Eel Wielding Clowns

Eel Wielding Clowns

By Rachel Birdsell

Halloween is one of my favorite holidays. Love the costumes. Love the creepy factor. Love the decorations. However, should said costumes, creepiness or decorations involve clowns in any way, I do not love them. In fact, I do the opposite of love them. But clowns are about the most common thing that scares me. Most things that other people find scary don’t bother me: snakes, spiders, sharks, etc. Instead, my fears are irrational, unfounded and probably a bit odd. So, while the most of you are being scared this Halloween by the usual things, I’ll be huddled in the corner trying to stay away from the following:

• Parking Garages. My sole source of the fear is that because in the movies if someone is in a parking garage, they’re going to be killed.

• Cave Crickets. The pale Quasimodo of crickets is also known as a humpback cricket, camel cricket and creepy little bastard cricket.

• Texas. I’ve been told that I’d like Austin. Unfortunately, I probably won’t ever find out for myself because Austin happens to be surrounded by the rest of Texas.

• Corn Fields. I’ll never understand why someone thought that having a maze in a corn field would be an entertaining way to pass the time. They’re always advertised as family fun, but I’m pretty sure that’s only if your family enjoys having the poop scared out of them.

• Someone looking over my shoulder while facing me. I don’t care if there is a large, hatchet-wielding man running up behind me. I’d rather die blissfully ignorant of the fact.

• Seeing a single shoe on the side of the road. Why only one? Where’s the person whose foot used to be in the shoe? Finding the foot still in the shoe, minus the person it was attached to would be even scarier.

• Hairless Pets. I don’t mean the kinds that are hairless because you’ve just attempted grooming them yourself. I mean the kinds that are genetically hair-free. I always want to knit an angora sweater for them, so they’ll be cute and fluffy again instead of ugly and naked and slightly menacing.

• Eels. I don’t mind snakes or fish, but when they combine into one animal I’m terrified. Since I don’t spend a lot of time in bodies of water, I’m pretty sure I’m safe from being attacked by a band of wild eels. Of course, the reason I don’t spend a lot of time in bodies of water could be because I’m scared of being attacked by a band of wild eels.

This Halloween if you hear of my death, it’s because I encountered a clown standing in a corn field in the middle of Texas, holding a single shoe and a Raggedy Ann doll, with an eel draped around his neck, and a hairless cat beside him who wouldn’t stop snacking on cave crickets.

Rachel Birdsell is a freelance writer and artist. You can drop her a line at

Categories: Commentary