1. That’s all I get. And what’s the guy at the top left doing with his hands?!

  2. Phil, I believe that guy is grating cheese.

    I think that pick would actually make short work of a mime. Especially one from California.

  3. Again…. Isn’t that enough?

    “Mime” sounds like “mine” and there’s a lot of cultural trope riding on the idea of an old gold rush era California Gold Mine. So it’d be absurd to build up a colorful rich image of grizzled prospectors working a California Gold Mime.

  4. Right, and he’s gold in color. I think it would be better if everything and everyone weren’t the same color.

  5. Kilby/SingaporeBill: I think Kilby has it. It’s the world’s smallest box sifter, because you wouldn’t want to sift out TOO much gold, right? But I like “grating cheese” even better!

  6. @ Raymond – When I first saw this panel, I thought the “crown” of the hat work by the miner in the lower left corner was the sleeve of the shirt worn by the miner behind him. The result made me think that upturned brim was the entire hat, which made it look like a WWI helmet (weird), or one of those stereotypical Chinese “coolie” hats (even weirder).

  7. The same people who are “afraid of clowns,” Woozy.

    (Now don’t get me wrong, some clowns are actually scary, intentionally or unintentionally; but I think actual coulrophobia is rare)

  8. @ Bill – “I think actual coulrophobia is rare…
    If you are talking about adults, I think you are right, but it’s not uncommon in kids. I admit the sample size in my case is quite low, but neither of my preschoolers liked clowns or even adults wearing animal costumes.
    1) My daughter adamently declined a proposed visit to a local circus because of bad memories of a prior circus clown. We coaxed her into it anyway, and it turned out wonderfully, because the “clown” in that single family operation turned out to be the family’s pre-teen son, who was wearing only minimal makeup. Now in school, she even chose to go as a clown to this year’s Mardi Gras party, so I think she’s cured.
    2) At the age of about two or three, my son got scared out of his wits by a teenager wearing a bear costume at a local amusement park (she felt really bad about it, but I explained that she couldn’t have known about his sensitivity back then).

  9. @ CIDU Bill – “I think actual coulrophobia is rare…”

    I have clowned at quite a few parades around the country, using relatively minimal makeup. There are ALWAYS people who are afraid of clowns. I’d say more children than adults, overall. There are also always people who think it’s funny that their friend is afraid of clowns who try to get us to go over by said friends so they will scream and run away. i choose not to cooperate with this sort of thing. Scaring one’s friends for laughs seems juvenile and rather cruel to me, and I don’t wish to be part of it. But in my experience, fear of clowns is real and not really uncommon.

  10. DanV, when I was growing up, I never heard of ANYBODY being afraid of clowns. I suspect coulrophobia simply hadn’t been invented yet.

    Nowadays, I come across a lot of people who SAY they’re afraid of clowns, but barely try to be convincing. Like our neighbor’s kid who was at a parade with us and as the clowns walked less than ten feet away, said “Bill, I’m terrified of clowns” and I said “Jo, you’re hiding it really well.”

    Of course there ARE people cruelly forced into proximity to clowns they’re genuinely afraid of, the same way I’m sometimes forced into proximity to our friends’ dog Cujo, who’s TOLD ME he wants to rip my neck out.

  11. So at the circus we have clowns, which nobody ought to be scared of but some people are, and then we have lions, which everybody ought to be scared of but many people aren’t.

    I am one of those people who would probably not survive for long in a lion cage because I’d be hugging and petting the lions, or trying to.

  12. The summer between first and second grade my parents took me (for the first and only time) to the circus – a small one. They very sensibly did this as the second grade school trip was to the Ringling Brothers, Barnum and Bailey circus. I did not (okay, I do not) do well with animals and they decided to take me to see what happened at the little circus that came around before I was to go with my class and do things which would result in having much fun made of me by the other students – again. This may have come about as the first grade had gone on a trip to the Brooklyn Children’s Museum – I had been there many times with my parents and loved it. No one had told me of a second building with – animals. They even had us sit in a circle and they let the animals loose – bunnies and other animals roaming free just waiting to bite me led to my terrorized by that trip. So I presume they were trying to prevent a repeat in second grade.

    While at the small circus they apparently avoided what I now know exists – the menagerie. I guess they did not figure that I would also be afraid of the – yes – clowns. (After all, following the discussion on another thread – Red Skelton, Emmett Kelly and similar clown and comedians had never scared me.)

    Suffice to say on the day the second grade went to the circus, I went back to my first grade teacher’s classroom with her new first grade students for the day – and did not go to the circus.

    The only other time I went to a circus was while in college. My house plan (similar to a sorority, but with British place names and no pledging and ours did not have an actual house – nor did the sororities and most of the fraternities at the college I went to – still friends with 2 of the other house plan members) would have a quiz every meeting and the winner of the quiz would get tickets to something and then do the quiz for the next time. Yes – I won tickets to the circus.

    Robert and I had our first date a couple of weeks before and figuring I was grown up now – what could happen – I asked him to go with me. (He paid for dinner at “Chez” Burger King before we went.) Well, the fact we are still together after my fear of the animals and of the clowns says a lot for him – and remember, I went not knowing there was a menagerie and more before the show.

    So yes – there are people who are afraid of clowns – me for one.

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