Wednesday, August 4, 2010

Clown Therapy

Those of you read my recent post, English Closed Triple Compound Words, will not be surprised to learn that I am pleased by a phrase that holds three distinct meanings: Clown Therapy.

Once upon a time, the phrase referred exclusively to the notion that laughter is the best medicine. Gelotological practitioners dressed up as clowns and visited sick children in the hospital, bringing them a spot of cheer.

But the word was just begging for this great interpretation by the Simpsons that refers to, of course, therapy for clowns.
And just when you thought the phrase had been through the wringer, along comes a new definition: Therapy for people who are afraid of clowns. Yep, Coulrophobics have a new cure -- but in a sick, sick twist, the therapy is delivered at a circus, by, you guessed it: Clowns.

How wrong is that?


  1. According to the article, "Coulrophobia, or fear of clowns, is the third most common phobia in Britain."

    So, circuses must have a tough job of it in Britain! 3rd most common phobia?

    I'm not afraid of clowns but I do understand why some people are....

  2. Oh but of course you don't have a fear of clowns, you old carnie, you ... :)

    Heh, heh, love that command to Patch Adams; well put Mr. D.

    And, hmm, yes, the 3rd fear after spiders and needles ... and what's weird is that I've been mulling a post about spiders (I have an amazing population of funnel spiders in my basement, know where a number of them nest, and hope to take some cool photos someday). Spiders, for me, provide no fear, only fascination.

    On the other hand, the horrifying centipedes in these parts, well I would crawl straight out of my skin to evade 'em if I could. I probably could, actually. I'm literally shivering and looking all about just thinking about those horrors. Crap, I'll probably have nightmares now.

  3. Meant to include a link to this pic of these centipedes we have 'round here, but I got all wigged out thinking about them and forgot to include the link (open, ye mortals, should ye dare):

  4. Christ, I swear to god those f*ckers grow as big as mice and shrink small as needles, they do; they pump themselves full of air and flail those hairy arms all about in a panic as they stagger about, changing their minds ... that's the worst of it: they actually change their minds; you can see the humanity in there, deep in their horrifying whispery feathers of a body, and you know that you can't really kill them, can't really kill them because you might be one of them one day in some horrorshow of a karmic mishap wherein you puke if you spot a mirror

  5. I feel the same way about Gypsies. Doh! Just kidding.

    I know what you mean about the centipedes though. You share the same horror with William Burroughs, for much the same reason.

    It's why I don't like looking at pics of insects in macro....can't bear the thought of these monsters scurrying about all over....


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