Tuesday, August 15, 2006

Kofi Annan, Don't Send in the Clowns

Dear Kofi Annan:

Look, I know you're under a lot of pressure to solve this Middle East morass. And you may get desperate to find an innovative solution. But whatever you do, don't send in the clowns.

You may have gotten this idea from reading the Sunday New York Times, specifically, a story picked up from the AP, datelined Copenhagen and buried in the back of the front news section. The headline:

Clowns Escalate the Battle for Laughs

The story is about the just-completed 10-day International Clown Festival, and quotes one of the participants:

“Being a clown is my way of giving a present to the world,” said Marta Sanchez Sevilla, 40, of Spain. She has traveled the world with the comic relief group Clowns Without Borders, including going to Sri Lanka after the December 2004 tsunami.

This is just what those Sri Lankans need. They're fleeing the tsunami in utter terror, 90-foot waves are flattening their homes and mowing down their families -- and here comes Klutzy the Klown schpritzing seltzer down their pants. THEY'RE NOT WET ENOUGH?

Actually, Clowns Without Borders could unintentionally create peace in the world -- I mean, what better way to bring nations together then to unite them against the clowns?

No, I was kidding there. We can't really trust the clowns. Remember "A Clockwork Orange"? The Joker from "Batman"? That claw-fingered guy from Stephen King's "It"? And that Bozo at your kid's third birthday party who you later discovered had swiped your supply of Vicodin?

Besides the fact that they're not funny. They try way too hard. They're the party guy with the lampshade on his head...only they expect to get paid for it. You feel like saying to them, "Relax. You don't have to always be on. Just be yourself, Floppy Feet."

Back to the international stage. I say Clowns Without Borders is a bad idea. They're just the type of people who need borders. Otherwise, they'd wreak havoc everywhere, scaring small children, pulling quarters out of our ears and pulling that passive-aggressive "sad clown" schtik. Of course you're sad. You're a clown. Don't make me feel guilty. Did I make you go to clown college?

The real downside of clown activism is the possibility that their technology could fall into the wrong hands.


"This is Geraldo Rivera. I'm here at the scene of the latest terror incident. We don't know what happened. U.N. forces were patrolling this peaceful area when suddenly a six-foot toy car drove up ... the doors flung open ... and out came 50,000 guerrillas!"

And you know the inevitable escalation will lead to...

...the mimes.


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