“What will I do if I encounter a blood-smeared demon clown while walking my labradoodle tomorrow morning?” Add that to the litany of ridiculous questions 2016 has forced us to ask ourselves.
Throughout the nation, people are hearing stories of figures dressed in frightening clown apparel seeking to lure children into the woods. Residents of suburban neighborhoods are becoming nervous hearing about Pennywise-inspired figures strolling down Mulberry Lane in the evening hours. Even more disturbingly, schools have gone on lockdown after clown sightings near campus.
Knowing how to respond to these circus-from-hell freaks is, like many moral quandaries, rather difficult, as there are three possible explanations for who these creepy clowns are and what their motivation might be. One possibility is that the costumed men are simply bored and confused teenagers who have embraced an unsavory trend in order to manifest the pathetic desire to frighten innocent people for entertainment. While such young men certainly deserve a strong rebuke in some form or another, we can all agree they don’t deserve to pay for their idiocy with their lives.
However, as we learned a few years ago, snorting bath salts can apparently turn you into a face-eating zombie, so another possibility is that the man behind the mask just freebased some exfoliating ginger scrub and now wants to worship the spirit of John Wayne Gacy by devouring your entrails. The third option is that the person beneath the mask is not actually a person at all, but a bona fide maggot-faced demon sent by Satan to terrorize the sons of Adam because the devil himself was too busy inspiring another recipe for pumpkin beer.
So if there are numerous explanations for what’s causing this frightening movement, we must familiarize ourselves with a variety of appropriate responses to said movement. Therefore, here are five reasonable, level-headed ways to react when encountering a creepy clown.
1. Shoot It
The most reasonable response to spotting one of these on your street at 11 p.m. is to fire a bunch of bullets into it.
Granted, police in Orem, Utah have reminded citizens that they don’t technically have the right to shoot anyone wandering around in demented clown attire, since such wandering is not technically illegal. Therefore, should you choose this option, the odds of facing a murder trial are relatively high.
However, unless the prosecution manages to stack the jury with Juggalos, your odds of being convicted are profoundly low, since the definition of “self-defense” gets much more inclusive the more the recipient of deadly force was dressed like someone who makes balloon animals in Hell. In other words, with regard to the common criminal, most Americans think justifiable homicide means “You can fire a few shots at the guy who breaks into your house.”
With regard to creepy clowns, however, most of us believe that justifiable homicide means “You can drive 300 miles to an empty park in Cherry Grove, Ohio and pump a few hundred rounds from an AK-47 into Demon Bozo. That’s fine.”
2. Ask the Clown to Identify Itself – Then Shoot It
As I said earlier, it’s entirely possible that the person who’s striking fear into the heart of your neighborhood is just a misguided, bored teenager. So if you worry that “shoot it” is too drastic a measure, you can always seek to de-escalate the situation by authoritatively approaching the clown and asking a simple question like “Who are you?”
There’s a good chance the clown will respond with, “Sorry, it’s me, Trevor from down the street. I was just goofing around,” If this happens, you might be inclined to march Trevor home and have a heartfelt talk with his parents about how their son is desperately in need of both positive attention and a healthier outlet for his creativity.
However, as every first year seminarian knows, entrails-eating demons frequently identify themselves as “Trevor from down the street,” so you should probably shoot it just to be safe.
3. Modernize the Salem Witch Trials With Bullets
If you’re still feeling a bit cautious and want a bit more proof-of-demonic-nature before firing any shots, consider the wisdom of our fathers who encountered a similar phenomenon in colonial Massachusetts. To separate true witches from the falsely accused, clever Puritans devised a series of fool-proof tests.
For example, submerge a lady in water. If she survives, she’s a witch. Feel free to burn her at the stake. If she drowns, however, she’s innocent. Give her a Christian burial and send her parents a nice fruit basket for their trouble.
Modernizing these methods for creepy clowns would be a helpful strategy. If you spot someone in a freaky circus performer costume on an evening jog, how do you tell if it’s a human being or a demonic entity? Just shoot it a bunch of times. If it lives, move on to option four. If it dies, you can relax, knowing that you just killed a regular person, so there was no reason to be afraid.
4. Blow It Up with a Bazooka
Bullets are useful for killing both stupid people and psychotic people, but less effective on demons enfleshed in creepy clown form. Fire, however, works much better at neutralizing all three targets. So you might want to skip less incendiary firearms and opt for something a little more rocket-launchery for the sake of covering your bases.
5. Go to Church
While bombs and bullets are a useful solution to the creepy crown problem, a more effective approach to dealing with our fear of evil might be to put our trust in the One who has overcome evil and who has promised that his Father will deliver us from evil.
Furthermore, bringing our kids to the place where they hear of a real savior’s victory over a real devil and his real demons is the best way to comfort them when they’re troubled by the frightening figures and phantasmal forces of this world. Bringing your children to church could also prevent them from becoming troubled young men who hop on sadistic bandwagons because they don’t know what it means to have a place of honor in the kingdom of God.
Granted, if the spiritual approach seems too long-term a solution for your tastes, or if you don’t see any value in overcoming fear and dread through the gospel promise, it would still be good to have you at church on Sunday morning—mainly because if a creepy clown shows up during the service, you could shoot it.