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Please, no, really, don't send in the clowns, I'm serious (with a GIVEAWAY!)

It can't just be me: that's wicked creepy, isn't it? Someone else, please, say yes.

So as it turns out I am not that great of a juggler. I sort of figured as much when---upon considering subsequent education after graduating high school---I immediately struck off clown college. Not only couldn't I juggle but I really can't stand clowns. It's not fear, it's something else. I get to see a lot of clowns as a parent and every time, I think they sense my whatever-it-is feeling that is a lot short of "YEA! a CLOWN! Woo hoo! I LOVE clowns! They're so FUN!"

I don't like them and they know it. They smell it or see it in my eyes, no matter how jovial or polite an act I put on.

Patience is the same, I think. I can see it in her eyes.

I hope no boyfriend ever takes her to the circus.

One time I was dating this guy and he planned what should have been---would have been for any other woman---a fabulous date: the circus.

I was horrified. Seriously.

Trapped animals caged, then brought out and whipped at for my entertainment plus crowds plus clowns = Julie's Fourth Worst Date Ever. (Feel free to ask about the top three at any time, but I'll warn you---it took my husband 15 years to pry the number one worst one out of me, and that makes him person number five on the planet who has ever heard the story. For the record, it is funny not tragic, although I spent my entire senior year of high school feeling definitively on the edge of tragic about it, as, I'm sure, did the boy---if our managing to avoid speaking to or making eye contact with one another for an entire year is any indication. And that? Is the end of the hints.)

So there I sat, at the second worst date in my life up to that point, at the circus, being hounded by the masses and clowns.

"He doesn't know me at all," I thought, "I'm just some idea to him. This relationship is never going to work."

Yeah, I was right, even if I did perhaps simply fulfill my own prophecy. He was nice and all and I bet has made someone a fantastic husband. Someone who likes the circus, I hope.

Because I don't---not the performing animals, nor the clowns. I don't limit my dislike to circus clowns, either, it's really any sort of clown, including unofficial ones or mimes. All that jollying about in painted faces.

Maybe that's it: all that fake joviality.

Clowns. Hmm. I may not like them because they are the walking embodiment of the fakey fake nice and happy act I feel a constant pressure to put on.

So clown school was off the list. Although upon reflection, perhaps that was hasty. I may be giving away the milk for free on that one.

Racing school was, ironically, a little slower to get marked off the list.

And those are seriously the very odd things I think sometimes.

So now that I've confessed to being utterly out of stride with the rest of the world with regard to what is considered fun and funny...

I've been out of stride with reading and commenting to blogs, hence the opening line about juggling.

I'm sure other people live simpler lives because they choose to, and I'm sure I could (a) simplify my life and (b) simplify my thinking if I wanted to but clearly I don't really prefer it. I imagine I'll live a nice long life due to my love of drama and inability to leave until I know the very end. I want a lot out of things and by golly if I don't get a little richness here and there due to that.

But it also means that everyone in my life sees a bit of a blur of me sometimes.

There are calls to me in other areas of my life just now that mean I read in Reader but rarely have the time to click through and comment as I'd like. I read, I mark "keep unread" and I save, most of all, I care. I am sure this summer will bring long lazy (read: desperate) days in which I hound you to write more, please, dear God, I beg you.

I hope this doesn't mean you'll forsake the Hump Day Hmm. I will read all the Hump Day Hmms and comment and hope you will too.

I've been feeling a little err verklempt (?) about the Hmms lately so I want to up the ante and get as many people as possible (you did get a week's notice!) to participate.

The Topic: Walking out of stride---how do you walk out of stride, or do you? What's it mean to you? (Click here to read my post about it.)

The Mission: Write your own post, link here, and add your link to the link list for others to follow and read. Due tomorrow, Wednesday.

The Reward: Feeling good about it all. Okay okay fungible, tangible, whatever. A GIVEAWAY! One clown or funny book coming the way of one lucky winner, drawn from the list of Hump Day Hmm participants. I'll let the winner choose between clown or funny (yes, they are distinct to me).

And if you are interested in following me virtually, I am, as always at MOMocrats and Moms Speak Up. If you haven't been by MSU lately (or ever) come by. We've got that ball rolling with some fabulous new contributors....some of whom you know.

Copyright 2008 Julie Pippert
Also blogging at:
Julie Pippert REVIEWS: Get a real opinion about BOOKS, MUSIC and MORE
Julie Pippert RECOMMENDS: A real opinion about HELPFUL and TIME-SAVING products
Moms Speak Up: Talking about the environment, dangerous imports, health care, food safety, media and marketing, education, politics and many other hot topics of concern.


S said…
I don't mind clowns in general, but that one you've got at the top of your post?

No, I don't like him at all.
Wow, I don't think I've ever read such introspect on a personal reflection of clowns before. Most people simply boil it down to "they creep me out." Way to use your words! :-)
Julie Pippert said…
What, seriously? Jeff, this is deep?

You never broke up with someone over a circus and clowns before? LOL

I spent nearly 40 years saying "they creep me out" and then I wrote this post saying that and pretty much nothing of any relevance too and it suddenly struck me: huh, all that freaking fake jolliness---no wonder they creep me out!

It makes me sound suspicious of naturally happy people but that's not it at all LOL.

Sarah, that is marked "happy clown." I STG some people have a seriously dysfunctional image of happy! LMAO!
theotherbear said…
Clowns ARE scary.

But all I can think of is that I wanna hear your top 3 worst date stories! :)
jeanie said…
Can't sleep - clown will eat me...Bart Simpson, "Lisa's First Word", Season 4, The Simpsons

It is amazing how many "funny" people are often wracked by depression.

Does it make us uncomfortable knowing the price they pay for being funny, and therefore the added pressure on us to laugh?

I have never been a clown girl - like the straight man type humour much more...
flutter said…
ok that is the scariest damn clown, ever. I need to go bleach my eyes
crazymumma said…
clowns, in the classical sense, the circus clown are the worst form of terror.
ALM said…
I hate clowns. They scare me.
Anonymous said…
Striding...hmmm I just wrote how I love the rhythmn of my running stride.

I think if a clown chased me, I would run faster.

Great work on keeping the MSU going.
Anonymous said…
Hmmm... I just wrote a post for tomorrow that qualifies. Will send you the link once I post.
Anonymous said…
Here you go:

Break My Stride

No Mr. Linky this time?
Anonymous said…
You know, I think you made the right move with clown college. Conventional wisdom says you're better off majoring in something more broad, and then going to clown grad school.
painted maypole said…
my husband is TERRIFIED of clowns, he thinks because of the info he saw about John Wayne Gacy he saw on the news as a child (yes. his parents let him watch that stuff on the news. I'm horrified)

Clowns have a really great history of social commentary, and such, and "Clowning" goes WAY beyond the big shoed, crazy haired clowns of circuses. I think the cirque de soliel clowns get it much better than our Barnum and Bailey clowns do.

and look, I just found the technical term for fear of clowns: Coulrophobia
Gwen said…
Do you know how many children's birthday parties have been ruined by the appearance of a clown? Even Stephen King had a horror story about it; just so you know, in this area, you are not completely out of stride.

I hate circuses, too, unless it's a Cirque du Soleil. But those are more like performance art, right?

Because I heart you, Julie, I will do this Hump Day Hmmm instead of more important things like, um, looking for employment. If that's not friendship, I don't know what is.
I find the circus to be totally depressing--the caged animals really bum me out and I don't care for the clowns either. My youngest daughter? Bona fide terror at the sight of clowns. No, the balloon animal did not make her feel better!
Chickenbells said…
Clowns don't bother me per se...but, I do tend to wince whenever I see one...My niece is totally freaked by Ronald McDonald and about passes out every time she sees him (and she doesn't even eat at the joint) Then again, if clowns are supposed to be so funny why would they work in a venue that traps and whips animals in the name of "entertainment"? Mimes, to me, are much more freaky and strange. Perhaps in Paris they would be quaint, but mostly I think they're just confusing and in the way...
Kat said…
I hate, hate, hate the circus, and I hate, Hate, HATE clowns even more. As a matter of fact, I almost didn't read this post because that clown picture freaked me out too much.
Mayberry said…
Here is my link and for heaven's sake please do not send me a book about clowns!!
Mayberry said…
Oh OK I found the Mr. Linky. But I'm serious about the book.

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