I hardly ever have nightmares. Sometimes I dream I’m missing a plane, running late or am back in school, but those dreams are more tiring and annoying than scary. When I was working newspaper copy desks, I often dreamed I was 12 hours past deadline getting the paper to press. That was a little scary, but I’m pretty sure that if you dream about work, you’re allowed to put that down as overtime. So I did.
My wife, however, does occasionally have nightmares. When “The Walking Dead” is in season, that usually means zombies are involved. But now that commercials for Stephen King’s “It” are airing and “American Horror Story” has been invaded by killer clowns, the zombies have been overthrown by clowns.
I don’t fear clowns, so I don’t really understand how somebody can suffer from coulrophobia, but apparently people do. When I tell someone I have no fear of clowns, they’ll respond with something like, “Well, you would if one were trying to kill you!”
Well, yes, I would. I also would be scared of a mailman or fast-food worker who wanted to kill me, but I’m not going to hold it against the whole post office or fast-food industry. Heck, McDonald’s spokesperson has been a clown for decades, but he’s a good clown who merely wants to kill people with greasy food — one of the best ways to go, in my opinion.
This coulrophobia sweeping the nation has been building since Stephen King first released the book “It,” followed by a silly miniseries with Tim Curry portraying the creepy clown terrorizing kids. It got even worse last year when people started to report clowns simply standing in the woods or in open fields, doing absolutely nothing. I see people standing around doing nothing all the time, but I don’t report it to the cops. We’d have to arrest the entire U.S. Congress.
Last year, you could walk around with your assault rifle and talk of organizing a coup if Hillary won or you could put on a hockey mask and walk around with a machete and yet no one had a problem with it. But arm yourself with a squirting flower and a big red nose, and the SWAT teams rushed in while panicked mothers rushed their children to safety.
I feel bad for the real clowns out there — the ones who set out to do nothing more than to entertain children and make them happy. It’s gotten to the point that the World Clown Association and Clowns International have had to issue guidelines to help their members cope with the negative attention. I had no idea these groups existed, but I bet their conventions are thrilling — although I wonder if they are rival groups and ever square off in some gang-style clown fight, throwing water balloons at each other and smashing heads with giant foam hammers.
I say it’s time for clowns to stand up for themselves in their oversized shoes and pantomime their demands for respect. Clowns, get a dozen of your clown friends, pile into a tiny dune buggy and drive to your Congressional representative’s office and plead your case.
If that doesn’t work, defend yourselves by any means necessary. Our founding fathers enshrined your right to arm yourself with squirting flowers and guns with flag that reads, “BANG!” Use them.
To order Chris Johnson’s latest book, “Wastin’ Away on Margaritahill,” visit KudzuKid.com.