When Clowning Around Goes Wrong
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Politics and Activism

When Clowning Around Goes Wrong

I didn't know Halloween started in September this year.

When Clowning Around Goes Wrong

When I was 5 years old, “clowning around” meant hiding from my father as he returned home from work so he would have to try to find me. When I was 10 years old, “clowning around” meant kicking a metal chair in a fifth-grade classroom to annoy the person in front of me. When I was 15 years old, clowning around meant blowing up my best friend’s BlackBerry Bold every 10 seconds until she answered me because I was dying of boredom. Nowadays, “clowning around” seems to be the latest trend that is destroying people’s lives.

In case you haven’t heard, the latest trend around here is to dress like a clown, scatter throughout random streets and try to scare people. They decided, “Hey, let’s risk other people’s lives and jump out in front of random cars while people are driving them.” Because clearly, this is perfectly okay to do. What if someone swerves and crashes into a tree? What if they swerve into another car? Then we’ll begin to take action? Not only are they risking the life of the driver, but they are also risking their own lives. I swear, one of these days someone is going to run them over.

And if that wasn’t bad enough, we had schools on lockdown this past Friday because of them. North Babylon School District locked down the town’s high school Friday morning after it was targeted with “clown-related threats” on Twitter. Central Islip and Lindenhurst followed suit, especially when there was a frightening tweet posted that Lindenhurst would be “the next target.”

Not only are the clowns invading New York, but there have also been many other clown sightings in other parts of the country, such as South Carolina, Oregon, Ohio, Alabama, Florida, Virginia, Wisconsinno and Pennsylvania. Reports say that they’ve been standing behind dumpsters, attempting to lure children in the woods with money, smashing parked cars in with bats, kidnapping people and the list goes on and on.

So, what about the 5, 6 or 7-year-olds who probably have no clue what’s going on? The ones who have no idea about what a lockdown truly entails? The ones who truly don’t know what it means for someone to dress like a clown and try to lure him or her in their van? What about them?

This is not just a social media prank.

Smashing people’s cars and kidnapping innocent people doesn’t sound like just a “prank” to me. We are in for some real deep shit if we think this is just a hoax. It’s when we think it’s a prank that we’ll stop taking this so seriously until it’s too late: when someone is killed. Ignorance is not bliss, in this case. Halloween is only a few weeks away. What’s going to happen then? Is everyone going to dress as clowns and we’ll be unable to tell the difference between a “good” clown and a “bad” clown? If someone told me years back that 2016 would be filled with clown attacks, I would’ve laughed in their faces. Because seriously, who’s the brilliant one who came up with this idea in the first place? What’s next? We’re going to dress as grizzly bears and stomp on people?

Dreading Halloween this year.

What I’ve always enjoyed the most about Halloween was sitting at home and watching little trick-or-treaters come to my door dressed as princesses, pirates, angels, scarecrows, zombies and whatever else you can think of. Their lips curled into virtuous smiles as they said, “Trick or treat!” and their eyes shined like New York stars on a clear night. That is what I adored the most. At such a young age, I desired to see others happy, even if they were just kids who would never see me again.

And I began to appreciate Halloween even more just a few years back. I began to understand that eventually, I wouldn’t be capable of doing what I wish on Halloween. I’m going to have kids—I'm going to lose my youth. Even though it may not necessarily be “trick-or-treating,” I longed to implant that “child” within me.

But now, I feel like I can't. I'm petrified to go out on Halloween night because I’m afraid of what I’ll run into. What was once a pleasant holiday has turned into a potential death trap. And now parents are going to be afraid to let their children celebrate their favorite holiday because of idiots roaming the streets. As citizens, we have the right to feel safe in our communities. But that doesn’t seem to be the case. All I have to say is that this is not okay.

“But they’re just clowns.”

It’s not about the fact that they’re clowns; it’s the person behind the mask. I have friends who don’t want to walk to their front door alone at night. I know people who don’t want to be driving when it’s pitch black out anymore. And I know others who don’t even want to leave their car in parking lots. We shouldn’t even have to live our lives in fear on a daily basis. It’s insanity, an atrocity — actually I don’t think I can find a word to describe how messed up this is.

And I’m one of these people as well. I literally feel like I’m suffering from hardcore paranoia half of the time. I find myself hallucinating while I’m driving — thinking I saw a clown when I didn’t. I find myself being so hesitant to drive back to my house if it’s after 11 p.m. (which is secluded in woods by the way). I find myself thinking about this issue more often than I should, which is probably why I had to write an article about it. When is this shit going to stop?

May grace be with you this Halloween. Seriously, what a circus.

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This article has not been reviewed by Odyssey HQ and solely reflects the ideas and opinions of the creator.
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