What is our country coming to? The U.S. economy is tanking, California has an electric power crisis and Disney is chopping its work force, which means you and I face longer lines for Splash Mountain and maybe they'll even cut back the dwarfs from seven to five.
As if all that weren't enough, Bozo the Clown is being forced into retirement.
That's right, after four decades on television, Bozo will go off the air Aug. 26 because of low ratings brought on by competition from Nickelodeon, the Disney Channel and other programming.
WGN-TV's "The Bozo Super Sunday Show," broadcast in Chicago, is the last locally produced program to feature Bozo the Clown.
At one time Bozo had shows on more than 180 local stations across the country and was one of the most popular characters in television history.
Now it's bye-bye Bozo.
Will this mean my pal Bozo will be hanging up his fright wig and pratfalling off into the sunset? Will he retire to some senior clown community, exchanging his familiar jumpsuit and slap-shoes for polyester plaid slacks, white shoes and a white belt? Will he lay down his trusty seltzer bottle and learn to play bridge? Will he be happy trading goofing around for golfing a round?
I worry about Bozo.
I hope he has adequate retirement health insurance. Does he have supplemental Clowncare to cover injuries like slipping on banana peels? It's hard to stop old habits. And how will he pay for things like orthopedic slap-shoes or prescription grease paint?
But suppose Bozo isn't ready to retire? Or can't afford to? What does he do now? Let's face it, there aren't a lot of opportunities out there for old clowns who still need work. Most of the circuses are gone.
And it's not like he could go part-time at McDonald's--Ronald is still going strong.
And forget about working kids' birthday parties.
Young clowns get what's left of those gigs. They know all the newest tricks; they're more in touch with the youth market; and they'll work for peanuts.
I suppose Bozo might consider a career change--going into some related field like politics or law. Naw, come to think of it, Bozo's got too much class.