Honestly, I’m not angry or even piqued about people who have asked me if I’m a clown when I ride a unicycle.

Most of them are genuinely interested to find out, and really asking (except that one kid. He was a jerk) if I’m employed to wear greasepaint and entertain people from a ring in a tent.  That’s fine.

But they do seem genuinely agitated when I return the question.  I mean, obviously I’m doing something that they associate with clowning around, but in everyday life you couldn’t tell a clown from a non-clown, right?  They might be asking me if I’M a clown so they can then say, “Me, too!  Have we worked together?  I can’t recognize you in your civilian clothes!”

What CAN be annoying are people who automatically assume that I can juggle when they see me on a unicycle.  I say, “No, I can’t juggle.”  They say, “But… you ride a unicycle.”  I say, “Yeah.”  There comes a pause when the person considers for a moment.  The usually say something like “I just always assumed… that… you know… anyone that could… y’know… unicycle…”  They trail off.  Frankly, a lot of assumptions sound pretty goofy when you try to say them out loud.

All of which brings me around to my favorite aphorism:  “It’s the assumptions you don’t realize you’re making that do you the most harm.”  Write that one down, folks.  Attribute it to me.  It’s pure gold. My claim to fame.

There are, of course, three previous Unicycle Diary entries:  Here, here and here.