We got to the airport and – at the gate – there was a clown. A clown traveler.
He juggled. He whipped out some scarves. He wore a red nose. He tried to engage other passengers who wanted to be left alone.
He was on our flight and traveled in First Class – so we can assume that the clowning business is disturbingly lucrative.
After a life-giving weekend involving a birthday, a baby, and a boat, the clown was back at our gate for the return trip. This time he was wearing bunny ears controlled by suspenders.
- They are creepy.
- They enter our personal space whether we want to be engaged or not.
- They sometimes turn up unexpectedly in non-circus tent locations.
- They are often cranky rather than jovial.
Most clowns do not wear face paint and plastic noses so they are harder to identify. But they can be found in every aspect of life and professionalism requires that we deal with clowns respectfully but firmly. Some of them are our co-workers. Some of them are our customers. Some people date them.
They make most human beings uncomfortable. Many children are savvy enough to cry in their presence. But adults cannot cry as freely in the presence of a clown.
We must simply appreciate their tricks without falling for those tricks. (There’s not really a coin behind your ear.) We must be kind to the clowns in our lives without allowing them to play games with us.
As we begin a new season, let’s beware that we will encounter clowns from time to time. Remember, they are just people pretending to be someone else.
Image of Rick the Barber, whose face is tattooed to look like clown makeup. Sometimes he shows up in airports to pull pranks. The clown AA and I saw traveling from CLT to HPN looked more like a regular Joe. No face tattoos.