Where are the clowns?

In a shocking disclosure, news that clowns have been put on the endangered species list has triggered panic in the once-thriving clown industry. 
But are the clowns hiding or have they been stolen? Speculation has grown over the whereabouts and fate of these red-nosed creatures.
“We’re not clowning around anymore,” says a clown industry insider, who requested anonymity. “These days, when we try to ‘send in the clowns’, nothing happens. There’s just a space where the clowns are supposed to go. It could be the end of things as we know it. It could result in social chaos.”
Is the species waddling off to oblivion because the red noses no longer fit? Or is it because everybody in the entire world hates clowns?
“Personally, I think there’s a clown hoarder out there,” says renowned clown Buffo, looking nervously past his over-sized shoulder. “It’s hard for us to hide from clown hoarders because they know they just have to follow the animal-shaped balloons to find us,” Buffo’s clown tear, big and wet looking, seems real.
A rush to find replacement clowns has proven unsuccessful. Nobody is stepping forward to fill the clown shoes, possibly because the shoes are too big to fill. When concerned parents push their kids to become clowns, the answer these days is often a resounding ‘no’. Nobody knows why. 
“I don’t get it,” says one agitated parent, “we gave the kid everything, and now he just honks at us all damn day. He won’t put on the orange wig or anything. I dunno. Some people’s kids.”
Clown phobics, on the other hand, seem grateful that the clowns are disappearing. One clown-phobic says she checks under her bed every night to make sure the clowns haven’t taken up residence there. “If they’re soon extinct, good riddance, I say. Clowns scare the bejesus out of me, especially the happy-face clowns. You just never know what a happy-face clown is really thinking.”
Police are asking the public for help in locating the missing clowns, but have had limited success due to people clowning around and refusing to give straight answers. But it’s no joke, according to police. “If someone is stealing the clowns, we need to find that person now, because sooner or later there’s going to be too many pratfalls for the perpetrator to contain. Someone is going to get hurt, and that someone is probably going to be a clown. Clowns deserve better.” 
Clownologist Terri Crane doesn’t think the clowns have been stolen, though. Speaking with reporters, she says the clowns are probably just in hiding. “You know what I think? Everything and everyone has a damn holiday, except clowns. I bet they want a national clown day, and I think they should have it.” She adds that people poke fun at the profession, possibly hurting the feelings of sensitive clowns, “People will say, ‘You are such a clown’ when they really aren't. It's an injustice.”
Police say there’s no reason for panic yet. With the help of a hired clown whisperer, they feel it is only a matter of time before the missing clowns turn up. However, the clown whisperer, who asked not be named, feels that the official response to this crisis has been a case of ‘too little too late’, saying that his whispers might not reach the clowns, who could be hundreds of miles away by now. “Those little cars can take clowns a long way in very short order,” he says. “and we have to face a hard truth: without proper props and balloons, those clowns can’t survive for long.” 
In the meantime, until the missing clowns are located or new clowns recruited, it may mean a rewrite of the last words to an old song. 
    But where are the clowns?
    Quick, send in the clowns.
    Don't bother, they're extinct.

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About the Author

This bio was written by Jo Slade. As you can see she has written about herself in the third person. What normal person would do that? They just wouldn't. Who knows how many other persons might be involved in this thing, a second person? Another third? I worry about it. I - she - we - can't even keep it straight, this paragraph is a damn mess, there are persons all over the place. Round 'em up and shoot 'em. That's what I'd do, and by golly I think that's what Jo Slade would do as well.

Biographic nutshell: Jo has been messing around with words for a long time. Sometimes she'll just say words instead of writing them, it saves on paper.

The columns that appear here are of a highly serious and scholarly nature, therefore it is advised that you keep a dictionary and ponderous thoughts nearby.

If, after reading so many thought-provoking words, you find yourself tossing and turning at night, burning with the need to email me, just do it. I answer to [email protected]

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