Monday, July 13, 2009

On "Coulrophobia" by Cody Walker (344 words) ***

Some people hate clowns. Some people dread them. Me, I find them amusing in a theoretical kind of way. What I mean is that, say, you mention that there is a clown at the mall. Ooo, I would say, and want to go see the clown. Then, we'd actually go. I'd see the clown, and I'd be disappointed. The clown, in reality, would fill me with apathy, although the clown in theory would be particularly interesting. More interesting to me is the person who plays the clown, the person who actually puts on the clown makeup. What's the deal with that? I wonder. Why would anyone set out to be a clown? I mean, a made-up clown, not a comedian. Walker's story (or prose poem or whatever you want to call it) takes clowns a step further. He puts them into an underground society of has beens and drunkards. The effect is at once engaging and--to those who find clowns strangely scary (you know who you are, you, who watched too many psycho killer movies growing up)--horrifying, and also sort of funny, which is sort of the point of a clown. Read the story here at Tarpaulin Sky.

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