Coulrophobia

Court JesterEven the people who are supposed to like clowns €”children €”supposedly don €™t. In 2008, a widely reported University of Sheffield, England, survey of 250 children between the ages of four and 16 found that most of the children disliked and even feared images of clowns. The BBC €™s report on the study featured a child psychologist who broadly declared, €œVery few children like clowns. They are unfamiliar and come from a different era. They don’t look funny, they just look odd. €

But most clowns aren €™t trying to be odd. They €™re trying to be silly and sweet, fun personified. So the question is, when did the clown, supposedly a jolly figure of innocuous, kid-friendly entertainment, become so weighed down by fear and sadness? When did clowns become so dark?

The last few days our Little Red Car has crawled through Swope Park in the pre-dawn mornings on its way to the office 1 searching for promised fog.

No such luck there but beginning Wednesday we noticed a huge red and yellow striped big top settled in on the grass sward northwest of The Starlight.

It seems the UniverSoul Circus is back in town with shows set through the 4th of August. KC has played host to the minority owned traveling troupe since at least 2004. 2

We expect they will have clowns. Whether they’re scary is another matter entirely.

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Show 2 footnotes

  1. Yes, it is totally out of the way. However 63rd Street east of 71 Highway is still suffering the side effects of The Reconstruction; our out of the way jog through Swope is soothing and therefor worth the additional travel time.
  2. Mindful of our experiences last Saturday evening (The Night It Rained Bullets) we contacted UniverSoul Circus media person Hank Ernest and the KCPD to discover what precautions –if any — had been taken to forestall another random shooting. Neither entity has deigned to respond at this point.

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