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Doug Clark: There’s nothing creepy about Dougles the Clown, although he’s inappropriately dressed for a South Hill cocktail party

Doug Clark combats “creepy clown” hysteria by dressing up as Dougles the Clown. Although on second thought, maybe there is something to the whole “creepy clown” thing. (Courtesy photo)

Greetings, ladies and germaphobes!

It’s me – Dougles the Clown.


Doug Clark, The Spokesman-Review’s aging Communist, I mean columnist, has taken yet another day off. But this time he’s loaned me his soapbox to discuss an important cause.

Although if we’re being totally honest, the way newspapers are headed, Clark’s soapbox wouldn’t pack a used bar of Ivory.


Anyhoo, he’s allowed me, Dougles the Clown, to speak out on the rampant discrimination that rivals sexism, racism, ageism or even priapism.

Hey, look it up.

I’m talking about the evils of clownism, of course.

Here we are, a week before Halloween and yet America’s once-beloved clown community is being treated like Donald Trump at a Miss Teen pageant.


According to CBS news, the entire nation is more freaked out than Janet Leigh in the “Psycho” shower scene over a “wave of creepy clown sightings across the United States.”

Schools have banned all things clown with automatic suspension for anybody who even utters the word “pratfall.”

Major stores like Target have stopped selling clown costumes and accessories. Thugs have threatened to pummel clowns on sight, which may sound hilarious unless you’re the clown.

But it gets worse.

The Spokane City Council won’t let Ben Stuckart attend meetings anymore.

To improve its image, the band “Insane Clown Posse” changed its name to “Incest Cannibal Patrol.”

Hey-hey-hey. If I’m lying, I’m dying!

You know, that reminds Dougles of these cannibals who caught a clown once and ate him for dinner.

Halfway through the meal one cannibal turns to the other and says:

“Does this clown taste funny?”


Tough crowd. It’s getting really rough out there for a clown to get yuks anymore.

The other day I bought a new red fright wig.

Had to meet this shady dude in a dark alley on West First. The guy opened the trunk of his car and told me he’d toss in some free pills if I’d take the giant shoes, too.

What could I do?

I said, “Sure thing, Mr. Mayor.”

What’s wrong with YOU PEOPLE?

Doesn’t anybody have a sense of levity, anymore?

Clowns are about fun. Clowns are about joy. Clowns are about misshapen squiggly balloon animals and circuses and riding tiny tricycles and cotton candy and laughter, lots and lots of laughter.

Sure, there may be a weirdo now and then who likes to dress up in clown garb and commit acts of depravity.

John Wayne Gacy, say.

But he’s the serial killer clown exception. The vast majority of clowns are decent folks who follow the caring, joyful traditions of Bozo the Clown and Clarabell the Clown and Pennywise the …

OK. Bad example on that last one.

But you get what I mean. This anti-clown hysteria must stop.

To achieve that goal, Dougles the Clown was born on Saturday night.

He donned the grease paint, the silly big red and yellow shoes, the white gloves, the rainbow-colored bow tie, the unlit cigar, and the honking red rubber nose.

And then Dougles headed off to a fancy Halloween party on the South Hill.

Daughter Emily was conscripted to reluctantly apply the face paint, but even she had been infected by the clownism virus.

Every few seconds during the makeup process she would mutter the words, “terrifying, terrifying.”

So biased.

Emily got her ideas for the Dougles the Clown “look” by consulting her pal, Dakota Keller, a real Hollywood costume designer, who has worked on a string of movies.

Dakota emailed an outline noting the many clown possibilities, like, say, the ringmaster clown, the hobo clown, the rodeo clown, the operatic clown, those TSA clowns that grope you at the airport …

Don’t get me started!

“I want to be a sad clown,” I told Emily, “because my heart aches for all of my clowning brothers and sisters.”

“Terrifying,” she replied.

“Stop that!” countered Dougles, honking his red nose.

A half-hour or so later, Dougles was ready to go to the aforementioned party where he …

Stuck out like a Hutterite in a meth lab.

Smokey Robinson was right. Ain’t too much sadder than the tears of a clown.

The problem was that the party’s theme was a sophisticated cocktail affair as in the “Mad Men” TV show. So everybody looked positively smashing in vintage suits and tuxedo jackets and Donna Reed dresses.

“I’m here to rekindle your clown love,” said Dougles to the other revelers, who stared at the intruding clown like a roach in the crab dip.

“You should be careful going out to your car,” warned a partier who was worried the anti-clown climate might get Dougles mugged or worse.

Thank God for bourbon.

Fortunately, nobody attacked Dougles, perhaps because he hurried home as fast as he could so he could hop straight into the shower.

It’s not easy being the life of the party because I tell a joke or two.

All that cheap face paint made Dougles’ eyes burn like the morning after five-star curry.


Doug Clark is a columnist for The Spokesman-Review. He can be reached at (509) 459-5432 or by email at

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