No more clowning around?

Good luck finding a clown for your child’s next birthday party: membership to the national clown association has plopped like the footstep of an oversized shoe.

The decline has been attributed to an aging population that increasingly finds clowning unfunny and to children who have grown up with video games, not Bozos with big round noses. Plus, at $300 a party, clowns’ earning potential hasn’t kept up with that of mortgage bankers, programmers, and other more profitable careers. If that isn’t a flower squirt in your eye, what is?         —Diane Richard, writer, February 20



Image: Robin Neilly/Getty Images

Source: Jacob Davidson, “The U.S.’s Clown Shortage Is No Laughing Matter,” Time, February 18, 2014