Tag Archive for: clowns

Clowning Around

There are writers who love to blog.

I envy them. Deeply. Theirs must be a bottomless well of creativity.

Me? I struggle to come up with something even mildly entertaining once a month. This month I have failed. Badly.

I got nothing.

Still reading? Bless you, because all I can think about is clowns.

I wrote a book. It begins with murderous clowns–ergo Send in the Clowns. It releases in two weeks. Whenever I finished the manuscript–April? May?–the thought of ACTUAL creepy clowns was far from my mind.

Fast forward to autumn and there are creepy clowns luring children into the woods. There are clowns with baseball bats closing down college campuses (shouldn’t that be campi?) There are clowns everywhere.

What makes them so scary?

I remember when clown Ronald McDonald had much scarier friends. Hamburglar, anyone? I remember Bozo. I remember going to the circus and watching an impossible number of clowns squeezing into a tiny car. Clowns were funny. Clowns were benign.

Not anymore.

Psychologists suggest we are disturbed by a smile that hides true emotion.


I have a different theory.

When the world is so scary, it’s nice to be scared by something that isn’t quite so terrifying. Global warming, Isis, crippling national debt, or clowns. What would you rather worry about?

You know, when I go back and look, Bozo might actually be a bit scary…

Julie Mulhern is the USA Today bestselling author of The Country Club Murders. 

She is a Kansas City native who grew up on a steady diet of Agatha Christie. She spends her spare time whipping up gourmet meals for her family, working out at the gym and finding new ways to keep her house spotlessly clean–and she’s got an active imagination. Truth is–she’s an expert at calling for take-out, she grumbles about walking the dog and the dust bunnies under the bed have grown into dust lions.  Her latest book, Send in the Clowns, releases on October 25.

Five Things I Do Not Like

by Susan McBride

We’re about to start something new and fun here at the Stiletto Gang. Beginning on July 23, the Gang will do regular joint posts with our various opinions on a single subject. But before “Soapbox Stilettos” debuts, I decided I’d get into the spirit by writing about Five Things I Do Not Like. Yes, I know, I could’ve listed 100 Things I Do Not Like, but then this piece would’ve had to run for a week, and I’m not sure anyone would enjoy that (unless they’re being punished for eating the last pint of Ben & Jerry’s or for telling a spouse, “Yep, you do look fat in that”). So here goes!

1. Going to the Dentist

Yes, I’m a good girl so I see my dentist twice a year, and I love her. I really do. She’s about my age, and we always chat about boys, books, and boobs (she’s a survivor, too). But I am not fond of dental cleanings in the least. I can’t think of much I like less than someone’s latex-gloved hands stuck in my mouth while they’re scraping my teeth. Sometimes I wonder if they’re pick-axing for gold, they’re in there for so long. And while I am a chat-aholic, it’s awfully hard to talk when my mouth is wide open and someone’s scraping, flossing, and/or polishing my pearly whites. I’ve had a fear of the dentist’s office since I was a kid. I remember gagging into a spit-sink once because I hated the taste of the gritty paste. I still hate it, although I somehow refrain from gagging. However, I do like my teeth and would prefer to keep them. So I’ll fight my fear and show up for my every-six-month visit even though I’d rather run naked through Six Flags (and I so don’t want to do that!).

2. Clowns

When my brother was a baby, my mom had clown portraits hanging over his crib, and I always figured that’s why he screamed so hard when she put him down at night. The paintings frightened me to death, that’s for sure. On my first trip to Ringling Bros. Circus, I sat in the front row with my family, and a clown approached to pull an egg from my ear. Like any normal, well-adjusted child with a Bozo phobia, I began shrieking and crying my eyes out. And, no, I haven’t gotten over this. So don’t surprise me with a Clown-O-Gram on my birthday, okay?

3. Multitasking Drivers

I’m not even sure talking on cell phones is the most dangerous distraction for drivers. I’ve seen folks eating meals, icing cupcakes, styling their hair, putting on makeup, and reading newspapers all while commanding the wheel of large vehicles that weave over the lines and cut across multiple lanes of traffic because they nearly missed their exit (go figure). I understand how busy everyone is, but Multitasking Drivers are a menace to the rest of us. Since my car is small and lots of Multitasking Drivers helm oversized tanks, it’s almost life or death heading out to the grocery store these days. Is it too much to ask drivers to just, um, drive???

4. Celery

I am a big fan of green food. Give me a plateful of broccoli any day, and I’ll devour it. Green beans, lima beans, spinach, green peppers, and green onions all make me go “yum.” But celery? It tastes like nothing. No, I take that back. It tastes like a stalk of crunchy, stringy nothing. I don’t want it in my tuna salad, and I don’t want it in my stuffing. The only way it’s remotely enjoyable is filled with cheese or peanut butter. If it were up to me, I’d say, let the rabbits have it!

5. Toddler Beauty Pageants

Tiny children dressed in bikinis with fake hair and fake teeth, shimmying and posing in front of grown-up people all for the sake of winning giant tiaras too big for their little heads. What is the point here? To begin training a new generation of reality show hos, plastic Barbies, and porn stars? To keep the offices of every psychotherapist and psychiatrist in the country full for years and years to come? Whenever I’ve even glimpsed these sad contests, I feel as I do when I’m at the APA to pick out one cat: I want to let them all out of their cages and say, “Run! Run as fast as you can!” I wish someone would do that for these poor pageant babies. A pack of wolves in the wild could raise most of them more sanely than their stage parents.

Whew! I feel better after writing that! If anyone should want to join my rant, please do! I’d love to hear things that you really don’t like, too. I’m sure you’ll pick up on plenty that I missed.