Culture

The Clowns Are Starting to Get to Me

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I admit it. The clown sightings are starting to get to me. All the stories in the news lately, along with the Weekly Clown Round-Ups by PJM’s Debra Heine are beginning to take their toll.

Last night—or rather early this morning—I was finishing up some work when a car pulled into the driveway of the house across the street. Besides the fact that it was 2 a.m. here, it was odd because no one lives in that house. It had been abandoned by the owner a couple of years ago, left to fall into disrepair. A new family purchased it at the beginning of summer and began work on it, but there’s been no activity at the place for over a month. Then suddenly, a car at 2 a.m. It backed into the driveway and just sat there with its parking lights on.

I was a little on edge to begin with because earlier in the evening I had received a bunch of strange phone calls from a number in El Salvador. Since I don’t know anyone there, I didn’t pick up, but the calls kept coming—more than a half dozen of them in quick succession. I had received several from the same number the day before, along with an odd voice mail. Finally, I picked up and asked, “Who is this?” A male voice answered, “Oh,” and hung up. Coming around midnight my time, the whole thing was a bit strange and it left me feeling uneasy.

Then suddenly the car was there. And my mind went immediately to clowns (where everyone’s mind goes at 2 a.m.). My eyes darted to our front windows and I half expected to see the evil Pennywise from Stephen King’s “It” peering in at me. That car could have been packed with a dozen of them for all I knew. It was probably dropping them off for a night of pre-Halloween mayhem on my street.

Our house is surrounded by trees, so we almost never shut the curtains because you’d have to practically climb up into the windows to see inside the house. No one would ever do something like that, EXCEPT FOR MAYBE AN EVIL WINDOW CLOWN!

I am not kidding, I seriously had that thought, and I swear that alcohol and drugs were not involved (though I can’t guarantee there wasn’t some mental impairment from the large amount of trick-or-treat candy that somehow disappeared right before all this happened).

Anyway, I jumped out of my seat and ran to the front windows, slamming them shut and closing the curtains. It had probably been a year since anyone had tried to do that, and they stuck on the curtain rod. I grabbed the curtains and dragged them across the rod, nearly dragging the whole rod to the ground with them. A that point I realized the futility of what I had done because we don’t even have curtains on the back windows. The only things standing between me and the blackness of our backyard were non-clown-proof valances.

I contemplated my next steps. Grabbing the gun from the safe seemed like an overreaction at this point. I thought about waking up my husband, but knew he would just say, “it’s only a car” and tell me to come to bed. Should I call the sheriff? They’d probably be irritated that I was bothering them with a car that was sitting on private property, not bothering anyone. (Yeah, but it weirdly had its lights on looking an awful lot like Christine if you ask me. You never know when a car will turn on you.)

I decided to bother my 22-year-old who was upstairs sleeping. I woke him up and asked him to look out the window because his room had the best vantage point. He mumbled something, looked out the window, and rolled back into bed. I warned him that there were probably clowns out there, so he should make sure he had his machete ready, but he just groaned at me. Completely useless.

I went back downstairs to where my (also completely useless) dogs were sleeping. Why weren’t they on clown watch? I made a mental note to begin some intensive anti-clown training maneuvers in the morning (if we survived the night). I finally decided my best bet was to turn the lights off—that way the putative clowns wouldn’t be able to see inside. We learned this trick one year when a college student lived with us. She had a bad habit of turning on every light in the house when we were gone. She was nervous about staying in the house alone and felt better having all the lights on. I would sometimes (sort of meanly, I admit) come home and remind her, “You know the bad guys can see you when you turn the lights on, right?”

Even with the lights off, I felt creeped out because I was still on the first floor and knew those clowns were probably going to come climbing through the window any minute. I’m told they’re excellent climbers. Acrobatic even. I checked all the locks, but still. Who knows what they’re capable of?

Finally, after a long 15 minutes, the car pulled out and drove away. Still, I didn’t know if this “incident” was over. Had they left any clowns behind? Were they just casing the joint for some big clown mauling later in the week? I’m not out of the woods yet. Literally, I’m still living in the woods and it’s really, really dark out there.

I eventually went upstairs, where my husband (of course) had slept through this whole ordeal. I closed the curtains on our bathroom window for the first time in ages and even turned out the nightlight so any residual floating second floor clowns couldn’t see me. Things are relatively calm right now, but so help me, if my phone rings and it’s Mr. El Salvador, I’m going for the gun…

Update: We made it through the night. Looking around our property there are no signs of clown activity. The dogs didn’t pick up any scent trails that smelled funny. My husband says it was probably just some kids making out. Don’t I remember parking, he asked? With the lights on? Who does that? Like I said, this clown craze is getting to me and my imagination is getting out of control. I hope the sightings stop soon, along with this parade of horribles we’re calling an “election”—although let’s be honest, it’s hard to tell the difference anymore, isn’t it?