Tuesday, July 18, 2006
My level-headed Yorkshire correspondent, David (motto: There's nowt so queer as folk.), draws my attention to the "organiser of some fete or other had to cancel the appearance of the clowns due to deluge of emails from potential attendees who would not be due to fear of same". Fear of clowns not only has a name - coulrophobia - but also seems to be on the increase. David sends me this , a site which appears to offer some kind of hope - "just 24 hours of commitment by the phobic individual" - to any of you who might suffer from this unfortunate condition. David's Yorkshire cast of mind makes him sceptical of the reality of this affliction. I'm not so sure. I once suffered a minor seizure while on the M11 because I heard somebody on Radio 4's Today programme ask a studio guest: "What do you think, Charlie the Clown?" My first reaction was to think, 'That's no way to talk to the (then) leader of the Liberal Democrats.' But then I was afflicted by the nightmarish spectacle of Charlie in full clown rig eyeing up John Humphrys or, worse still, Charlotte Green. Also Krusty, the cynical, chain-smoking clown in The Simpsons, is an emblem of the kind of horrors that might lurk behind the red nose and above the enormous shoes. Clowns, when you think about it, are frightening. Very.
Posted by Bryan Appleyard at 1:21 pm