More Recession Woes

Oh, the horrors. Oh, the travesties. Oh, the injustice and inhumanity of it all! First there was that pitiful wealthy housewife who has to clean her own kitchen sink (American Woman Cleans Own Sink: Media General, March 22, 2009)

Now? Now it’s the clowns. Yes ladies and gentleman, the recession has forced clowns to clean their own kitchen sinks! Well, I’m making that up, but clowns are suffering too.  Why? Is it because we don’t need them more than ever to make us laugh during these trying and often dark, hopeless economic times? Has the price of greasepaint and animal balloons skyrocketed?

Alas, it appears kiddie birthday parties just aren’t what they used to be. So that woman who’s now cleaning her own sink and cooking dinner for her family? She’s not hiring Blimpy, Bozo or Oopsy for Junior’s birthday party. But don’t take it from me, trust a clown: “I have a lot of people telling me they’re having a party, they are just not having entertainment and catering,” stated Oopsy the clown.

Catering? For a child’s birthday party? Why yes! And event planners too, like David Tutera, of New York, who said his clients still want to have parties, but just not quite as lavish. “I think they’re not getting the $5000 birthday cake for their 5-year old. They’re still going to have the fun theme party…it’s not going to be so opulent.”

$5000 birthday cake? For a 5 year old? Did he get a Ferrari too? What are the party favors, Wii games?

But enough about them, let’s get back to the clowns.  The Associated Press caught up with Oopsy, who recently added a complimentary bubble machine to her package in order to entice customers. Like the parents of the one year old who hired Oopsy (and her bubble machine) for their kid’s Monkey-themed 1st birthday party.

A clown for a one year old’s party? I’m in my forties and still afraid of clowns. You think a bunch of one year olds are gonna drop their sippy cups to hug a clown? There’s a well-known phenomena among children: They who worship a large entertainment character from afar are deathly terrified of same character up close and personal.

Think Mickey Mouse: My son squealed, wiggled and giggled when he spotted Mickey across the pavement at Disney World. When Mickey walked up to our dinner table, my same son screamed, started crying, literally leapt out of his daddy’s arms, jumped across the table and buried his face in my lap.

Think Barney: My daughter slept with no fewer than 3, (that’s three) stuffed Barney dolls. She fixated on every horrid sketch, song and dance glowing in her face from the shiny TV screen. When Barney was the guest at a festival and approached her, my same daughter screamed, started sobbing, put the death grip on my neck and buried her (still screaming) face in my ear.

Good luck Oopsy.

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