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HUMOR: If the clown shoe fits, buy it

HUMOR: If the clown shoe fits, buy it

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At the thrift store, masked up, hands sanitized, I moved carefully down the aisles, trying to keep 6 feet between the other treasure hunters and me.

Near a 20-year-old piece of exercise equipment that resembled a medieval torture device and before the shelves of mismatched dinnerware was a shopping cart filled with items that someone deemed not fit for shelf space. That’s where I found them, below a handheld vacuum with a broken handle and a headless G.I. Joe.

Over the years, I’ve chronicled my thrift store finds — a wooden plaque commemorating Pete and Billie’s 25th anniversary, a professionally framed portrait of a man I call The Creepy Sheriff, Owen’s baseballs — but this was surely the greatest find of all: giant clown shoes.

They were red and yellow vinyl with a hard rubber sole, about 14 inches from heel to a rounded toe that flared nearly nine inches in diameter.

The price was $2, which I thought was a steal for giant clown shoes. Later, when I researched giant clown shoes on eBay, I found they range in price from $7 to more than $1,000, which is quite a financial commitment for comical footwear of any kind.

These particular shoes snatched from the shopping cart of no return could be purchased on eBay for $36.65, so yes, indeed, this was a steal.

I took them to the counter and set them down in front of the clerk. If she was surprised to see a middle-aged man purchasing a pair of giant clown shoes, she didn’t show it.

“How are you today?” she said.

“Fine,” I replied. “You know, I woke up this morning and thought to myself, ‘I sure could use a pair of giant clown shoes.’ And by golly, I found a pair.”

“Must be your lucky day,” she said. I didn’t detect a hint of sarcasm.

As happy as I was about my purchase, I was equally as intrigued about how these giant clown shoes ended up in the thrift store shopping cart of no return. I came up with this scenario:

“Honey, have you seen my giant clown shoes? I’ve looked all over and I can’t find them. It’s giant clown shoe day at the Rotary Club meeting.”

“Dear, I gave them away to charity. You haven’t worn them in so long and they took up twice the closet space of normal shoes.”

“What? Not my giant clown shoes! Honey, those were my father’s giant clown shoes and his father’s giant clown shoes before that. They’ve been passed down in my family and worn with pride and comical effect for generations.”

“Dear, there comes a time to put away clownish things.”

“Perhaps you are right. I have no son of my own, no heir to the giant clown shoes. Let someone else enjoy the wonders that come with owning oversized fanciful footwear. Godspeed, giant clown shoes.”

That sounds about right.

After owning a pair of giant clown shoes for a short while, here is something I have learned: They aren’t comfortable.

There’s no arch support. Walking normally is nearly impossible because the oversized toes don’t provide ground clearance. They tend to knock over floor lamps due to their enormity.

And I know the big question lingering out there is: Where am I going to wear a pair of giant clown shoes now that I own them?

  • If COVID-19 is under control by October, a Halloween party.

“What are you?”

“I’m a vampire.”

“What’s with those shoes?”

“I bit a clown, sucked his blood and stole his shoes.”

  • If COVID-19 is under control anytime in the near future, back to work.

“First, everyone, it’s great to be in the office again. About these shoes. One of the little known complications of coronavirus is rapid, abnormal foot growth…”

  • And if COVID-19 is never under control, back to the thrift store. Nobody is coming within 6 feet of a psycho in a mask and giant clown shoes.

Scott Hollifield is editor/general manager of The McDowell News in Marion, North Carolina, and a humor columnist. Contact him at

Scott Hollifield is editor/general manager of The McDowell News in Marion, North Carolina, and a humor columnist. Contact him at

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Several states require high school students to pass a civics test in order to graduate. Which got us to thinking — how difficult would these questions be? In order to become a naturalized citizen, applicants must correctly answer 6 of 10 questions from the list of 100 questions. Here is a sampling of some of those questions. We re-worded them a bit — test yourself!

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