Clowning around? We’re in no mood

Graeme Maclean/Creative Commons

Graeme Maclean/Creative Commons

No time for this

Clowns have been giving people the creeps lately, even more than usual. Sightings of menacing-looking “creepy clowns” started in South Carolina a couple of months ago and since then have spread all over the United States.

The epidemic has even reached Snohomish County. Local schools warned parents after reported clown sightings and clown-themed threats in social media. Then three teens in clown masks were arrested in Lake Stevens last week after they allegedly tried to rob a grocery store.

It’s a good thing J.P. Patches wasn’t around to see all of this. It’d be enough to turn his big red smile upside down.

In our latest poll at and on Twitter, we asked how you’d handle it if you came across a clown in the wild. You reacted with an abundance of caution.

Fifty-six percent said they would ignore the clown. If you can ignore a man with a bright red nose, white mask and orange wig, you’ve truly mastered the Seattle Freeze.

Sixteen percent said they would call the police. Presumably the clown would have to do something wrong before the police responded. If the cops arrested everyone who stood around looking creepy, every guy in my gym’s locker room would be hauled off to the hoosegow.

Only 15 percent would smile or laugh — at a clown. 2016 is such a bummer. Maybe this is why there are so many sad clowns.

And 13 percent said they would engage the clown in conversation. Sample conversation starters: “Those are lovely shoes. Where do you shop for size 27?” Or, “Do you know of any local car dealership that sells a VW Bug with room for 30 people?” Or, “How about those Seahawks?” That last one works in just about any awkward social situation.

Do NOT ask about the election, though. You don’t want to hear about the clown he’s voting for.

— Doug Parry,; @parryracer

Talk to us

More in Local News

Marysville firefighters respond to a 12-year-old boy who fell down a well Tuesday May 30, 2023 in Marysville, Washington. (Photo provided by Marysville Fire District)
Marysville firefighters save boy who fell 20 feet into well

The 12-year-old child held himself up by grabbing on to a plastic pipe while firefighters worked to save him.

Highway 9 is set to be closed in both directions for a week as construction crews build a roundabout at the intersection with Vernon Road. (Washington State Department of Transportation)
Weeklong closure coming to Highway 9 section in Lake Stevens

Travelers should expect delays or find another way from Friday to Thursday between Highway 204 and Lundeen Parkway.

Students arriving off the bus get in line to score some waffles during a free pancake and waffle breakfast at Lowell Elementary School on Friday, May 26, 2023, in Everett, Washington. (Ryan Berry / The Herald)
800 free pancakes at Everett’s Lowell Elementary feed the masses

The annual breakfast was started to connect the community and the school, as well as to get people to interact.

Marysville Mayor Jon Nehring speaks at the groundbreaking event for the I-5/SR 529 Interchange project on Tuesday, May 23, 2023 in Marysville, Washington. (Olivia Vanni / The Herald)
$123M project starting on Highway 529 interchange, I-5 HOV lane

A reader wondered why the highway had a lane closure despite not seeing work done. Crews were waiting on the weather.

Justin Bell was convicted earlier this month of first-degree assault for a December 2017 shooting outside a Value Village in Everett. (Caleb Hutton / Herald file)
Court: Snohomish County jurors’ opaque masks didn’t taint verdict

During the pandemic, Justin Bell, 32, went on trial for a shooting. Bell claims his right to an impartial jury was violated.

Gary Fontes uprights a tree that fell over in front of The Fontes Manor — a miniature handmade bed and breakfast — on Friday, May 12, 2023, at his home near Silver Lake in Everett, Washington. (Ryan Berry / The Herald)
Everett’s mini-Frank Lloyd Wright builds neighborhood of extra tiny homes

A tiny lighthouse, a spooky mansion and more: Gary Fontes’ miniature world of architectural wonders is one-twelfth the size of real life.

Will Steffener
Inslee appoints Steffener as Superior Court judge

Attorney Will Steffener will replace Snohomish County Superior Court Judge Janice Ellis, who is retiring in June.

Mountlake Terrace Library, part of the Sno-Isle Libraries, in Mountlake Terrace, Washington on Thursday, June 1, 2023. (Annie Barker / The Herald)
Sno-Isle workers cite safety, unfilled positions in union push

Workers also pointed to inconsistent policies and a lack of a say in decision-making. Leadership says they’ve been listening.

A view over the Port of Everett Marina looking toward the southern Whidbey Island fault zone in March 2021. (Olivia Vanni / The Herald)
Snohomish County agencies to simulate major disaster

The scenario will practice the response to an earthquake or tsunami. Dozens of agencies will work with pilots.

Most Read