By Jenny Hitherstorm 

When we’ll look back on the chaotic year that was 2020, one of the biggest takeaways we’ll walk away with is how many Birthday Clowns we lost this year. According to the U.S. Department of Labor, the United States endures an average of nearly 400 Birthday Clown deaths every year, citing electrocution, auto-asphyxiation, and vehicular manslaughter as the most common causes of fatality. However, 2020 saw a significant spike in Birthday Clown deaths, approaching 1,200 cases as of December 1st, mostly attributed to the ongoing pandemic, a rapidly declining birthday entertainment industry, and the occasional vigilante act of violence via recent negative media portrayal of clowns (‘Joker’, ‘It’, ‘Clownado’, etc). 

Rather than carry on with our lives in utter disregard to the casualties suffered by the Birthday Clown community, we here at Tapline Magazine decided to honor some of our favorite Birthday Clowns who passed on to the other side this year. Yeah, while you continue to live in oblivion with your HBO Max streaming, Door Dash delivery, Pfizer vaccine aspirations fantasy land, we’re here to remind you that there are actual Birthday Clowns DYING out here every day, that nobody gives a shit about because you’re too busy being SELFISH to pay attention to the misfortunes of anybody else! 

You fucking assholes. Show some respect for these Birthday Clowns!!! All they wanted to do was please and entertain you on the anniversary of your birth!!! You think it’s easy to just throw some makeup on, toss on some suspenders and oversized bowling shoes, honk some horns, and blow up some balloon animals for your meager amusement?? WELL IT ISN’T!!! Oh, sorry we’re not reporting about some fancy shmancy new hazy IPA that just came out or telling you about a hip new brewery that just popped up in the suburbs that allows dogs and has a food truck parked outside that sells artisan Eggo waffles, WHOOPS!!! OUR BAD!!! SORRY TO BURST YOUR BUBBLES!!! GUESS WE SHOULD JUST ACT LIKE THESE BIRTHDAY CLOWN DEATHS NEVER HAPPENED THEN, HUH?? 

How bout you shut up and show some goddamn respect for all the deceased Birthday Clowns that died this year, huh??? That okay with you????

Sorry, I just get so fucking pissed off when I realize how little anybody gives a shit about Birthday Clown fatalities. I know, I know, you come to Tapline Magazine to read and learn about all the latest happenings of the craft beer community, not to mourn the losses of Birthday Clowns, yeah, I get it. I just… Ugh… This hits home for me, okay? My… My Dad… He hired a Birthday Clown to… Perform at my eighth birthday party… Binkie… Binkie the Clown, that was his name, heh… He… Oh man, this is tough to type, I’m sorry… Binkie was a goddamn genius, alright?? Fucking, honking around, pulling multi-colored sheets out of his asshole, making fart noises with his armpits, just a total goddamn genius. 

When I asked my Dad whether Binkie would be performing again for my ninth birthday party, well… He sat me down on my bed, propped me up on his lap, and told me… ‘Jenny… Binkie can’t perform at your birthday party this year because… He’s no longer with us…’ That shit fucked me up man. We started crying together, just bawling our eyes out. I asked why and my Dad said that Binkie fucking fell off a subway platform or some shit, and got fucking laid out by a train. Ugh, just horrible. Just… Awful… 

So yeah, maybe now you see why I’m writing a list of Best Of 2020 Birthday Clown Obituaries, huh?? Make sense now?? Okay if I interrupt your usual broadcast of pirated Brazzers subscriptions, ‘second stimulus check’ Google searches, and Pad Thai takeout orders for a dose of reality??? THAT OKAY WITH YOU??? Sorry.. Sorry, I’ll, uh… You know what? This isn’t about me. This is about them. This is about the heroes we lost this year… This is about… Binkie… So here you go, here’s my Best of 2020 list of Birthday Clown Obituaries: 

Name: Spitsy the Clown

Age: 44

Talents: Spitting water and other anonymous liquids out of his mouth on unsuspecting guests, blowing raspberries with his tongue, spilling things 

Cause of Death: COVID-19 

You’d never know what Spitsy would spit at you next.

Spitsy the Clown was a fucking hoot man. He’d show up at your birthday and just start drinking whatever was around, like, random glass of water, half-full Diet Coke can, chew-spit container, fucking anything, he’d just sip it all up then just start spitting whatever it was on everybody, and everyone loved it. Spitsy man, what a G.O.A.T. Guess he got the ‘Rona, ugh, what a shame. I’m sure he’s up there somewhere right now, blowing raspberries on angels’ tummies, knocking over glassware, just yucking it up man. 

Name: Whippit 

Age: 22

Talents: Allowing people to whip his back, producing various squeaking and squealing noises upon whip impact, eating trash 

Cause of Death: Hepatitis C 

Yeah, Whippit, you could do anything to that guy!

Oh yeah, Whippit, good lord, what a legend! You’d come across Whippit on the Craig’s List miscellaneous gigs section, he’d always have a headline caption like ‘NEED A LAST MINUTE CLOWN?? I’LL DO ANYTHING!!!’ which was a blessing if you were in a pinch and needed a Birthday Clown ASAP. He was cheap too. Twenty bucks, you could just go to town on him, I think he honestly liked the pain. Best part of Whippit was how down to earth he was. You’d catch him on a break between sessions, hanging outside, smoking a cigarette, and you could talk about anything with him. Gardening, malware, David Duchovny novels, he knew about a lotta shit man. Whippit… Fuck, RIP man.

Name: Shingles 

Age: 55

Talents: Scratching, itching, howling, slapstick humor  

Cause of Death: Shingles 

Old Shingles, always scratching away…

Shingles was the kinda clown you never quite knew what to make of. I mean, here’s this guy, this clown, walking around the party, scratching himself silly, sobbing in pain, and you’re stuck with this lingering thought of whether or not this guy is doing okay. Then the second you’d interrupt his act to check in on him and see if he needs any medical assistance, he’d SNAP out of his itching and crying hysteria, wiggle his hands behind his ears while sticking his tongue out at you, and say something zany like, ‘NA NA NA BOO BOO!!! SHINGLES DOESN’T NEED HELP FROM NO ONE!!! FASCIST!!!’ and run away! Just like that! He was an odd duck for sure, but that doesn’t make his death any less serious. 

Name: Roller The Clown 

Age: 35

Talents: Rolling around on roller skates, running into stuff, wearing roller skates in places he shouldn’t be 

Cause of Death: Struck by oncoming traffic while jay-blading 

Come rain or shine, there’d go Roller rolling by!

Roller the Clown, wow, it’s been a while, heh. This friggin’ clown dude, always, just ALWAYS, knocking shit over on his roller skates. You’d hire him and tell him ‘Please no skates in the dining room Roller’, and sure enough, he’d eventually roll his away through the dining room, bumping into vase stands, flailing his arms, grabbing table cloth on his way down and taking out the entire dining room tableware with him, just a mobile tornado of destruction. But that was Roller. You take away his skates and you’ve got nothing. Just wish sometimes he’d tap the brakes a bit, you know? Ugh… 

Name: Ribbit 

Age: 71

Talents: Making frog and toad noises, possessing an abnormally long tongue, grabbing objects with his abnormally long tongue. 

Cause of Death: N/A 

Here’s Ribbit in his prime.

Old Ribbit. You ever needed a Birthday Clown who did spot on impressions of frogs or toads, he was your guy. I honestly never heard the man speak anything other than ‘ribbits’. Always had kind of a glazed look over his eyes, grabbing shit left and right with his long ass tongue, I mean, this guy was dedicated to the role. Best part of Ribbit was you never really hired him for parties or whatever. He’d just show up and you’d be like, ‘Well what? Am I not going to let Ribbit in and clown around the party??’ Man, I’m gonna miss those impromptu performances. Farewell Ribbit. 

Name: Grabby 

Age: 61

Talents: Being pervy, unwanted touching, evoking a general sense of naughtiness, squeezing chests 

Cause of Death: Homicide

Yeah, you always tried to keep Grabby away from kids.

Oh god, Grabby! Technically more of a Bachelor/Bachelorette Party Clown, you definitely wouldn’t want this guy at your kid’s birthday or some shit. Grabby, Jesus Christ, very naughty clown. Loved, I mean, LOOOOOVVVVEEEEDDD grabbing breasts and squeezing his big red ball noise that made ‘HONKA HONKA’ noises, yeah, that was kind of his thing. He was kinda a hornball, but honestly, that was the schtick, you know? You hire Grabby, don’t be surprised if he starts grabbing! He just had that charm though, you know, he’d grab your ass and make some kinda weird, whistle noise through the gap in his front teeth, and at first you’d wanna cold clock him square in the jaw, but you’d just take one look at him and go, ‘Oh Grabby.’ He was harmless, mostly. But yeah, definitely would get a little out of control here and there, especially if someone brought peach schnapps. Still, Grabby’s definitely a legend, gotta give respect where respect is due, RIP Grabby. 

Name: Nauseous The Clown 

Age: 36

Talents: Eating whatever you gave him and immediately vomiting it up on the floor in front of you

Cause of Death: Vomit asphyxiation

Nauseous would eat anything, I mean literally anything!!

Nauseous, ha! I mean, it’s all there in the name baby. He was a hoot, but fuck, if you forgot to lay out some tarp all over the floor, you’d have a long night of mopping ahead of you! Nauseous would eat anything man, I mean, ANYTHING! Buckets of sour cream, frozen peas, squeezing tubs of Dijon mustard into his mouth, I mean, whatever you threw his way, he devoured it. Then when you’d run out of shit in the pantry, you’d just start giving him whatever objects were around you, I’m talking, plants, chess pieces, socks, anything! Then you’d see that look in his eyes and his face start going a little white and you’d just sit back and watch the magic unfold. Chunks, straight up chunks, everywhere!! It’s the closest I’ll ever get to attending a Gallagher show I think. Nauseous The Clown, my god, shine on you crazy diamond. See you on the flip side brother.