Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Kids, “master clowns,” and one small, sweet victory. Probably.

As any parent will tell you, the benefits of raising a child are many, if for no other reason that children will occasionally confirm and reinforce your most deeply held beliefs. Mostly, of course, my kids spend much of their time inventing new ways to turn my hair grey, but still, my heart is warmed on those rare occasions that they inadvertently act as little emotional enablers.

To wit: it was on a warm autumn day not unlike this very one that my younger son announced to me, unbidden and without any hint of irony, that “clowns are bad.” He was, at the time, a mere tot of five or six and the first thought that came to mind was something along the lines of “out of the mouths of babes…”

This moment, then, was illustrative of couple of things. The first is that yes, I really am so shallow that I tend to think mostly in clichés, but second and more importantly, it was the boy’s youthful balance between innocence and an appropriately jaundiced view of the world that lent an unassailable authority to his observation about the inherent malevolence of clowns.

Bearing all that in mind, today is a day that should be celebrated. It is a day on which my suspicions have been confirmed that not only are clowns vile puppets who bow to the will of a single Clown Overlord, but more importantly that they are mortal. That’s right, after all is said and done, even clowns must slip this mortal coil and go wherever it is that they meet their Clown Maker. So to speak. In short, at the age of 84, “Master Clown” Frosty the Clown has finally left this world, and I’d say the world is just a little less creepy for it.

Sure, some may think me “insensitive” to celebrate his departure, and others may call me “loony” to go on about clowns as if they really deserve the scorn they endure. Others, like my Lovely Bride, point out that he was just a regular guy making a living doing something he loved and left behind a perfectly nice widow and a family who are probably very sorry to see him gone. Well that’s fine, and maybe it’s true, but I’m still not taking any chances. Everyone else can just wait around for the next “master clown” to be anointed, but I’ll be hiding in the basement with a bottle of seltzer and a pail of confetti, just in case.

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