Being the Definitive Collection of Works by Allison Holt


(Much like the author)

Clowning Around

Posted in Me, Family on May 9, 2005

We took the kids to The Circus yesterday–and I feel safe in capitalizing “The Circus” like that because it was the Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey Circus; if anyone has the right to be known as just “The Circus” in the U.S., it’s certainly Ringling. Kelsey had an absolute blast watching all of the animals and acrobats and clowns, and dancing in the aisles; Laurel simply went into Stimulation Overload Mode and tried to pass out in my lap.

But this post isn’t about them; it is, as always, about me. Me me me.

First off, I was surprised at how entertained I was by the entire spectacle. I hadn’t been to a circus performance since I was ten or so and hadn’t really been looking forward to this one, either–I was looking forward to my kids’ reaction to the show but, being something of a cranky bastard when it comes to such hallmarks of childlike wonder as circuses and, well, holidays, I wasn’t all that geared up for the show itself. And c’mon, I’m a thirty-four-year old man (don’t snigger at my use of that word, “man”–at least biologically it’s true); surely I’m not even allowed to enjoy the circus, am I?

Enjoy it I did, though. The whole troupe was so incredibly professional–every single performer was “on” until he or she was out of view of the audience. Everyone involved looked as if there was absolutely nothing they’d rather be doing than perform in front of an audience in gaudily-decorated spandex. (The performers were in the spandex, not the audience. Well, some of the audience was in spandex. OK, fine…it was just me.)

The animal acts were pretty cool, as animal acts usually are; I certainly didn’t have a proper appreciation for exactly how large an animal a tiger is until I saw one standing on its hind legs and towering over a full-grown man. The acrobats, especially the Inner Mongolia Acrobatic Troupe (twenty-one unbelievably agile Chinese guys jumping through tiny hoops and climbing twenty-foot-high poles with their thighs), fairly well blew my mind. I’ve always admired the incredible work and dedication professional acrobatics obviously require.

The wife pointed out something else impressive I hadn’t even noticed, mainly because it was tucked off to the side out of the way in a corner–the live band. I’d just assumed all of the music was canned, but upon reflection that didn’t make much sense: each of the acts has so many variables that could affect their performance differently from show to show that there’s no way they could time everything perfectly to a pre-recorded track. The band instead had to time what they were playing to what the acts were doing, which can’t be easy.

Even the show’s lead clown–well, “clown” doesn’t quite seem to describe him right, though technically it’s true, but he’s as much daredevil as clown, and he doesn’t do the whole greasepainted-face thing. I think the man must be at least a little insane to be doing some of the things he was doing during the show, one of which involved running around on a swirling man-sized hamster cage four stories off the ground. I don’t want to spoil the whole thing here, but if you get a chance to go see the 135th Edition of the Ringling Circus, you should go.

And anyway, this post isn’t really about all of that; it’s about the fact that I just Googlestalked a clown.

Understand: I don’t like clowns. I find them pretty inherently goddamn creepy overall and I’ve never really found them particularly funny, likely because of the whole aforementioned “creepy” thing. The father of one of my best friends growing up loved clowns: the walls of the bathroom in his apartment were practically wallpapered in pictures and paintings of clowns (mostly sad clowns, doubly distrubing), and tiny porcelain statues of clowns covered every available surface. Believe me when I say that I tried never, ever to have to take a leak when I was in his apartment.

Overall, the clowns at the performance yesterday were no different to me. They were doing the typical goofy clown things, though doing them very well, admittedly; it’s just not the kind of the thing I usually enjoy. But this one clown…I hate to admit this, especially in a public forum like this, but…one of the clowns was turning me on.

I know. I KNOW.

I don’t want to provide much in the way of details here, mainly on the incredibly remote chance that said clown ever Googlestalks herself and somehow winds up back here; then chances are good I’d have turned the tables and skeezed out a clown instead of the other way around. And as much fun as it might be to get that kind of revenge on clownkind, I’d likely not even know about it unless the offended clown emailed me to call me a demented clown-stalking pervo, which would technically be true and would likely send me to weekly therapy sessions.

ANYWAY. This clown was tall, and she moved her body during the dance sequences with the obvious grace of someone who’s had more than a little dance training. Either of those traits on their own tend to make a women attractive to me; both of them together exert a magnetic pull on my gonads that’s impossible to ignore. Yes, OK, fine, so she was wearing so much whiteface I couldn’t possibly see what she really looked like, especially from sixty yards away, and she was wearing an incredibly goofy costume that certainly wasn’t designed to elicit the kind of reaction she was getting from me, but still. The way she moved was just dead sexy. Y’know, for a clown.

Editor’s Note From the Distant Future of 2019: In retrospect, the following paragraphs are now awfully cringey – like, even moreso than the rest of this post – but I’m keep them here because they were part of the original piece. Live and learn, so the saying goes.

I fired up the ol’ Webbernet when I got home and it turns out that the Ringling website lists all of the members of its clown troupes. And it turns out that said listing provides both the real name and pictures of each of the clowns in full costume and makeup–meaning I could identify the target of my clownish lust.

Which meant that I had enough information for some primo Googlestalking action.

Again, I’m not providing any details on what I found; all I have to say is: SPROING! And I think it says something about my ability to pick out the hotties when I can spot ‘em from sixty yards away in full clown gear (the hotties, not…oh, never mind).

Allison Holt spends her days wrestling with code and her nights wrestling with her amazing wife, three fantastic children and her big goofy rescue dog. You can find her at any of the social media links below, or you can email her at

All wrestling referred to in the previous paragraph is metaphorical.