I guess I'd always thought that professional clowns delusionally believed themselves to be entertainers of children, who always put a smile on their faces. If the cover (and back cover) of Emmett Kelly's autobiography is any indication, Mr. Kelly -- the godfather of circus clowns -- knew exactly what he was: an unholy monster. Clown: My Life in Tatters and Smiles shows Kelly in full-on sad hobo clown mode on the front cover, then again on the back, where he's terrifying the crap out of a small child. He even seems bored with the whole scenario, as if it's happened to him a thousand times before, and the screams of a boy are only the background noise to the career path he's chosen.
Now, I couldn't bring myself to read the autobiography of a frightener of children, but I imagine this book is required reading in clown college courses across America. But after looking at the back cover -- or, let's be honest, the front -- who in their right mind would choose to become a clown? Someone who hates children and wants to see them miserable? If so, I think that might explain the continuing existence of a clown industry, and it might be something that the police want to look into. That is, if they aren't profiling clowns for all serial killings and kidnappings already.