warehouse clown department


CLOWNS! CLOWNS! AAAAHHHH! The boy in front is keeping his cool in the face of clowns preparing to promise him a balloon and floating paper ships, have him as the main course for dinner, or other nefarious deeds.

Phobia of clowns wasn't a childhood problem, as encounters were few and far between. I even went out as one for an early Halloween outing, with emphasis on cute over scary—no grotesque face, just dabs of red on my cheeks. The only time I was disturbed by a clown-like figure occurred when I was barely school age. It happened on the lone trip Dad and I made to the CNE without the rest of the family, which also provided my first long distance train trip on the Windsor to Toronto run. Wendy's had a booth on the grounds with a woman dressed as the burger chain's mascot (the chain had been in Canada for a few years—its 500th store opened in Toronto in 1976). As we approached her, unease set in. Something about a girl with yarn for hair, an old-fashioned dress and bright red cheeks didn't register well. I don't remember what happened next, though it likely involved screaming and a quick retreat to my grandparents' place.

Source: National Geographic, May 1967 - JB


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