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Clown Memorial

Every year on the first Sunday in February, clowns from across the globe gather in Holy Trinity Church in Dalston for a service to remember Joseph Grimaldi.
17 February 2010, 3:56pm

Every year on the first Sunday in February, clowns from across the globe gather in Holy Trinity Church in Dalston for a service to remember Joseph Grimaldi. Grimaldi was a super important and influential clown who passed away in 1837, and did a bunch of significant clowny stuff before he died. I think maybe he started the UK Clowning Council (if that's actually a thing) and was the first to fire water from a flower on his lapel.

Because I'm disorganised and an idiot, I forgot I was meant to be going to write about it until my housemate reminded me; unfortunately by this time I had already been getting stoned with my boyfriend for about two hours.

To give you an idea of just how stoned we were, this is a picture I took of my him about one minute before I left the house. Right after I took it, he said, "Why are you taking pictures of me?"

I begged everyone to come with me, because I can't even handle ordering a pizza over the phone without freaking out while I'm high, but no one would. So I set off alone for the Holy Trinity Church in Dalston.

I got there late, so had to stand way at the back. If I stood on my tip toes, I could see that there was a small group of clowns in the first few rows. The rest of the crowd seemed to be made up of journalists and Yippie parents. I guess there was a feature about it in Time Out or the Guardian or something.

I spent most of the service worrying about whether this nun could tell I was stoned or not. So I didn't really hear too much of what was said.

Though at one point, something called The Clowns' Prayer was read out, in memory of the nine clowns that died in the last year. It got me a little misty-eyed.

As I stumble through this life,
help me to create more laughter than tears,
dispense more cheer than gloom,
spread more cheer than despair.

Never let me become so indifferent,
that I will fail to see the wonders in the eyes of a child,
or the twinkle in the eyes of the aged.

Never let me forget that my total effort is to cheer people,
make them happy, and forget momentarily,
all the unpleasantness in their lives.

And in my final moment,
may I hear You whisper:
“When you made My people smile,
you made Me smile.”

At the end of the service everyone went to the next room for a post-funeral clown performance.

Somehow, I got lost walking between the church and the performance room (even though they're joined together) and ended up in a little area at the side of the stage. I figured this was probably a good place to watch the show from, as it meant I wouldn't have to deal with any people.

I always thought people who were scared of clowns were wacky, attention-seeking idiots that think David Hasselhoff is funny,  but some of these guys were FUCKING TERRIFYING.

I thought I was getting so freaked out because I was high, but looking at these pictures now is giving me chills. LOOK AT THIS GUY. Who could find that face anything but completely horrifying? He has tattoos and a tongue piercing!

Look out, kid! BEHIND YOU!!!

I found this guy so disturbing that I did a little asking around about him. Apparently his name is Rico. RICO! Shouldn't clowns be called Bozo or Happy or something? To me, the name Rico conjures up images of pro wrestlers and shower-rapists from prison movies.

This is Rico "performing". What the fuck is happening?! I assumed my confusion was down to being high, which is why I videoed it. But seriously, what the fuck is he doing?

Toward the end of his performance, he started to strip (that's his belt on the floor). At this point, someone killed the music and ushered him off stage.

Oh hey there worst-person-in-the-world-to-be-standing-next-to-while-stoned! What's goin' on?

Another thing that is hard to deal with while stoned is being two inches away from a billion screaming kids. They just kept getting more and more intense. Eventually it was too much for me to handle, so I had to GTFO. RIP Grimaldi!