Pennywise and clown foolish

Clowns scare the hell out of us. We're not sure when it started, because we can remember watching The Bozo Show growing up and not even flinching. It might have been after we read It, the Stephen King novel that introduced the psychotic clown Pennywise into our subconscious. Maybe it was the documentary that we saw about the life of John Wayne Gacy, the serial killer who worked as a clown. Whenever it started, all we know is that clowns of every stripe frighten the bejesus out of us.

Our clown phobia is the reason we haven't been to a circus in years. We even change the channel when the ads for the upcoming Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey Circus come on the screen. Yes, it's silly, but we still won't be at the circus when it comes to Reunion Arena. We'd rather take a trip to the dentist's office to have a root canal. Still, we wish we could go back to a time when all we wanted to do was go to the circus and eat cotton candy and watch the animals. Back then, we would have loved to be the ringmaster, down on the floor in the middle of the action.

On July 19, one lucky kid will get that opportunity if he or she is chosen as a junior ringmaster. Much like the actual ringmaster, the job doesn't entail much, mostly just acting important and trying to pull off a look (top hat, tails) that's usually only appropriate if you're driving a hansom cab. One hundred children between the ages of 7 and 12 will audition for the job, equipped with a top hat and a script of the classic "ladies and gentleman, children of all ages" show opening. It sounds like a neat idea, and we wish we could go watch the kids strut their stuff. Unfortunately, the event will be hosted by a clown emcee.

--Zac Crain

The Sears Search for Dallas' Junior Ring-master happens at Center Court at Valley View Mall, located at 13131 Preston Road, on Sunday, July 19. The contest is open to the first 100 children (ages 7-12) that register. Registration begins at 12:30 p.m., and the contest gets under way at 1 p.m. The winner will receive 10 tickets to the August 1 performance of the circus and a $100 Sears Gift Certificate. Ringling Bros. And Barnum & Bailey Circus will be at Reunion Arena from July 29 to August 9. Call (214) 373-8000 for tickets.

 
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