How You React When A Clown Is Living In Your Neighborhood
Clown on bicycle. Photo: Julia Davila-Lampe (Getty)
What if, every Saturday, you looked out your living room window and saw the back side of a figure in a rainbow wig, makeup and a ruffled clown suit disappear into the hedges of your neighbor’s yard? While it may seem like a hypothetical horror story, it’s a weekly reality for me to see a clown in my neighborhood.
Upon taking a closer look, you’ll find something much scarier than a man who regularly dresses up in ill-fitting polka dots and jumbo shoes living so close to home. Something much, much worse.
Initial Shock & Terror
It was the first Saturday in our new home, which needed lots of work. The neighborhood is of the safest and cleanest on the west side of Los Angeles. That accounts for the highly-priced homes, which made us curious upon landing a house with a front yard, how it could possibly be priced well under market value. There were no speeding trains at night or homeless people defecating outside our bedroom window. Total peace and tranquility.
The second we chocked it up to a rare case of good things happening to good people, that’s when it happened: the random appearance of our newest neighbor — a fucking clown. After a “holy shit, did that just happen” moment, we carried on with our lives, pretending it didn’t happen. At the very least, praying it wouldn’t happen again. Oh, but it did. Again and again…and again.
The Forgotten Terror (On Repeat)
You’d think that seeing a clown would scar you into checking around every corner for unexpected clowns. The reality is that the second you quit worrying and forget, that’s when clowns tend to reappear. “Is this going to be a regular thing?,” we would ask one another. And it was, every goddamn Saturday, at least until it somehow got weirder…
The After-Church Massacre That Almost Was
You start to think, “OK it’s just a Saturday thing. He’s probably just working a couple weekend birthday parties.” Then it starts to happen on Sundays. Then a little too close to dark (clowns in the dark is a whole other matter). Every time somebody walks past your window, your stomach drops and you look for a painted man in a red polka dot jumper. You begin to wonder if something much weirder is in play. Your mind starts to play tricks on you, and you begin the long spiral out of control…
Is it a coincidence you happen to look out the window at the precise moment every week that your local clown walks by? Is it strange you always see the clown first and not your girlfriend? How is it the clown is always walking to work? Is he working the same house every week? Unlikely. Is he riding the bus next to people who don’t get even a little heads-up? Or is it possible something much worse than a clown is in your neighborhood: an underground clown sex dungeon.
You haven’t slept in days as you wait for him to walk by so you can follow him to his secret clown coitus cult, but he never comes until you least expect him. Your shoes are never on your feet, and you just happen to be multi-tasking. It’s like you’re helpless to solve the mystery of this clown cult leader who, if suspicious, may abduct you into his painted face pleasure chamber. Yeah, you’re definitely not sleeping again.
Stories like these do anything but put your mind at ease: Wisconsin Man Dressed As Circus Performer Accused Of Groping Women At Haunted House
Uneasy Absence Makes The Mind Grow Mad
After nearly two weeks of clown-free living, the tension was at an all-time high. Was he attacked by clown-fearing locals and burnt at the stake like the witches of Salem? Was there a mutiny amongst the underground clown dwellers which cost him his life after a clown dual to the death? Did he hop in the wrong clown car and never return? Where had our local clown gone? Where, dammit!?
Amidst all these curiosities, you realize there was some strange comfort in seeing the same clown every weekend. You know where he is, maybe not at all times, but you can put a finger on it. He’s always at a certain distance and never lingers too far in your direction. But now that he’s gone missing, there’s no telling what’s to come…
Triumphant Return Of A Friendly Neighborhood Clown
After endless days without eating, a feeling that my mind and body had been infected and overrun with fear, I surrendered. You wonder, was it all an illusion, or was this clown created to challenge my survival? It doesn’t matter; you just want it all to be over. Then, between the tiniest hole in the bushes, you catch a blink of salvation: the triumphant reappearance of our neighborhood clown!
Would we ever feel at ease again? God no, but how could you go back to a life without clowns when the sad truth is he’s probably protecting us from all the bad clowns.
A Regular Life Of Clowning
This is now your life, one in which you accept that every week, unbeknownst to you, a clown is going to walk in and out of your life. But he’s your clown. Then you go a little deeper..
Take it as a metaphor for fear; how it’s important to let fears in. Accept that they’re there and face them head-on. Normally, you’d smile from a distance that this man — this bold, bold man — has the balls to get out of bed and dress himself in old rags, paint his face and drape on a technicolor wig. On top of that, he then walks in broad daylight in one of the busiest cities in the world (with the slowest traffic, which allows for plenty of staring and ridicule) and performs a service that brings a smile to the faces of little boys and girls. And then, sure, maybe he knocks off afterward with his clown buddies and does god knows what, but that’s not the point.
Sad, Distant Truths Becomes Apparent & Upclose
The takeaway here is that we live in a time of opioid and depression crises in which parents — who worry too much about building their empires — support their kids financially but not emotionally. In turn, these kids tend to act for attention by taking drastic measures, like become 1 of the 7 million misdiagnosed ADHD kids in America on prescription pills. Or worse, using their parents’ money to get their idle hands on heroin-laced elephant tranquilizers and other fads damaging the youth of America.
Parents should know that hiring a clown for a day to make up for a lack of good parenting all year is what forces many kids to grow up with fears of clowns, who are merely a symbol for living in fear of loneliness. So we ask this of you: next time you see a clown, look a little deeper for the real source of sadness.
With that said, we were finally putting the finishing touches on our yard the other day when our friendly neighborhood clown decided to walk on our side of the street for a change. He appeared out of the bushes, locked his tired eyes with mine and said (and I quote), “Hello.” He continued on until we could no longer see him past the bushes. Our eyes fixated on the spot we last saw him. We stared in silence for minutes as the sun set. After weeks of watching from a distance and now having seen him up close, it became very clear to us both in that moment…
We will never sleep again.