When The Clowns Come

I hate clowns and I believe wholeheartedly that the energy you put out into the universe, you get back. If you say “I always trip” you’ll keep tripping. I believe this. So I’ve stopped saying things like, “clowns are just attracted to me” because over the past two decades or so, I’ve accumulated enough clown run-in stories to last a lifetime. I think, nay, I KNOW that they sense my fear.

One of the more recent times was while on tour, when we were on a drive from Houston to Dallas and decided to stop in Spring, TX for an early evening dinner. We got pho, our server who called himself “Thug Dog” showed us his butt tattoo, I thought that would be the main event of the night, but it wasn’t. On our walk back to the tour bus, which was parked in a strip center lot, everyone got really quiet and someone took my shoulders and pointed me towards a CiCi’s Pizza. I was so confused, everyone was laughing. Then I saw it: a clown, sitting in a booth alone staring at the ground, and then suddenly dropping his head onto the table. I turned around and the band was filming me. I made a run for the tour bus and as soon as I got in front of the bus, a spotlight hit me. My first thought was that I was on some kind of Boiling Point type reality TV show. I didn’t even know tour buses had spotlights!? The tour bus door opened and our driver yelled, “You’re late!” Somehow all of this was just a weird occurrence and there was no reality show. Our drummer handed me my left shoe that I had lost while sprinting back to the bus and we headed off to Dallas.

I’ve been afraid of clowns since I was a kid but the first real run-in I had was in 8th grade at a theme park Halloween “fright-night” where there was a circus tent. All of my friends wanted to go in, and made fun of me for not wanting to. Of course I was the only one in my group without a “boyfriend” (that would continue for the next two decades as well) so all of the paired-up people and myself walked into the circus. Long story short I lost all of my friends and found myself in a narrow mirrored hallway where fake clowns pop out from the walls but some of those clowns are real. I maybe slipped? I’m not sure but the next thing I know I’m on the ground and a clown is, I guess, trying to help me up. I pushed him out of the way and ran out. My friends were all waiting for me outside. I ripped the shoulder of my hoodie and lost my wallet and one of my friends had to go back in to the circus and find it. It was the worst.

The next instance was a few years later. I was playing hide and seek and decided to hide in a mirrored sliding closet. While quietly listening for someone to enter the room, I looked to my left to see multiple clown costumes and in a moment of panic, pushed the door outward. Except that it was a sliding door and it busted.

My senior year of High School I took a psychology class and we had to do a report on serial killers. We were all given names at random. Gacy The Clown was selected for me. I told my teacher that I was deathly afraid and asked if I could switch. She told me I could write about Gacy or take an F.

I lived in NY for a summer internship, and was taking a taxi in the middle of the day. We were in dead-stop, gridlock traffic in the East Village. It was hot and the taxi’s windows were all down. From across the street I could see a clown with a cardboard sign walking through the cars. I got spooked because he was looking right at me and I got my wallet out to give the taxi driver cash so that I could just get out the other side and make a run for it. I guess the homeless clown thought I was getting my wallet out for him and came up to the window and stuck his hand in. I threw the money at the taxi driver and ran about three blocks without looking back.

While walking down the Promenade in Santa Monica after just moving to LA, there was a clown making balloons for people. I took one look at him, and immediately crossed the street and rushed off. I looked back and saw that he was in a mad dash towards me. I took off running. After about a block he turned around. Needless to say I didn’t live in Santa Monica for very long.

I was at Lollapalooza minding my own business, waiting for a band to play and sitting in the lawn with my friends when a clown looking joker thing on stilts spotted me from like a football field away and then started circling me.

I was printing some materials out at Staples for a future presentation and it was Halloween and the guy helping me was the Joker. I really needed the prints. Not my favorite situation.

My boyfriend had a drum rehearsal studio space in Downtown LA, where parking is a nightmare. He needed to pick something up from the space while we were out so he had me wait in the car right outside of the building. I sat in the driver’s seat with my flashers on. I looked to my left and saw across the street a bloody looking clown sitting in a chair in front of a barber shop. I got out of the car and ran up to the doorman who was in front my boyfriend’s building and asked WTF was up with that clown. He explained that he worked at the barber shop and always dressed like that. I got back in my car and put the seat down and hid until we could leave.

And just a few weeks ago I went to the office of a producer I started working with and as soon as I stepped inside I saw a big huge life-size clown figure in the corner. He had recently produced a documentary called Wrinkles The Clown about a clown that parents hire when their kids are being bad (it looks terrifying and disturbing). So needless to say we’ll never be meeting at his office ever again.

And that is where these stories will end because clowns don’t follow me, they’re not drawn to me, they want nothing to do with me, and they don’t bother me. DID YOU HEAR THAT UNIVERSE????