With the death of Maurice Sendak this week, there’s been much praise for the author’s championing of disturbing themes in children’s literature.
Many parents and children adore his books because they are often scary, because they deal with honest, sometimes troubling, emotions.
But even Mr. Sendak, I suspect, would agree that this idea can be taken too far.
Enter Dominic Deville, the Evil Birthday Clown.
Deville has been getting quite a lot of attention in the European press lately and was written about this week in the Huffngton Post. Working out of Switzerland, he rents himself out to scare the bejesus out of a child.
It works like this:
Parents pay him an agreed upon fee and in return he stalks a child for a week, sending him scary notes and text messages, making him feel like prey. Then, when the victim — er, child — least expects it, the Evil Birthday Clown will smash a cake in the little kid’s face.
“If at any point the kids get scared or their parents are concerned we stop right there,” Deville told Britain’s Metro. “But most kids absolutely love being scared senseless.”
Deville, incidentally, said he got the idea from watching horror movies. And, when you think about it, Hollywood does not lose much money banking on the same idea.