Kids misbehaving? Well, if you’re in Florida, you might consider hiring this professional clown to traumatize the living hell out of them.
This is Wrinkles, and he is all your nightmares come to life. He’s a Southwest Florida clown that you can pay to show up at your gathering, special event, or just to scare your children within an inch of their lives. He sports a unique (and frighteningly unforgettable) mask with empty black eye holes and sagging skin, but he claims he’s just your run-of-the-mill clown, despite offering some interesting services.
Wrinkles tells the Washington Post he was recently hired to scare a 12-year-old boy who was acting out in school. The boy is afraid of clowns, so his mom called Wrinkles and offered him “a few hundred bucks” to set the boy straight. Says Wrinkles, “I showed up across the street from him at the bus stop and he just started crying in front of his friends and ran home.”
The mom supposedly called a few days later and thanked Wrinkles, telling him whenever the boy acts up now, she just asks, “Do you want Wrinkles to come back?” Hopefully she’s already putting money aside for his substantial therapy fund.
Wrinkles says it’s not the first time he’s been asked to scare a kid into good behavior. In fact, he’s constantly bombarded with all kinds of strange requests and has become something of an internet sensation. There are tons of photos and videos all over the web featuring Wrinkles lurking about, including one of him hiding in someone’s bedroom. There’s even a Google Plus page dedicated to Wrinkles sightings.
Wrinkles — a 65-year-old retiree who declined to give his real name — says he doesn’t understand what all the fuss is about. In his interview with the Washington Post he said he’s just trying to “bring scary back” instead of making “stupid balloon animals” like all the other clowns. He adds, “I’m just a good old-fashioned clown. When I was a kid it was okay to scare kids, and now they’re just all whiny and scared.”
Despite the fact that I think Wrinkles would be hilarious to grab a drink with, I really don’t think terrifying the crap out of kids is the best discipline strategy. Fear of clowns is a real and debilitating thing, and it’s extremely common in kids.
In fact, a University of Sheffield survey intended to get kids’ opinions on hospital decor found that 100 percent of the 250 kids they interviewed either strongly disliked or actively feared clowns. For the ones who fear clowns, hiring someone like Wrinkles could cause intense nightmares, crying or screaming, vomiting — really serious stuff. Hiring a scary clown might terrify your kid out of back-talking, but it’s not exactly an ideal way to teach them about boundaries or respect.
That said, if your kids aren’t horrified by clowns and love a good prank, I think Wrinkles is definitely your guy. He’s quirky and grumpy and gives no fucks. He’d be the perfect addition to your Thanksgiving gathering. Just, you know, don’t let him get ahold of any knives.