All fears aside, a clown shortage is plaguing the nation. Apparently clowning isn't as popular as it once was.

Clowns of America International recently reported that the number of registered professional clowns in their organization has dramatically dropped since 2006. And, the World Clown Association reports that membership has fallen from about 3,500 to about 2,000 in the past decade.

Why? Perhaps it's the digital age with young people who desire a tech job. Or, maybe it's hard to find a date who thinks clowning is super-cool.

A search for clowns in Sioux Falls came up pretty thin. Trying to find a bulbous nosed, big footed, water-squirting, balloon-twisting, hula hoop pants-wearing entertainer turned out to be somewhat of a challenge. Two links, and, claimed to help me locate a Sioux Falls clown but both came up short. Instead, giving me clowns in Omaha, Minneapolis, or Lincoln who were willing to travel. I imagine a travel expense was tacked onto the final tab.

I used to work with Debo the Clown and he was quite funny but we've have lost track through the years. He used to call me on my birthday and would carry a bag of one-liners that would stretch from here to Mt. Rushmore.

Maybe the recent news that there actually is a clown shortage is correct. And that's probably okay with some folks. Thank the movie 'It' for me. That terrifying clown named "Pennywise" holding balloons across the street staring at the house cemented my clown-fear.

Many clowns, like the Sioux Falls Shrine clowns, visit sick kids in hospitals and raise money for different children's charities. I love that about them. I just don't want to wake up to a pack of clowns staring at my house in the middle of the night.

Since finding a professional clown seems difficult, I'll just stick with the Sioux Falls Shriner's Clown unit. There's no shortage there. They do good work. And maybe, just maybe, if you work up the courage to hug one, they'll give you a ticket to the circus.

It's worth a try. Honk. Honk.

clown walking away
Photo by Mario Tama/Getty Images

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