I feel about clowns the same way I feel about spiders: It's not an actual phobia, and I think the fear is overblown, but I regard them with a certain level of suspicion and would prefer to keep a healthy distance. Also, they're much scarier in groups.
When I heard about the Alamo Drafthouse's Sept. 9 clowns-only screening of It, I experienced a level of dread and nervous excitement I haven't encountered since my bar mitzvah — and I was considerably more prepared for that than Stan Uris. An entire auditorium of clowns is an objectively distressing concept, whether or not you're weirded out by clowns as a rule. At the same time, I loved the idea of seeing the movie again, this time among like-minded freaks — and maybe (dare I say it?) rooting for Pennywise. My friend Michael Tom had already snagged tickets, so I agreed to join him before I could really process the consequences. I did decide, however, that if I was going to be surrounded by clowns at a screening of a film starring fiction's most notorious murder clown — I think John Wayne Gacy still holds the real-life title — I would have to fully commit to my clown look.