Imagining Clowns (And Flashers)

@5thHouse (1706)
Sheffield, England
October 28, 2016 7:21am CST
Last night I went for a post-work run with my 2 daughters. It was just starting to get dark as we jogged along the trail, feeling like 'proper runners.' It's a nice place to run, but quite remote on an evening. All was going well until I went on ahead and suddenly couldn't get this idea out of my head that a 'killer clown' might be about to jump out of the bushes. I also began to wonder what I'd do if a flasher suddenly appeared. The good thing about all this was that it made me run considerably faster -- in fact faster than I've ever run before, I was later to discover when checking the app. Now that I'm safely home, I've been pondering whether in fact there are flashers anymore. Once upon a time these seedy men were everywhere. (I even have memories of walking home from primary school and encountering one. When I told my mother of this, she was very matter-of-fact about it and said, "just take no notice." Back then, men who exposed themselves in public were just seen as odd nuisances, but not something to worry too much about, certainly not a police matter.) Perhaps the advent of webcams over the years has reduced the need for those so-inclined to go out in the cold and hang around until someone approaches. They can now do what they do from the comfort of their own home, if they so wish. Is the traditional 'guy in a dirty raincoat' a thing of the past? Let's hope so. Even though we came to no harm on our run, I must admit I don't feel a hundred percent safe to be running in semi-darkness in such a quiet place. On a Sunday morning the trail is lovely, with many people running or cycling but at night you really do start to feel like you're on the set of some Halloween movie. My daughters thought it was a bit eerie too.
12 people like this
13 responses
@WorDazza (8261)
• Manchester, England
28 Oct
I'm not sure I would encourage my wife and daughter to be running along lonely trails in the early evening gloom. Although, having said that you're probably far more likely to run (pardon the pun!!) into trouble on the streets of a city We live near some lovely countryside with some fabulous walks. Unfortunately my wife doesn't feel like she can take the dog out in the evening at this time of year so from October to April I have the dubious pleasure of the last walk every day!!
3 people like this
@5thHouse (1706)
• Sheffield, England
28 Oct
I'm hoping that my hubby will get his act together and actually join us on our runs then we don't feel so vulnerable. The reason I took up running in the first place was with his fitness in mind. I thought I could motivate him, but he has fallen by the wayside somewhat.
3 people like this
@WorDazza (8261)
• Manchester, England
28 Oct
@5thHouse Hopefully your safety will be his motivation. It's always difficult o get back on the horse, so to speak, when you've let things slide for a while. You probably only need to get him out once and he'll hopefully get the bug again!
3 people like this
@5thHouse (1706)
• Sheffield, England
30 Oct
@WorDazza Unfortunately every time I do get him out running, he manages to do something to his leg and ends up limping home, can barely even walk by the end of it. He went back to the beginning of the C25K plan, got one session out of the way and then It happened again this morning.
2 people like this
@CinnamonGrl (5451)
• Paradise, California
28 Oct
I think there are still flahsers, you read about it or see about it on the news occassionally. I was lucky enough to never see one myself. I'm glad your trail was safe last night!
3 people like this
@5thHouse (1706)
• Sheffield, England
28 Oct
It's a shame that people can't feel safe when they're out and about.
1 person likes this
@celticeagle (111767)
• Boise, Idaho
30 Oct
I haven't heard of any flashers in ages. I wonder if that wouldn't be a nice change from the terrorist bombings and such.
2 people like this
@5thHouse (1706)
• Sheffield, England
30 Oct
I work in the courts and it's been a while since we've had a flashing case
2 people like this
@celticeagle (111767)
• Boise, Idaho
31 Oct
@5thHouse .....I think they have gone out of fashion if they were ever in. Too much media.
1 person likes this
@Happy2BeMe (60133)
• Canada
28 Oct
I wouldn't be put running at dark. I just would not feel safe doing so. Early morning runs are so much better. I have heard of a few cases here where men have been charged with exposing themselves to women out walking or running. It still happens.
2 people like this
@5thHouse (1706)
• Sheffield, England
28 Oct
As I work from home and have quite a bit of control over my working hours, it's relatively easy for me to run in the mornings, but my daughter's hours are much less flexible, which is why we've been running on an evening. I think we'll just have to stick to weekend runs or wait until my husband is able to run with us.
2 people like this
@Happy2BeMe (60133)
• Canada
28 Oct
@5thHouse that would be a good idea. It is better to be safe.
1 person likes this
@maezee (24617)
• United States
28 Oct
That would give me the creeps too. Especially with all the media blast over clowns appearing all over. Not sure how many times this has actually happened though!
2 people like this
@5thHouse (1706)
• Sheffield, England
28 Oct
The media has probably been over-hyping the whole clown thing, but it doesn't take much to make my imagination start working overtime!
1 person likes this
@FayeHazel (8487)
• United States
28 Oct
I'm happy you were safe, at least it helped with your run :-), Maybe getting some pepper spray to take with you on runs would help you feel more secure? It is an odd world we live in. As for flashers, I've never personally known of it happening, so maybe you're right, and those so inclined are at home on web cams lol
1 person likes this
@5thHouse (1706)
• Sheffield, England
28 Oct
I'm not sure what the rules are in England about carrying pepper spray. We have some rather daft laws here about defending yourself (or not) and I wouldn't be surprised to see a woman prosecuted for assault if she sprayed a flasher with pepper spray. It might not be seen as reasonable unless the flasher actually tried to rape you or something.
2 people like this
@FayeHazel (8487)
• United States
28 Oct
@5thHouse Oh wow, seriously.... but then I suppose. Pepper spray is common here.
@5thHouse (1706)
• Sheffield, England
30 Oct
@FayeHazel Looked it up and it said that full-on pepper spray, the type used by the police , is illegal to use in the UK by civilians. There is a legal alternative which is a gel spray 'criminal identifier' which is non-toxic but disorientates the attacker and the coloured gel remains on clothing and skin for several days.
@Tampa_girl7 (21016)
• United States
6 Nov
When I get spooked I move a bit faster too.
1 person likes this
@JudyEv (90257)
• Bunbury, Australia
5 Nov
It's strange how once you get an idea in your head, it starts to take hold and over-run any other thoughts. I would have been running fast too.
1 person likes this
@moffittjc (32106)
• Gainesville, Florida
1 Nov
You have creepy killer clowns in England too? I thought they were just here in the United States! lol I am fortunate to live in a very safe community, and joggers can be seen at all times of the day or night running. Girls don't seem to have any issues jogging by themselves at night, although I wouldn't exactly advise it. And yes, flashers are still around...our university campus had one running around not too long ago flashing women as they walked around campus.
1 person likes this
@mesbakh (176)
• Indonesia
30 Oct
clowns makes laugh, but some are afraid of them
@5thHouse (1706)
• Sheffield, England
30 Oct
I think they are fine if they stay in the circus where they belong (clowns, not flashers!)
• Eugene, Oregon
30 Oct
While you were spurred on to a record speed, it is good that your mind made you wary. It does not sound like a good place to run in near darkness. I still read of flashers here in the US, sometimes outside schools even.
@5thHouse (1706)
• Sheffield, England
30 Oct
Yes, they are still around, unfortunately, but it is not so prevalent perhaps because now everyone has a mobile phone it would be easy to take a picture of a flasher and shame them on social media, even if they were just running away, so the risks are higher. I have decided that I will just go for runs in the daytime now that it's getting dark so early.
1 person likes this
@LoriAMoore (12189)
• United States
1 Nov
Isn't it interesting that women don't flash themselves and only men do?
• Philippines
29 Oct
They should be proper when there in public. Some people out there are just too bored that they want to bother other people just for attention.