I’ve written posts before about my deep and abiding hatred of clowns. Once on a plane, that movie Patch Adams was showing, featuring Robin Williams as an unconventional doctor who wears a clown outfit. I tried to keep my eyes closed for most of it after I saw him wearing long shoes and a red nose. My thought at the time was that if any doctor dressed as a clown came near me, I’d run screaming and probably take a turn for the worse.
Apparently I’m not alone. My Mum sent me this article about a British study which shows that kids between the ages of four and sixteen have an almost universal dislike of clowns, and many children find them scary. Clowns in childrens’ hospitals do not cheer the children up, and are more likely to scare them.
Penny Curtis, one of the researchers, is quoted in the article as saying:
“As adults we make assumptions about what works for children. We found that clowns are universally disliked by children. Some found them quite frightening and unknowable.”
They should employ me as the “cheerer-up” at hospitals. I certainly wouldn’t assume that people would be amused by clowns. And there’s no way I would inflict clowns on patients, whether child or adult. Who actually finds clowns funny? Sometimes I wonder.