Beating up clowns

Hugh Romney was a political activist in the tempestuous, flower-powered, revolutionary1960s. He was frequently arrested at demonstrations. Recovering from one particularly bad beating at a protest he decided to serve as a clown at a local children’s hospital. This he felt would help his recovery from a severe post-surgical depression.

“One day I had to go to a political demonstration at People’s Park and I didn’t have time to change my clothes or take my makeup off.”

And because he “just shot down there” in a rush he discovered that he was wearing a magical cloak of protection. ” I discovered that the police did not want to hit me anymore. Clowns are safe,” he said.

The police it turns out just don’t like beating up clowns. Certainly they don’t like being filmed beating up clowns. After that Romney attended all protests as a clown.

Everyone has biases and prejudices. Most of them are unknown to us. Some prejudices cause certain groups to get beaten up more. But others can be a surprising source of protection.

Romney became known as Wavy Gravy after a pop festival in Texas. Romney was the MC and had collapsed with exhaustion on the stage and asked BB King just to play around him while he lay on the stage. You’re all “wavy gravy” said King.  And like the clown suit  – he decided to stick with it.

Ben & Jerry’s named one of their ice cream flavours after Wavy Gravy.

Ben & Jerry’s have baggage too. It’s unlikely they would ever have called an ice cream flavour, Hugh Romney.