Part of my photo project Thrift Shop Hell, documenting weird and wonderful thrift store finds from the Upper Midwest.
So the thing about clowns is, clowns are weird. They’re a bit creepy by default. I’m not even afraid of clowns (I know some people are), and I find clown figurines to be a bit, well, off-putting.
There are a LOT of clown figurines at thrift stores and secondhand shops. And every single of them is a bit, well, iffy. If I let it happen, this entire project could be 100% creepy clown figurines—but where’s the fun in that?
So early, early on, one of the ground rules laid down for this project was, it can’t just be a clown. If you look at it and say, “Why is it creepy?” and your answer is, “Well, it’s a clown,” then, sorry. “Just a clown” isn’t enough.
Standards are higher for clowns. We expect more of them. They have to be, for example, posed provocatively. Or surfing, for no easily discernible reason.
Or, you know, maybe THE UNDEAD SPAWN OF SATAN HIMSELF SERIOUSLY WHAT THE %#@& IS GOING ON HERE SOMEONE HOLD ME HELP
The lady at the secondhand shop said it was an ashtray. Like it was no big deal. She also opined that it was, and I quote, “cute.”
I am starting to get seriously unsettled by ladies at secondhand shops.