Somehow, the subject of coulrophobia tends to come up frequently at work. Maybe because I have photos of John Wayne Gacy and a paper mache flower-grasping clown on my desk. (Although, I just realized the Gacy photo was never returned to me after I interoffice-mailed it to my co-worker Brad who was dumb enough to tell me he’s scared of clowns.) I practically grew up in my grandparents house, and the stereo room was replete with the merrymakers in all forms: stuffed, Murano glass, paintings, music boxes. So I’m pretty desensitized to the clown chapter in the encyclopedia of horror.
I don’t know how my grandma started collecting clowns, but that room was definitely larger than life. I never understood how people could be so scared and creeped out by something that I grew up surrounded by.
I used to dust those things for my grandma, for Christ’s sake! I listened to Frank Zappa for the first time in that room when I was a little kid (“Valley Girl”). I sat on that couch looking through photo albums taken from the clown room closet.
I have nothing but good memories from that room.
Chooch is clearly unfazed by clowns, too:
And the fact that so many people abhor clowns just makes me like them even more.
My grandma passed away last summer and, if you’ve been reading this blog for awhile, you won’t be surprised to know that my crazy aunt Sharon is doing everything to tie up the estate. I’m sure she’s sold most of the bric-a-brac on eBay by now, but damn – if I could take any of those clowns, especially the paintings, I would be so happy. With both of my grandparents gone now, I really can’t bear to see that collection broken up; I just want to keep it going forever, but I know Sharon and my mom won’t make that easy.
I bought these original clown pictures from my co-worker Cheryl and I’m just so thrilled with them, I could die. Some guy made them for her mom in the 60s; she knew him from the campground they use to go to and he liked to sit around, drawing clowns apparently. And thank god he did!
They were waiting for me at work yesterday and 90% of my co-workers were totally skeeved out by them, so that made me love them even more. I couldn’t stop smiling! I love that one of them has a bird nest on his head!
“They’re so majestic,” I whispered, and everyone around me laughed BUT I WAS BEING SERIOUS. They were way more amazing than I could have imagined. Totally worth it.
Then Glenn meandered over, and in a total Henry-esque moment, he picked one up and to get a better look at the frame.
“These are nice frames,” he said, admiring the it closer now. “The wood is really good,” he added, tapping on it. “I think it could be wormy oak.” I started laughing so hard, totally couldn’t help it. He looked annoyed, made some last minute disparaging remarks, and retreated.
When I put the pictures in the car last night, Henry also went right for the frames. “Those are really nice frames,” he said, and I began having deja vu. “Maybe wormy chestnut….or oak.”
Considering I will probably never see the inside of my grandparent’s house again, I might as well start my own collection. And this is a beautiful start!