Punch Drunk: Is Richmond Next on the Creepy Clown Hit List? 

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I believe it was Robert Frost who wrote, “The woods are lovely, dark and deep, and filled with ax-wielding psychos in clown outfits.”

So true, Bob.

The creepy clown sightings started in Greenville, South Carolina, and worked their way northeast, where last week they spread to Winston-Salem and Greensboro, North Carolina. If my calculations are correct and they stay on their current course, Richmond will be the next stop on the creepy clown world tour.

Hide your kids, hide your wife.

By now you’ve probably heard of the clown incidents, but if not, let me fill you in.

In Greenville on Aug. 20, there were multiple reports of “a suspicious person dressed in circus clown clothing and white face paint” trying to lure kids into the woods close to Fleetwood Manor Apartments. More people came forward, many of them children, claiming they too had seen clowns, and in some cases, the clowns were trying to lure them into the woods with money and flashing lights.

Police have yet to verify any of these reports, but there have been so many of these clown sightings that I’m going to go ahead and conclude that there are in fact homicidal clowns in the woods. Clowns who want to abduct your children. Clowns who at one point were just normal looking people in Party City, shopping for clown accessories.

The clown — at least in one of the North Carolina sightings — had on white overalls, white gloves, red shoes with red bushy hair, a white face and a red nose, witnesses told police.

Well that’s just great. As if our dreams needed more haunting. I’m sitting over here worried about the zika virus and Donald Trump’s getting elected while there are murderous clowns in the woods trying to steal our children!

We can only hope that it’s an insane clown working by himself and is not some posse of deranged jesters enticing kids to wooded gatherings — the thought of which is almost too terrifying to comprehend.

I need a Faygo to calm my nerves.

Some conspiracy types are claiming that the clowns have no ill intent and are connected to the release of the independent horror movie “31” by director Rob Zombie. The movie features a gang of sadistic clowns. Others are suggesting that it has something to do with an upcoming remake of Stephen King’s “It” — which is about a clown who abducts children.

That this could be some viral marketing stunt seems unlikely. Would someone really take the chance of getting shot by police or run after by a man wielding a machete — as one of these clowns allegedly was — for a stupid horror movie?

Saban Films, which is distributing Zombie’s new movie, released a statement saying, “The company and the film ‘31’ are not associated in any way with the creepy clowns and costumed characters found roaming the South.”

Whether or not that’s true, I’m sure they probably don’t mind all of this creepy-clown publicity.

One wonders how this will play out. Will this roving band of clowns be stopped? Will someone be caught? Or will this remain some sort of urban legend?

Obviously, at a national level, we must outlaw all clowns. Even the nice ones like Bozo and Krusty.

As for candidates running for national, state and local elected positions, may I suggest you come down hard on clowns. Maybe even go so far as to advocate an outright clown ban. Your opponent has been supporting clowns and clown colleges for years. He is pro-clown roaming the woods near your residential areas. He *is not* for the children.

(Or in the case of Trump, he is an actual clown.)

I also recommend taking P.T. Barnum to task and breaking up the Big Circus conglomerates, but that may prove troublesome. In addition to all of the out-of-work bearded ladies, we’d have to start treating the elephants with respect, and I don’t think we as a society are ready for that.

Sadly, this is all hitting way too close to home for me.

I’ve never told anyone this, but a creepy clown has been coaxing me into his house to play in his ball pit and eat his burgers for a long time. He uses miniature toys as lures. Occasionally he invites me to play Monopoly.

Goes by Ron.

*Shudders.* S

Jack Lauterback also is co-host of “Mornings with Melissa and Jack” on 103.7 Play weekdays from 6-9. Connect with him at letters@styleweekly.com, or on Twitter at @jackgoesforth.

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