Now the truth comes out. I think we all have things that we don't like even though it seems like everyone else does. One of those, for me, is clowns. I know that there are lots of you out there who might have an opposite opinion, so I will ask your forgiveness.
There is something about clowns that sort of creeps me out. I think I first started feeling this way when I was about eight or nine years old. Since I was so young, this cannot be blamed on Stephen King's book It which featured a killer clown with razor-blade teeth, or the movie Poltergeist with that horrid clown doll that tried to pull the kid under the bed. Maybe it's those weird faces. Clown faces, whether they are painted with a smile or a frown, seem to me to be incredibly sad. And I think that perhaps some of the television programs that I watched as a kid which featured clowns added to my discomfort. Even at that young age, it seemed to me that if you got really close to them, you'd be able to smell liquor on their breath. Breakthrough! Maybe part of my weird feelings about clowns come from having a father who often drank to excess? The same man who took my mother's life? Wow. That certainly could make a person feel uncomfortable or even scared. I seriously never thought of that connection before. I will have to think about that for a while after I finish writing.
But since I am divulging secrets here, let me tell you about something else that creeps me out. Dolls. I don't mean Barbie-type dolls; Miss Barbara Millicent Roberts and I had a lot of fun together. No, what kind of makes my skin crawl are those baby dolls and ones like them, with eyes that open in the upright position. I could never be a doll collector for a very simple reason. I would never be able to sleep because of those little eyes. Those wide-open shiny eyes would make me feel like I was being watched. I can just imagine getting up to use the bathroom in the middle of the night and seeing several of them watching me with those eyes that click when they open or close. One of them might even have a sharp knife on her lap because she knows all of our habits now. They are plotting to take over the world, and she is their leader.
Several years ago, one of the toy companies came out with a talking Big Bird doll. My sister Liz got one for me because she thought it was cute and kind of funny. And it was, for a while. Since I couldn't bear the thing sitting and staring at me, I would put it in my closet. And then the craziness ensued. One night as I was getting ready to go to sleep, I heard a voice coming from my closet. No, I am not making this up. It really happened! I opened the closet door, and there was big bird, with those shiny plastic eyes, and he was talking and talking and talking. I know it was a malfunction, but when a doll starts spontaneously talking in your closet and won't stop until you remove the batteries, you have a couple of choices. Call a toy exorcist, or send it to the big dumpster in the sky. I chose the latter. I couldn't possibly give it to a child. They would actually have a real monster in their closet! I guess it could have been worse, though. It could have been an evil talking clown.