So I had hopped up onto this flower box thing, about 15 inches up, and was rolling hopping and dropping off it during passing period at school. These guys walk past and yell “Next stop…X Games!!” I couldn’t tell if they were being sarcastic or serious, but hey, not a bad idea!
And you know what never ceases to amaze me? Despite wearing leg armor, wrist guards, riding a unicycle with a 2.5 inch knobby on it, and then going up and down stairs with it, I still get asked if I’m a clown. I mean, as if I’m wearing an orange afro wig and a foam nose. I also get “Wow, cool! You could start a party service! You know, dress up and juggle for little kids!! Ride you little unicycle.” I’m thinking about changing my response from “No, I’m not a clown” to “*(sigh) Yes, you’re right, I am a clown. Because obviously I’m juggling and I look just like one, despite the fact that I’m riding stairs and jumping loading docks.”
just think of something funny to say back. like if you think you could take them in a fight, say something about their mom. like “your mom didn’t think i was a clown last night” and so on. or think of something along these lines. i met a guy in an airport once who was 7 feet tall. seriously. he was wearing a shirt that said " No i don’t play basketball. are you a jocket?" all you or any of us, has to do is think of something like that. i bet you could sell a ton of shirts. Something like “no i’m not a clown. are you a XXXX?” i know i’d buy one.
I also like it when they ask you: What’s your profession (because I can walk on my hands and do that for warmup before taekwondo class, where I go to with my unicycle)? And then you wait for a second and you see the expectation in the people’s eyes, waiting for me to say: I’m an entertainer, and of course I help out in the circus. Do you want me to come to your kid’s birthday party?
Doh. I’m not the clown. I’m still the skateboarder with a different kind of skateboard.
I went for a muni ride today with UniBrier and two other Seattle area unicyclists. A group of mountain bikers made some sort of clown comment while talking with us.
You just have to remember that to non-unicyclists the clown comments are original. Often the comment is not meant to be degrading. It’s just the first thing that pops in to their mind when they see a unicycle. It’s like a word association game. I say “unicycle”. What’s the first word that pops in your head? For most people the first word they’ll think of is clown or circus.
Unless the clown comment is made in an obviously derogatory manner it doesn’t bother me much.
fair enough. you could still make fun of their family/loved ones/something offensive like that which should piss them off. i’ve used this a few times and it has yet to fail in shutting up people asking stupid questions.
One of us seriously needs to make a shirt with like, a dead clown on it, and the words “No! I am not a clown!” on the back, so you can just turn you back on ther person to answer the question. Fashionable and functional…
Something tells me that if I were to wear clown make up while riding the unicycle, THEN, I would hear comments like:
“I heard about this unicycle sport called MUni–you should check it out”
“Hey, where’s your coker?”
“Have you ever heard of Kris Holm?”
“Clowns like you give a bad image to unicycling, you know that?”
and so on…
If it shuts them up it is more than likely that they view you as not worth
talking to, or else view you as just a young thug on a unicycle, someone to
avoid. It certainly won’t be because you have “p…d them off”
To say something offensive like that, in particular to young males, is
probably a bit risky. Not only are you putting yourself below their level,
but if you annoy them in such a way, there is a significant chance that
next time you pass them they may, with their mates, do something very nasty
to you. On a unicycle you are a bit vulnerable to attacks. I know one guy
who was knocked, quite intentionally, off his giraffe in the street. The
offenders then jumped on his spokes. And he had done NOTHING to annoy
anyone. He is now very nervous of riding the giraffe on the street.
These people may well think their comment funny and original, but remember
its you who is on the uni every day, whereas they may never have seen one
outside of a circus before. Most people have only seen unicycles in the
circus. Have we maybe not even taken the idea from the circus, and merely
developed it? I saw my first unicycles in a circus. I thought at the time
unicycles…circus, it never occurred to me that anyone outside of a circus
would ride one.
Get used to it, people will call you a clown, so what, it does not hurt
you, and the speaker goes away happy with himself.
Ahhhh!.. if only being called a clown occasionally were the worst thing to
happen in this life. If you cannot deal with that, wait until something
serious hits you.
The worst you should do is to just THINK " 3rd idiot of the day". Trying
to talk to them is also quite likely to engender their respect and they may
not then give out a repeat silly the comment the next day. A genuinely
funny retort may work, but insulting responses are not the way for us to go.
Most of the comments we received yesterday would qualify on the “cool” side. There were several “you’re really hard core” and “you’ve taken it to the next level” type comments. A lot of genuine curriosity.
I agree it can be anoying to always be dealing with the same comments. I tend to like the “don’t need the training wheel” to the “lost a wheel” comment.
There must be a good generic clown comeback. I was thinking of something in the lines of,
“Last time I was at the circus only a couple clowns could ride a unicycles but there were tons on bikes.”
“I’ve heard more clowns can ride a bike than unicycle.”
Don’t forget to smile…We’re just trying to change their thinking, not crush them.
I normally say something like ‘Yes I am a clown, just not the circus type’ or ‘No I don’t even have a twin brother’ and when they look confused I say ‘oh a clown, sorry I thought you said cloan’ It’s always good fun to talk nonsense back. My personal favorite is when they say ‘where’s the other half’ I reply, 'my other half, I left her at home doing the washing.
One of the reasons that I started to Unicycle, was that I wanted to try and Juggle Clubs while I rode on a Unicycle. It has worked out that I don’t juggle much now, but I still unicycle. The Juggling club I went to for a couple of years closed down, the guy who ran it got busier at work as a Clown.
I couldn’t do the work he did, to keep all those children happy for a whole party.
I doesn’t bother me too much to be called a Clown, some people say it quite seriously, but those in the know would be surprised if a Clown turned up with Leg protection, and hopped over obstacles.
If one more person says “Where’s the other wheel" I think I might scream though!
A buddy of mine and I ride the riverwalk sometimes here in Memphis. I’m usually out in front and the clever so-and-so’s who say “Where’s your other wheel?” usually get the answer, “He’s got it.” and I hook a thumb back at my pal. He rides by and grins. “He’s got my other wheel, too!”
Everybody goes away happy.
Another good comeback to “What happened to your bike?” is the old standby “Got this at a half-off sale. Who knew?” That one still seems to work pretty well.