This story – if indeed you can call it that – came out a few days ago: apparently a study showed that Cellphone Users are Too Distracted to Notice a Clown on a Unicycle. If I may quote…
“According to a study involving a unicycle, a clown, and 150 college students, cellphone users were half as likely as others to notice a red-nosed, unicycle rider.
Ira Hyman, Jr., a researcher at Western Washington University sent a student unicycling around campus wearing a clown costume and then asked people who’d walked past if they’d ‘noticed anything unusual.’ The cellphone users were less than half as likely to have noticed, but Hyman speculates that it may not be the technology itself which distracts them, but instead the concentration required to maintain a conversation over that particular medium.”
Here’s what I think the study gets all wrong: most people fucking HATE CLOWNS [except Bozoette Mary, who’s awesome – ed.] Even kids are scared shitless of clowns (unless they make balloon animals, and then they’re merely means to an end). I would say that cell phone users, like most humans, sensed a bad clown in their peripheral vision and instinctively turned away, sublimated, or blotted out the experience entirely.
It’s not even that clowns are scary, they just make unreasonable demands on your time, and they’re not funny. I know there’s a very sophisticated clown school in New York, and the tradition winds back through Commedia dell’arte to ancient times, but when most people see a motherfucker in a clown costume on a unicycle, their first thought is EVASIVE ACTION.
I will do almost anything to avoid interaction with a clown. Lucy, Tessa and I sat in the first row of the Cirque de Soleil KOOZÅ show because I didn’t think it would have actual clowns. Indeed it did, and one of them made me stand up in front of four thousand people so he could make fun of my hair. At least my hair’s REAL, asshole!
I know this cell phone article is supposed to make some larger point about how much mental processing power a cell phone takes, thus extrapolating to dangerous driving, but they shouldn’t have used a clown. I think I speak for all of us when I say they should have used BOOBIES.