Petit Fours » A group blog of authors writing in different genres

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The One About The Scary Clown

For those of you who were lucky enough to avoid me last week, I have a new obsession. His name is Dominic, the Scary Birthday Clown, and parents are paying him to terrorize their children. No, seriously. I’m not making this up. Parents pay the guy to send their rug rats threatening texts and prank phone calls for a week before he nails the kid in the face with a pie.

I know, right? Therapists, start your billing. This should be good for at least a 5-series Beemer.

I thought the discovery was a seriously good score, like, make-yourself-feel-way-superior kind of score. I’ll be the first to admit I’d be a dreadful parent, but even I know this is not a good idea.

So, naturally, I showed everyone I could corner.

My coworkers were all, “Yeah, yeah, Rom, we get it. We’d also like to note that it’s interesting how you can’t pay attention in any staff meeting ever, but you’ve been focused on this for almost three hours.”

Clearly, my coworkers did not understand so I went to Boy Genius next. He squinted at the article. “You know,” he said after a moment. “It kind of looks like that mask your dad had.”

Well, crap. So much for feeling superior.

The mask in question was, actually, scarier than Dominic. I’m not sure where my parents found it, but they dragged it home to add to my Halloween collection. (Side note: Halloweens at our house were the best. We had dry ice for a cauldron, a Styrofoam coffin, and an entire chest full of yard-sale costumes that my sister and I never considered might be infested with lice. It was awesome.)

But back to my dad who came into the kitchen with the mask on and roared. My sister and I looked up and took off. Or, at least, I took off. Poor five-year-old Merrill had been sitting on the floor and, when she jumped up to flee, slammed her head into the bottom of an open drawer. She shrieked, jumped up again, slammed her head again, and hit the floor.

Now everyone was screaming. My dad pulled off the mask—probably expecting laughter to ensue—and the shrieking just got worse.

“You ass!” My sister screamed…or she would’ve screamed if she knew that word at the time. Even so, I still think he got the message loud and clear. My sister is an adorable, tiny, reincarnated Honey Badger—and before she leaves me a nasty comment (Hi, Little!!) let me explain that the temperament was grown entirely out of self-preservation.

Because this wasn’t the last time we, um, teased her.

There was the severed plastic arm rammed into my mother’s mini-van seat cushions, the plastic spiders on her towel…then there was the time she was watching television in the living room alone so I went outside in the dark, walked around to the living room window, and hurled myself against the glass. She almost had a heart attack.

“You ass!” Mer screamed because, by this time, she did know the word. But we were both laughing.

“I know,” I said, almost hyperventilating. “But it sure was funny.”

“Totally,” Mer agreed. And we laughed and laughed until she smacked me in the ear. “Totally,” she agreed.

Marilyn Baron - May 22, 2012 - 5:54 am

Romily, Dominic is seriously twisted. Now I’m going to have nightmares after watching the video, which would terrify even Stephen King. I never really liked clowns but I wasn’t afraid of them…until now. Halloween around our house wasn’t as terrifying. But once, my mother gave one of my girls a doll she thought looked like a cabbage patch doll and it was so scary none of us could look at it. My daughters were both scared of it and so were we. It wasn’t a joke and I never told my mother but we hid it in a closet. Actually, I don’t know what ever happened to that doll.

Tony Bernard - May 22, 2012 - 7:03 am

You didn’t mention the other times we terrorized your sister. My favorite was when we used the Nextel radio feature to contact your sister at all times during the day – then just breath heavily into the receiver for like a minute. That was a week of fun! I guess we all have a bit of Dominic in us.

Sia Huff - May 22, 2012 - 7:51 am

I admit, I’m not watching the video. But you could use something similar in a book, Romily. Who needs a scary clown that terrorizes? Sounds like Dominic may need that couch along with his victims.
Some people enjoy being scared – watching horror movies – hope your little sister is one of them. :)

Linsey Lanier - May 22, 2012 - 8:18 am

My childhood was much more sheltered than yours. I remember being disappointed one Halloween because I got the Mickey Mouse costume when I wanted to be a princess. The trials of being an only child… But you reminded me of why I should be glad I was.

Romily’s real genre is horror??? Who knew?

PS: Love Boy Genius’ new avatar!

C.E. Hart - May 22, 2012 - 9:32 am

OMG! Hiring someone to harass and scare your children? Why? (when you can do it yourself for free) bwahaha

When the movie The Ring came out, we took our daughter to see it 7 days before her 16th birthday. (The 7-day reference will make sense if you’ve seen the movie) It scared her senseless, but that wasn’t enough for me.

Once we got home, hubby distracted her while I cut holes in a white trash bag for my head and arms, to resemble Samara’s dress in the movie, combed my long hair to hang over my face, and snuck outside to the back deck. It was nearly midnight, and we live in the woods, so it was kind of creepy being outside after seeing a scary movie, but it was a sacrifice I was willing to make to torture my daughter.

Hubby told her to feed our outdoor cat (on the back deck) and when she opened the door, I was out there doing Samara’s creepy dead-walk. She screamed and slammed the door shut–locked ME outside in the creepy darkness–and laughed at me through the glass! lol I know. Payback. I deserved it.

Another time, I tried to scare my sister after watching The Sixth Sense. When she went to the bathroom, I opened every drawer and cabinet in her kitchen (again, this won’t make sense if you haven’t seen the movie) and when she came out, she didn’t even notice.

Needless to say, your post brought back great memories. :eek:

Dianna Love - May 22, 2012 - 11:19 am

OMG, that’s too funny (since I don’t have kids). I can’t imagine why any parent would hire a scary clown to terrorize their kids, but then – again – I don’t have kids. I have enough trouble with my aquarium. I had no idea how far parenting had come…or not. ;) I’ll have to ask my bro and SIL about this next time I see them.

Tami Brothers - May 22, 2012 - 11:36 am

I’m not a scary clown fan BUT you have to admire this guy’s marketing ploy. Who woulda thunk it? Seriously? We all know clowns are scary, but to specifically intend to scare the pants off a kid? Now that’s genius.

Thanks for sharing, Romily. My sisters could tell some stories about me. Of course, I have to say they are all false. I was an angel growing up. And they better not forget it. ;) LOL

Tami :)

maxine - May 22, 2012 - 12:56 pm

Seriously funny! I enjoyed the post so much and could just picture your dad and his fantastic prank.

Carol Burnside / Annie Rayburn - May 22, 2012 - 3:48 pm

I’m speechless and scratching my head on the subject of Dominic. That said, I do understand the appeal of getting into Halloween in a big way. I once had a friend who did a Haunted House in her garage, but her ideas and enthusiasm spilled over into the neighborhood. I chose to work in garage designed for small children and was a friendly clown. We had Snow White in her coffin, being kissed awake and such awe-inducing scenes.

Across the road was a different story. The coffin held a much more gruesome sight, and my friend’s witch cackle could be clearly heard.

Romily Bernard - May 22, 2012 - 8:08 pm

@Marilyn, totally agree. I could not believe my eyes when I read that article. What kind of parent hates his/her kid that much?

Romily Bernard - May 22, 2012 - 8:09 pm

@Boy Genius, I’m so glad we found each other. No one else would put up with our crap, you know it?

Romily Bernard - May 22, 2012 - 8:16 pm

@Sia, I hate scary movies and I hate being scared so, yeah, I’m a total jerk for doing it to my sister. One time, Tony walked into the closet while I was changing (this was, maybe, six months into our marriage) and I screamed like someone set me on fire. Then he screamed. And I screamed some more. Yeah, we’re total wimps.

Romily Bernard - May 22, 2012 - 8:21 pm

@Linsey, so glad you like the avatar!! I feel you on the costume. When I was five, I dreamed Santa brought me a pony and I came downstairs to a BIKE. I was furious.

Romily Bernard - May 22, 2012 - 8:22 pm

@CE Hart, OMG you just cracked me up!! The dogs are staring at me trying to figure out why I’m laughing so hard. Thanks for commenting!!

Romily Bernard - May 22, 2012 - 8:23 pm

@Dianna, I hear you on the no kids thing. My horse and both my dogs are badly behaved. I’m sure I cannot be trusted with a two-legged pet. It would turn out badly for all of us ;)

Romily Bernard - May 22, 2012 - 8:24 pm

@Tami, exactly!! He saw a need (I don’t want to know how) and filled it. It’s kinda genius…kinda.

Romily Bernard - May 22, 2012 - 8:25 pm

@Maxine, so very glad you enjoyed!

Romily Bernard - May 22, 2012 - 8:27 pm

@Carol, I love the Snow White idea! I find her very pretty look at now, but, when I was younger, I refused to be a Disney princess. I think I was the only ten-year-old who demanded to be Nefertiti. My mother was extremely long-suffering :)

Pam Asberry - May 22, 2012 - 10:54 pm

LOLOL! I am not very scary but I am easily spooked, an unfortunate combination. Maybe I can pick up some tips from Dominic. Here I go.

Susan Carlisle - May 23, 2012 - 10:56 am

We are not big fans of clowns at our house. In fact the youngest refuses to have anything to do with one.

Pamela Mason - May 23, 2012 - 3:01 pm

OMyGoodness the Halloween memories you brought back!
We had the Saturday Matinee on tv, with Dr. Morgus the mad scientist and his assistant Chopsley (an executioner with a black hood over his face and an axe). The neighbors down the street who always had the haunted house with the coffin and dry ice and hearse…? Hired Morgus & Chopsley!
So my friend and I (dressed as Mossman – with bugs similar to lice) went down there and wimpus friend hides behind ME (the bigger wimpus)! We ran like cornered mice – across the street, down the street… and they chased us! I finally took my bag o’candy and threatened them with it.

And after Stephen King’s scary clown in the storm drain movie there is no freakin’ way I’ll ever look at Ronald or Bozo again, much less Dominic! Gah!

Darcy - May 25, 2012 - 2:12 pm

Romily!! OMG, I can’t imagine a parent doing this to their kid! I’m with Pam, I never really got into clowns, but after Stephen King’s, IT, I haven’t been able to hardly look at one. LOL. I do love a scary movie….and one time I too pulled my hair over my face and did the “Ring” walk in our hallway one night when Brenna was coming out of her room. LOL. I got her pretty good! But then, she was probably 17 years old. :)

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