Welcome to the newest edition of The Why. “Why are the French afraid of clowns? Why is anyone afraid of clowns?” you ask? Good question. Timely too. (Besides, it beats answering the question: “Why does my buddy think wearing two condoms at once gives him twice as much protection?”)
Coulrophobia is the fear of clowns. While some folks in France might suffer from this condition, there is more to their fear of clowns than meets the eye. For those of you not up on your world clown news, our inquiring mind was probably inspired by the recent rash of crummy clown crimes reported on by such folks as Tracy McNicoll.
According to McNicoll, a veritable “wave of diabolical weapon-brandishing bozos has sown fear across (France) recent weeks, prompting arrests and warnings from bedeviled authorities against anti-clown vigilante justice. In the South of France, one mayor (Pierre Dudieuzière, the mayor of Vendargues) has even banned clowns outright from his town.”
That’s just the start of the clown crimes. A clown mugged a pedestrian, hitting him 30 times with an iron bar. Once apprehended, the captured clown later claimed he was drunk and was copying “crazed clowns seen on social media.” He was sentenced to four months in prison and his victim is currently having nightmares and not sleeping well.
In Agde, France, 14 teenage clowns, wielding baseball bats, handguns and knives, were arrested in a high school parking lot. In Marseillan, a clown was arrested for vandalizing an automobile.
Last month, in northern France, a 19-year-old clown was given a six-month suspended sentence and community service for scaring children while reportedly “brandishing a stick” which looked “like a big knife.”
As is the custom these days, “experts” and commentators point the finger of blame elsewhere. Le Monde blames the recent terroristic clowns in Wasco, California as well as the fourth season the TV show American Horror Story. The Agence France-Presse also points the finger elsewhere making mention of “clown-by-day” American serial killer John Wayne Gacy, Batman’s arch-enemy the Joker from DC Comics, the fictional clown in Stephen King’s “It” and even The Simpsons’ Sideshow Bob.
DM Pranks Productions, the YouTube jokesters from Italy, are also blamed by Le Monde. McNicoll notes that “(s)ome of DM Pranks’s violent evil clown videos have registered over 30 million views worldwide.” This all adds up to making all of France fearful of once friendly, frolicking clowns.
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