It doesn’t matter who you are, where you were born, or how your experiences differ from one another. Unequivocally, we all have at least one memory from childhood that is burned into our memories, which instantly can bring some level of fear, if not full-blown panic.
For me, it is this guy:
While I understand most of you may not think this “Clown” is very scary, indulge me while I “paint” my childhood experience. Picture this: I have just turned six years old. I’m all excited because Mom and Dad have let me know that I have graduated to the “Big Boy” room; where I get to sleep without my three year-old brother. Alone.
Initially, there is huge bout of excitement with the oncoming novelty. There are pictures of playing Star Wars in my head, making my room the Death Star. I’m feeling full of gusto. My Mom brings me into the room for the first time, just before bed. She tucks me in, I believe also reading me a bedtime story, as any mother worth her salt would do. As I settle in to nod off, Mom puts the book away. From behind her head, who do I see looking down at me from the wall? None other than the clown-faced killer.
He may not seem that menacing, though just look at it through the eyes of a six year-old who is without a night-light. Look at “Eduardo” (as I now affectionately refer to him), he has the straw-like hair of a crazy person, the facial hair growth of a hobo and those eyes, oh, those eyes…I swear they would dart to and fro, laughing at me. The worst part about it was, I happened to be the age where I didn’t want to make a fuss because I had just been promoted to the status of “Big Boy”. I wasn’t going to give up that title without a fight.
For the most part, I figure I lucked out in the parents department, save this one choice. Who in their right mind would put this up in their young son’s bedroom? Let’s just say there was a marked increase in bed-wetting instances after that night. I’ve tried to take the high road on this one but honestly Mom, this decision ranks up there with your choice to buy the family cross-country skis that one Christmas. Used one time and never saw the light of day again.
After “Eduardo”, there was my fourth grade music teacher, who can most aptly be described as a cross between these two images:
<—This And This —>
Nice lady, honestly. I just made sure to sit up straight and her class and constantly be amongst friends, just in case she decided she was going to peel back her skin, exposing her alien self, before eating one of us. “Safety in numbers” doesn’t just refer to how an enemy will be defeated, it’s more talking about your increased chance of escape, due to the predator not knowing which target to focus on. Let’s just say I sat beside the kid with asthma in Miss B’s class for good reason.
Thankfully, I have grown older, wiser and much braver. I now hang “Eduardo” proudly in my bedroom, feeling comfortable with the fact that his lurking eyes have remained just that, plus he serves his purpose on Saturday mornings; when an overly-spry companion starts giving me “relationship material” eyes. I make sure to “sleep” an extra hour after she wakes up. Eduardo doesn’t exactly inspire a warm, fuzzy feeling. I also believe Miss B to be dead and gone, or at least to have teleported back to her home planet, taking a few tasty tots as “tapatizers”.
While I remain confident I can handle whatever life throws at me, there are only three things that scare me to the point of the “pant-leg trickle-trickle”. Those things are:
Which in turn, inevitably leads to one of these:
Thankfully, I have been able to keep my wits about me to this point. I’ve realized I have to keep my head on a swivel, or I’ll wind up being the proud owner of some creepy, “Remember When” photos and my very own, crying, pooping kidapillar.
If fortune does happen to deliver me such a knockout blow, I realize fully that the ride is over. The little tyrants will consume my life completely with soccer practice, dance recitals and Saturday afternoons with Pixar’s latest offering. While I will accept such a fate bravely, I have one last card to play. I look forward to the day I will hang “Eduardo” in my child’s bedroom.