Many people are scared to death of clowns and hate the sight of them. In the case of Pennywise, the murderous clown who terrorizes the children of a small town in It, a strong case of clown fear is justified, but many people have a deep dread of all clowns, whether or not the clowns have a habit of dragging little kids into ancient sewer systems. They think they are creepy, with all that white face paint and weird eye makeup and unnatural hair and silly hats and bulging costumes, and they probably don’t much care for the twisting motions and squealing sounds when clowns make balloon animals, either.
Clown fear — the word for it is coulrophobia — seems to be an innate part of some people’s psychological makeup and starts at an early age. You can spend a few hilarious minutes on the internet checking out videos of panicked, crying little kids fleeing from the clown who Dad hired to entertain the kids at a birthday party. They intuitively hate clowns, just like baby birds intuitively hate snakes.
Clowns don’t scare me or creep me out. I’ve got a different problem with them — I don’t think they’re funny. Ever since going to my first circus, I’ve been mystified by why some people think clown acts are hilarious. There’s not much subtlety to clown acts, either. And don’t even get me started about those serious, sad-faced, pantomiming clown acts that are supposed to leave you with a tear in your eye and a strong sense of pathos.
We’d all be well advised to give Austin a wide berth on September 9.
It was a fine day — one that needed to be capped off with a fine cigar, an H. Upmann, courtesy of Burning Leaf Cigar Shop on South High, and a few Blue Moon Wheat Ales, as I finish the last few pages of Stephen King’s It.
Blue Moon. An interesting name. The title of a great rock and roll song from my childhood (bop-a-bop-bop-a-dang-a-dang-dang-Blue Moon), and the name of a diner that Kish and the boys and I used to frequent when we visited Mom and Dad’s condo in Stuart, Florida, years ago. An odd coincidence, perhaps. But then, life often seems like a circle. Perhaps it’s not so odd that I like an adult beverage called Blue Moon, too.
It’s a memorable occasion when you enjoy your first cigar in your new place, on a bright, crisp spring day when your dogs are lolling in the grass.
As one expert explained it, the massive volume of data moving between computers and servers resembles a computer hacker attack on a website — except this attack is self-inflicted, as part of the website’s basic design. If the experts are right, the website designers made a very fundamental, almost amateurish blunder.
The bottom line from these experts is that the solution is not simply adding more servers, but reconfiguring the system. That possibility would involve more expense, and delay, and frustrations for people who are just trying to comply with their legal obligation to obtain insurance.