Send in the Clowns…

My parents are evil. No, hear me out before you think it’s the typical whining. Let me set the stage for you:

My Mom was 17 when I was born, Dad was 21. I was a doted on, spoiled child. They took me everywhere with them. I was a lucky little girl.

When I was just a couple of years old, before any of my siblings were even born, my parents took me to a parade. I don’t know how many of you remember circus parades but, I do. When the circus came to town they would have a huge parade with elephants, acrobats, lions, dancing girls, and clowns.

And, we would go to the parades. Mom, Dad, and little tiny Suzy. This time, the one of which I am speaking of, it was still cold in Niagara Falls. The parents still wanted to go to see the circus parade, so they packed the three of us into the car and headed to the parade route.

We sat on the side of the road, me in the middle of them, watching the animals roar or giggle or whatever that certain type of animal did.

“Elephant, Mama.”

“Pretty Lady, Daddy.”

Ohhs, and ahhs abounded from my little 2 year old self, I mean this was big stuff there were women in beautiful, flowing dresses, men in sparkly outfits, animals as far as the eyes could see.

I was enthralled. I clapped and hoorayed. My little 2 year old self, blond haired, green eyed and just bubbly as small children are. I jumped from Mom to Dad and back again overflowing with excitement at the wonder that was in front of me.

Then, then, I screamed. An earth shattering, blood curdling, that child is being hurt horribly scream. I jump from Daddy’s lap across the car, begging Mom to save me.

In the window of the car, talking to me, was this giant, horrific, huge lipped, happy faced, pale as the dead, clown.

Y’all, I lost my shit over a clown. I screamed, I cried, I begged them to take me out of there. The clown beat feet the hell out of there, back to the street, surely to relive the horror of making a 2 year old shiver in fear over and over again.

My parents, loving parents that they are, calmed me down, got me a drink, assured me I would be fine.

Then, those bastards, drove to the END OF THE PARADE ROUTE. They parked again and waited. The animals, oh, the people, the sparkley clothes. I was happy again.

“Elephant, Mama.”

“Pretty Lady, Daddy.”

I was not aware of the impending doom. They had saved me from the grease painted being. I clapped and ahhed and ohhed.

Until, around the corner came a bright wig. No biggie, look at the bear, Mama.

My Daddy (that traitor) motioned someone towards the car. I paid no attention there were twirling women to be seen. I grinned and clapped, then looked over to my Daddy.

The fucking clown was back. My parents, the ones who had vowed to protect me from all pain and harm they could, had set me up. Those bastards had taken me around to see the horrible thing again.

I screamed bloody murder and threw myself to the floor. This scream (so I’m told) could be heard all the way in Virginia where my Granny and Papa lived. I freaked out.

And, they, my loving parents LAUGHED. Instead of comforting me, they guffawed until tears were streaming down their faces. Unalduterated glee filled their eyes as they rolled on the ground, holding their sides in pain from the laughter.

Now, obviously, I don’t conciously remember this. I’ve heard the story time and again as they get some hideous evil glee at sharing my pain with anyone who will listen.

The torture has not stopped since that day. On our wedding day, following our reception when Tony opened the door for me to settle into the passenger seat as we left, there was a clown doll in the passenger seat. One with curly hair that looked like me.

In the driver’s seat was another clown doll, with long brown hair. Across the backseat (belted in!) were 4 slightly smaller clown dolls. All of them handmade with loving care by my Aunt Rosie.

I was 23 when I got married, 21 years after my freakout of that hideous creature they were still torturing me with them. On my wedding day, y’all, my wedding day. When we got to the hotel where we were staying for our wedding night, Tony walked me to the back of the car so I could see what was hanging off the back of the car.

Not beer cans, oh no, there were fucking clown heads! Little plastic clown heads, damnit. I’ll never hear the end of this, never. I’m 29 and they still pick on me about this.

I mean come on, I may have gotten over it, had they just let me be scared one time. But, no, not my parents, they had to let me see the clown again so they could laugh their asses off at me.

Fucking clowns.