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Who’s the Clown Now?

By Dr. James L. Snyder

Ocala, FloridaDr. james snyder

As a young person, I was fascinated with clowns. My first encounter was at a circus I attended with my family. The main character in the circus was the clown.

When I first saw those clowns, I was scared almost to death. I’ve never seen anything as scary as those circus clowns.

That began my adventure with clowns, and every Saturday morning on television, I watched Bozo the Clown. I rarely missed an episode. But, of course, like most friends, I believed Bozo the Clown and all clowns were real. In fact, on Halloween, I usually dressed up as a clown and went door-to-door collecting “treats.”

Imagine when I first realized that Bozo the Clown was not real. That was when I also discovered that Santa Claus and the Easter Bunny were not real. So you can imagine the distress I experienced.

As I got older, I grew out of that fascination with clowns and put it all behind me. That’s the real purpose of growing up, to put things behind you that aren’t real.

I didn’t think of clowns very much until something happened recently in our house.

It was the day after Halloween, and The Gracious Mistress of the Parsonage told me she was going to the bathroom and taking care of her hair, washing and dyeing it, and whatever else she did with it.

Looking back over my life, many things have come to me while drinking my coffee. Coffee is a very important aspect of my life, and I’m just now beginning to appreciate it.

As I was drinking my coffee a thought came to me, and I said to myself, “What if….”

I needed to put together a nice little plan.

I got ready for my plan, thought it through very carefully, and believed I had everything down where it needed to be (Or, so I thought). Then The Gracious Mistress of the Parsonage came out of the bathroom and walking down the hallway, I saw her and said, “Oh my, you are wearing the funniest and scariest looking clown costume that I have ever seen.” And I laughed a glorious, hahaha.

I continued staring at her with a ridiculous smile on my face. Unfortunately, The Gracious Mistress of the Parsonage did not return the smile.

Staring at me, she said, “What are you talking about?”

Still laughing, I said, “Don’t you know that Halloween is over? You don’t need a costume.” And then I resumed my hysterical laughter.

I resumed my laughter, and she resumed her scowling.

That’s the difference between my wife and me. I see something to laugh at, and she doesn’t laugh at it.

When I quieted down a little bit, she cleared her throat and said, “So, you think I’m wearing a clown costume, do you?”

Without thinking, which is my usual MO, I resounded, “Yes, I do.” I followed that up with more hilarious laughter.

“Are you sure,” she said, “you want to stick with your story?”

How she said it caused me a great deal of pause. I began to think that maybe she did not think my comment was funny. Aren’t all clown jokes funny?

My smile began to evaporate from my face, and a lightbulb in my head went on.

Then she said, “Seriously, do you want a clown to fix your supper tonight?”

Having no understanding of where that came from, I had to stop and try to process that thought. So what was she getting at?

“How about,” she continued, “would you like a clown to be in the house while you’re asleep tonight?”

Now I was getting nervous. So who’s the clown now?

Where this was going to end, I did not know, but I did have a little bit of fear in that direction.

“I was just joking,” I explained. “After all, yesterday was Halloween, and I just was joking about it.” So I tried flashing a smile at her, but for some reason, it didn’t flash.

I was beginning to understand why some people are afraid of clowns. I suddenly had an epiphany about something I had long ago forgotten. I now have resumed my fear of clowns.

Getting out of this situation is going to take the brainpower of Bozo the Clown.

Knowing The Gracious Mistress of the Parsonage as I do, there will be a payback for this clown gaff. It may not be today, tomorrow, next week, or next month, but it will come when I least expect it.

Staring at me, she said, “I do not think clowns are funny.”

After being a husband for over 50 years, I know that no payback is the worst payback. Every day I get out of bed, I expect a payback in some form. Whenever I see my wife stare at me with a mischievous smile on her face, I expect a payback. I wish she would get it over with and not keep me in suspense.

In the meantime, I happened to run across a passage in the Bible for my personal situation.

James 1:19 – 1:20, “19 Wherefore, my beloved brethren, let every man be swift to hear, slow to speak, slow to wrath: 20 For the wrath of man worketh not the righteousness of God.”

I must confess that too often I am slow to hear and quick to speak. After this incident, I’m really going to work on reversing my behavior.


Dr. James L. Snyder is pastor of the Family of God Fellowship, 1471 Pine Road, Ocala, FL 34472. He lives with his wife in Silver Springs Shores. Call him at 352-687-4240 or e-mail The church web site is


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