Friday, April 1, 2011

The Fears of a Clown

Petals from the Joker’s Boutonniere (inspired by Bob Kane’s Batman characters) – Vintage hand-blown purple glass perfume bottle; dried Stargazer lily petals; antiqued French dyed ribbon; antiqued art nouveau print ribbon; vintage sterling jester’s head charm; purple glass–beaded tassel, vintage Joker playing cards

April sweet is coming in, let the feast of fools begin!


What is that, you question?

Let me tell you.

Part of Speech: noun
Definition: an extreme fear of clowns

Was that a scoffing laugh I heard? How ridiculous! How absurd! I hear you say. How could anyone be afraid of a clown?

Ask the people of Gotham City.

For that major metropolis quakes in terror of one.

The Clown Prince of Crime himself—the Joker.

He’s suave, he’s debonair.

He’s a homicidal lunatic.

A sociopathic psychopath with a sick and sadistic sense of slapstick.

Whether by make-up (war paint some have called it), by accidental immersion in a bath of toxic chemicals, or by true physical deformity, the Joker’s skin is pasty pancake white, his hair brilliant green, his lips vivid red—lips that surround, delineate, define and outline a hideous rictus, an appalling twisted smile, which leaves him grinning from ear to ear.

All this the jolly jester enhances, embellishes, with his distinctive, dandified attire. An elegantly-tailored suit—striped pants, double-breasted waistcoat, long-tail coat—that is of a dazzling purple hue. The color of his shirt, sometimes a vibrant orange, sometimes a garish green. A large and floppy bowtie, purple gloves, polished black shoes and spats, and even an ebony wood walking stick with a sterling handle, complete the ensemble.

Along with an unique boutonniere.

And what a strange flower it is.

Is it a lily?

Is it an orchid?

While its genus might be debatable, one thing about it is not.

It’s deadly.

Remember those harmless prankster flowers, the rubber ones you knew as a child that squirted water in the face of those invited to closely inspect? Well, kiddies, the Joker’s done you one better.

His squirts sulfuric acid.

Now ain’t that a laugh?!

But that’s the Joker’s specialty, you see, his forte, his talent, his raison d’ĂȘtre, taking seemingly innocent practical jokes, and turning them inside-out. That exploding cigar contains enough nitroglycerin to take your head off. That fluffy cream pie is spiked with cyanide. That joy buzzer sizzles with 10,000 volts, and those playing cards are razor-edged.

Then there’s his favorite gag—a lethal form of laughing gas; giggle your way to the grave.

Whatever the trick, whatever the stunt, it is heralded—and followed—by hysterical fits of hilarity.

He’s the Harlequin of Hate.

He’s the Ace of Knaves.

He’s insane.

Mad as a hatter.

He’s not playing with a full deck.

So, if you ever plan a trip to the big city, to Gotham City, to see the sights, beware.

Because in the Joker’s world, the joke is always on you…

“You see, madness, as you know, is like gravity. All it takes is a little push!”

—The Joker, quoted from the film, The Dark Knight (2008)