Coulrophobia

Friday, 7 May 2004 15:24
strange_complex: (Default)
It means 'fear of clowns', and my attention was drawn to it by Wednesday night's episode of Frasier: a particular corker of an episode, which had me hooting out loud with laughter.

The etymologically inclined may learn the word's derivation here, while those afflicted (and those merely after a giggle) may have recourse to this site, devoted to the curing of said phobia (for a fee, of course)[1].

Now I don't, if I'm honest, have an actual phobia of clowns (much as I'd like to!). I don't experience tremors or palpitations when I see one, and could perfectly easily walk up and shake one by the hand if I had to. But I do find them pretty grim and creepy, and prefer not to look at them if I don't have to. And my impression is that I am far from alone in this.

Face it, they are deliberately designed to look grotesque, with their over-sized feet, huge trousers and freaky make-up (especially the gigantic fixed grins). Also, they are constantly engaging in violent or aggressive acts, involving e.g. custard pies, squirting water or stage guns. Their supposed associations with 'fun' smack of trying way too hard. And of course there are also the depressingly desperate associations of Ronald McDonald in particular (Yes kids! Instead of doing anything to stimulate you mentally or help you grow into rounded people, we are going to stick you in front of a tepid burger and pallid chips, and tell you it's the most fun a body can have!).

So, given that clowns are supposedly meant to be enjoyable entertainment for kids, what I want to know is: is there anyone out there who actually likes them? I mean, does anyone experience a warm thrill of pleasure when they see a clown? Did anyone yell and scream with excitement as a child at the thought of getting to see one? Anybody?
________

[1] Basically, this page is nothing more than the organisation's standard spiel for any phobia, with the word 'clowns' copied and pasted in at every point the specific fear is mentioned. Hence the appearance of phrases like: 'For anyone earning a living or at school, the financial toll of this phobia is incalculable'. Er, sure.... assuming you work or go to school in a circus...

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