Sunday, September 21, 2014

The clown will see you now

Nothing makes the heart sink like the sight of a clown in the hospital. Clowns are not funny. They are not cheerful. They are embarrassing. My first reaction: look away, walk fast, and try to find cover in a bathroom or an elevator. 

Exactly who came up with the idea that grieving families fresh out of a heartbreaking conversation with the palliative care team should be terrorized by a grinning Bozo in floppy shoes and pancake make-up?  Apparently clowns are not even welcome on the pediatric wards.  A 2008 survey found that an astonishing 250 of 250 hospitalized children aged 4 to 16 disliked clowns.

According to the author of the study, "We found that clowns are universally disliked by children. Some found them frightening or unknowable."

1 comment:

  1. Carl -- This study took place in England, where, as everyone knows, the clowns really are scary. The results simply aren't generalizable. American clowns aren't scary, and Canadian clowns are even less scary; moreover, most of them are quite knowable.