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Tuesday, October 04, 2005


Bozo the Surgeon

There was a news story that caught my eye yesterday about a recent study which found that children undergoing surgery tend to do better when there's a clown in the room before they undergo anesthesia. What the hell is this about?

Personally, if I'm about to have someone slicing me open and fucking around with my insides, the only thing I would less want to see than a clown would be maybe a zombie. Clowns are creepy. Clowns either kill you through torture (John Wayne Gacey) or cholesterol (Ronald McDonald).

Even if you ignore the creepiness of clowns, there's still the question of professionalism. So, in the room, you've got the doctor, who went through eight years of medical school so that he could learn how to perform a triple bypass. You've got the nurse who's had six years of undergrad and nursing school so that she's qualified to monitor your vitals while your body is cut open. Then, you've got a guy who went to a summer of clown college so that he can dump a bucket of confetti on you.

You absolutely need to have someone funny in the room before surgery? Fine. Bring in the cast of Blue Collar TV to perform and I'll be too anxious to be anesthetized to think twice about my impending hip replacement.

I think a better "alternative" use of clowns might be as hostage negotiators. This runs along similar thinking to rodeo clowns. You could give the psychopaths holding their families at gunpoint someone at whom they can really vent their fury.

I guess, at the heart of all this, I just don't want to think that the world's been made a better place because of Patch Adams. If a Robin Williams movie was to have a lasting impact on society, I'd really rather it was Popeye, which taught us that even Robert Altman fucks up every once in awhile.

The best part about that whole clown story was seeing it scroll across the CNN ticker. There are slow news days and then there are slow news days.
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