Streetside Clown, Bogota and a Brief Intro to Coulrophobia

To all coulrophobes, my apologies. I simply couldn’t let this clown slip even further into obscurity without giving it just a fleeting moment in the spotlight that is the blogosphere.

According to its wiki entry, the term coulrophobia, used to describe an abnormal fear of clowns, has only been around since the 1980s, grouping it as a contemporary of the professional wrestling renaissance, big hair heavy metal music and Ronald Reagan.

I first experienced it early in that decade at an all night eight-flick horror marathon at a local drive-in. One guy who was with us, who was otherwise lapping up the goriest scenes with a wickedly wry smile, couldn’t watch any scene in Funhouse that featured its murderous clown. He screamed, yelled, howled and scowled. Our friend, not the on-screen red-nosed killer. And there were no drugs involved.

I’ve come across about a half dozen friends and acquaintances since whose fears ranged from mild irritation to near-absolute terror. Here’s an example that Bruce “Charlie The Juggling Clown” Johnson, a clown by  trade, once experienced:

One day I was picking up some promotional material at a printer.  I was in street clothes, not in make up and costume.  When I introduced myself to the clerk, he said, “Oh, you are the clown.”  The woman behind me in line gasped, and asked, “Are you a clown?”  When I responded that was my profession she said, “Oh, I’m afraid of clowns.”  Then she got out of line and went to the other side of the store and stood looking at the wall until I had left.  I did not look like a clown, but just the knowledge that I sometimes appeared as a clown, was enough to terrorize her so that she could not look at me.

I don’t have a fear of clowns, but haven’t ever felt much of an attraction for them either. They’re commonly used here in Bogota’s more commercial districts, out on the sidewalk trying to draw people into stores, markets and arcades. It hasn’t worked on me. But I’m not a very good shopper.

You’re not afraid of clowns, are you?

~~~

Today’s Pic du Jour, the blog’s 576th straight, was snapped in Bogota, Colombia on 02-Aug-2015. If you know the name of the artist, let me know so they can be properly credited!

 

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