The year 2016 has officially become the year of the clown. Ever since the clown craze that began back in early October, reports of clown sightings have arisen everywhere.
Some say the whole thing is nothing more than a hoax, while others fear to leave their home at night due to the possibility of a a clown-filled encounter.
Halloween will finally arrive this Monday, and estimates report that clowns will be on the loose, watching and waiting to genuinely scare the, for lack of a better word, sh*t out of anyone who crosses their path.
If you plan on going out this Halloween, keep these things in mind just in case you come into contact with one of these red-nose demons.
First of all, some clowns are actually more afraid of you than you are of them. While many may seem genuinely vicious and bloodthirsty, a fair amount of them represent nothing more than poor, misunderstood creatures who just need a friend.
Clowns tend to respond to positive reinforcement, much like small animals. Just offer them a treat and make sure to throw in a “good boy.” You will have Mr. Clown eating out of the palm of your hand in no time.
If you want them to just stay away all together though, there's no easier option than to become one for the night.
Think about it for a second. If a clown sees another clown out and about, it will more than likely simply continue on its way, giving you a classic clown head nod before it moves along to scare the next person they see, who more than likely didn’t have the brilliant idea to blend in and walk among them.
Keep in mind that many clowns only want to scare you because they feel the world betrayed them.
Even before the 2016 clown frenzy began, job opportunities for clowns started dwindling, enrollment in clown studies programs at colleges and universities were at an all-time low and more and more opportunities for professional, hard-working clowns began to disappear.
Every professional clown already has an existential crisis once he/she realizes they have dedicated their life to entertaining children by becoming something that most children are terrified of — they never seem to get around to teaching that at clown college.
These clowns became fed up with a world that refused to respect their profession, so it should really surprise nobody that they have now begun to lash out, resulting in this year’s killer-clown fiasco.
“The clown life is hard enough already,” said one local clown who wished to remain anonymous. “I just wish people would take the time to learn more about the art of clowning. Maybe then they wouldn’t be so afraid of us.”
Various movements, such as Clown Lives Matter,have attempted to address this issue, but the problem still remains, as evident by the various clown hunts that have taken place across the country over the past month.
“We feel hunted and prosecuted,” another clown said. "Luckily, Halloween is our time to shine.”
If you find yourself face-to-face with a clown this Halloween, try your best to understand where they’re coming from and why they feel the need to scare you. Tell them you appreciate their work and you think the future is still bright for people in their profession.
If that doesn’t work, run like hell.
Follow Alec Kuehnle on Twitter.