Send in the (Creepy) Clowns

it-sewer

(google, “It”)

Isn’t it weird?
how many are there
creepy clowns in South Carolina
causing a scare
(Don’t) send in the clowns . . .

Just when you thought the world couldn’t be more bizarre, what with  Donald Trump and his “Great Wall” of Mexico, and softening and hardening and softening (rinse and repeat) his stance on illegal immigration and his promise to deport “millions” of illegals within five minutes of being voted into office . . . here comes something new.

Creepy woodland clowns!

Yes, they appear to have taken up residence in Greenville County, South Carolina and are terrorizing children and adults.

This from The New York Times article “Creepy Clown Sightings in South Carolina Cause a Frenzy”:

A woman walking home late one night said she had seen a “large-figured” clown waving at her from under a streetlight, the police said. (She waved back.) And another woman said her son had heard clanging chains and a banging noise at his front door. In these cases, people who reported clown sightings refused to give their names to the police.

And I thought New York was weird!

Children have said that the clowns were offering them money to follow them into the woods; they apparently live in a house near a pond. The clowns seem to be targeting residents of a particular apartment complex. The police are receiving calls that the clowns have also been spotted at another apartment complex. What do they want?

People are armed and ready to defend themselves and their children against these ghoulish jesters.

As the Times article mentions, this may be a prank or publicity stunt of some kind, but that doesn’t seem to lessen the fears of the community.:

The pranksters, viral marketers and criminals may be taking advantage of a cultural fear of clowns, with examples including Mr. King’s “It,” and John Wayne Gacy, a serial killer who dressed as a clown. But Steven Schlozman, a child psychiatrist who teaches a course on the psychology of horror films at Harvard University, suggests that something more primal could be at work.

This brings to mind Ray Bradbury’s “The Monsters Are Due on Maple Street,” which was also made into a Twilight Zone episode. In this story, strange things start happening in a sleepy suburban town in Main Street, USA. The appliances stop working, lights go out and people start to panic. A resident says it’s like a science fiction story he read where an alien space ship came to earth and created a disturbance. Ultimately, neighbors who were friends begin to distrust one another and wonder if Joe or Jill next door might actually be the “alien.” I won’t ruin the ending for you, but it’s well worth the read or view.

It’s the ultimate “fear of the other” story, like the fear of the evil woodland clown. Perhaps the clowns are malicious or harmful, or perhaps they are simply preying on our basest fears and sitting back to watch a once benevolent community self-destruct.

Spring Fling

Magnificent day today! After my morning doctor’s appointment I had the impish inclination to  play hooky and go gamboling through Union Square Park, so elated was I at the conjurings of spring.

It brought to mind the Shakespearean ditty, “It Was a Lover and his Lass,” and a favorite song I performed in a cabaret concert many years ago, “Spring Can Really Hang You Up the Most.”

Here is a rendering  of that tune by perhaps my favorite singer of all time, the late Sarah Vaughan: