Thursday, July 19, 2012

The Good Old Days, With a Side of Coulrophobia

I'm looking for vintage pictures of boys for a book I'm putting together of all my "How To Be A Boy" posts. I'm searching for pictures of boys being boys: getting dirty, playing with bugs, getting into trouble, with grass-stains and holes in their pants, swimming, fishing, camping and anything else that is quintessentially boy.

And then I found this.

The thing that strikes me most about this picture is the boy: he seems so pleased to be sitting next to this nightmare personified. Meanwhile, the clown has that far-a-way look in his eyes, like he's just imagining what this kid will taste like medium-rare. Sorry, it's true. Look at those eyes!

I guess there was a time when creepy clowns were not creepy (Probably around the same time eating meat and vegetable-filled Jell-o was the norm). Instead, they possessed had magical healing properties. Or maybe the prevailing wisdom was that a grown man in face paint would simply scare the sick out of any hospital-bound child.

However, no sugar-coated explanation can distract from the creep-factor in this kid. You might be able to convince someone this was just how they did things back in the 60's. Clowns were cool. Clowns were The Thing. That somehow, even with this kid's I'll-see-you-in-your-nightmare smirk, clowns were nothing to be afraid of. 

Until he picks up the gun.

Sweet dreams!

1 comment:

Natalie said...

Thanks for the new word. Now I know what to call my fear. And it's totally justified. HOW did that creepy tradition ever get started?