Send in the Clowns

Clowns are the worst. In a world with hairy spiders, pineapple on pizza, and the Cleveland Browns, it takes a particularly evil genius to think up something as creepy as a clown. I recognize some people love clowns. I also recognize that some people are wrong. With pale faces, red noses, creepy laughs, and their disturbingly endless supply of scarves, clowns were nightmare fuel for me growing up. Being a young, adorable kid with a significant disability didn’t help, as I was a magnet for all manner of social attention. Politicians always stopped for a photo, mascots always gave me a hi-five, and regrettably, Mall Santa was my shadow and clowns were always determined to “brighten my day” with their unique brand of terror. They would ignore my obvious discomfort, and launch headfirst into whatever shtick they though would get a smile. It was exhausting and unsettling, and I’ve had similar experiences through my work in disability advocacy as an adult.