thanks Bob. Hey, got any brats?”