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Dear Inquirist: The Clown House

By The Editorial Board

Hello Inquirist,

I have a big problem. Every few days, a clown in full makeup knocks on my door and asks if they could buy my house. They offer me a “zillion” dollars and when I say no, they make a sad balloon animal, throw a pie in my face, and leave. This has been going on for about 10 months now, and I’m at my wit’s end. While the clown (or clowns—I can’t tell if it’s the same one each time) is very polite, and even funny some days, I simply do not want to sell my house. Nor do I understand WHY a clown (or clowns) would want my property in particular. It’s an unremarkable two bedroom flat in the downtown Charleston, SC area.

When I ask my other neighbors if a clown has come to them with the same proposition, they say yes but only in that the clown asked if they knew that my property was for sale. I tried putting up a “sold” sign on my house, but then he would just ask me what other clown I had sold it to, instead of him. I tried going to the police, but they did not believe me (ironically, they called me a “clown” for attempting to file such an absurd complaint).

What, even, is a zillion dollars?

What should I say to the clown to stop him from badgering me? What, even, is a zillion dollars? And what do I do with the ever-growing number of sad balloon animals I have accumulated? I don’t want them, but I also can’t bear to throw them out. Someone (a clown) made it for me.


Just wondering.

Dear Mr. Wondering,

That IS a big problem. You sure are in deep! Believe it or not, you are not the first homeowner to write to us about this problem. We have yet to determine why so many clowns are so attracted to the Charleston metropolitan area, but we’d nonetheless like to offer some suggestions as you swim up the creek, paddleless.

First, you must know that clowns travel in groups of twenty, loaded into small cars. As such, it is most likely a different clown each day that you encounter. Whether they are in cahoots with each other is less clear, and less important.

…apartment buildings nowadays enforce a strict “no clowning” ordinance.

A zillion dollars is quite a bit of money. It is the opinion of the editorial board that it is both a hilarious and extremely business-savvy offer. You get a cool “Z,” and the clowns get what they want: to live in your house. Questions about why they would pay so much, indeed why they want specifically your house at all are best left unasked. Quite simply, your concerns are unfounded. Clowns (especially the best-behaved ones) know that there is a time and place for buffoonery, and it is most certainly not in your domicile. They will surely confine their flim-flammery and hijinks to the functions they are hired to perform at. Also, apartment buildings nowadays enforce a strict “no clowning” ordinance. You have nothing to worry about.

One thing to check for is if the clown you sell your house to is really a jester in disguise, and he is moonlighting as a clown to gain your trust. This is very common! To make sure you’re selling your house to a responsible clown, and not some boorish two-timing jester, jostle the clown and then listen closely. If you hear a honking-like noise, you’re safe in clown town. Much like a horse hides its hooves on its feet, clowns keep their horn makers inside the soles of their shoes. If, however, you hear jingling bells, immediately close the door and lock it shut, as a dirty jester is trying to take your home.

Regarding the balloon predicament, we suggest donating all of the sad balloon animals to the children’s hospital. Nothing puts a smile on a kid’s face like a repurposed balloon animal.


The Inquirist Editorial Board ♦

Thank you for reading!
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