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07/02/2016 15:11 GMT | Updated 04/02/2017 05:12 GMT

Book Review: When Clowns Attack - A Survival Guide

This is a silly book, of course - a bit like those guides to surviving a zombie apocalypse. I mean, clowns are harmless bringers of joy, aren't they? They wouldn't turn on us... er, would they? Surely they don't pose the same threat to our civilisation as a plague of zombies. But then again...

If you're planning a trip to sunny Lowestoft at the end of this month, when clowns from all over the world are descending on the seaside resort for Clown Gathering UK, then you might want to pack this handy little book alongside your bucket and spade: When Clowns Attack - A Survival Guide by Chuck Sambuchino.

A lot of people are afraid of clowns. And with good reason, according to Chuck, the founder of Red Nose Alert.

Consider: they hide their identities behind impenetrable make-up and false names like Happy, Fuzzy, Sunshine, Sniff and Giggles - nicknames earned by their addiction to ecstasy, weed, LSD, cocaine and laughing gas, respectively.

They're impervious to pain, whether its a giant mallet to the head, a pie tin in the face or a fire extinguisher blast down the trousers. That's not slapstick, says Chuck, it's borderline super powers.

Their baggy pants could be hiding anything from a baseball bat to a bazooka. And, worst of all, they're above the law. If they want to whack you with a rubber chicken or give you an over-the-head wedgie, they'll just do it!

But clowns aren't just individual nuisances in Sambuchino's book, they're an organised menace that will abduct your children to swell their big-shoed ranks and ultimately seek to take over the world and impose Fools Rule on the rest of us.

Until that day comes, look out for individual attempts to steal your wallet, your life or your sanity.

The book lists some danger zones to avoid. The circus is an obvious one ("Just don't f***ing go!"). Also, anywhere called Funhouse. Closed amusement parks are the most dangerous of all. That's where the most deranged homeless clowns congregate, and where the clowns are said to bury their dead.

But what should you do when clowns attack?

If you find yourself being chased by a clown posse, throw a banana skin in their path. Clown Law dictates at least one of them will have to slip on it and hopefully take the rest down like skittles.

If any are still chasing you, try throwing an imaginary ball high in the air and shout "Catch!" Again, Clown Law commands the funny fellows will have to stand around trying to catch the invisible object.

Running upstairs is another good choice. Those outsize boots make stairs a challenge for bozos.

Sambouchino also offers some tips for spotting a plain clothes clown. If your new friend strikes you as a bit suspicious, try a word association test. Say "Big," and if he replies "Top," "Nose" or "Shoes," you're in trouble. Say "Balloon" and if he answers "Animals" - start running!

There's safety in numbers, so if you're worried about growing numbers of clowns in your neighbourhood, ally yourself with Peta activists - animal rights supporters are the sworn enemies of the circus. Also make friends with mimes. For some reason, mimes are apparently another sworn enemy of clowns, and if it comes to a clown raid on your home, a squad of the silent ninjas are the best people to have on your side.

This is a silly book, of course - a bit like those guides to surviving a zombie apocalypse. I mean, clowns are harmless bringers of joy, aren't they? They wouldn't turn on us... er, would they? Surely they don't pose the same threat to our civilisation as a plague of zombies. But then again... how many zombies have you ever seen in real life? But there are an awful lot of clowns around, aren't there?

When Clowns Attack by Chuck Sambuchino is available from Amazon.

Douglas McPherson blogs about circus at www.circusmania.blogspot.co.uk