Another occupation has suffered irrevocable harm at the hands of our leader, Payosa Loco, the Crazy Clown.

Yes, you guessed it, the Association of American Clowns (AAC) recently told its quickly declining membership that the future looked bleak for the profession and they’d better prepare to look for new work.

The circus is at the White House these days, not in crowded auditoriums full of moms and dads and kids looking for a little entertainment. 

“We can’t compete with that three-ring circus,” said former AAC union steward Lumpo Bumpo, his face painted in a half-smile, half-grimace. “The guy talks about creating jobs but it’s only for himself and his cronies, not the regular clown on the street with a mortgage and mouths to feed. You couldn’t fit all those bozos on a bus if you tried, and I’m studying to be a bus driver. I mean, really, one look at the cabinet and you realize that nobody wants to be a clown anymore. I mean nobody.”

The AAC recently sent word to its membership that even comedy won’t help the state of the union these days. Formerly known as a mirthful group, pessimism has settled in among its many union members.

“At first we had fun with this group of schemers and charlatans,” said Snappy Jack, the editor of the AAC newsletter Buffoonery. “Every week we had more ha ha than the week before. Look at the nincompoops he hired. Scott Pruitt as EPA director? Hilarious. My grade school kid knows that you burn fossil fuels for 200 years within a closed system like Planet Earth and something’s going to happen. Rick Perry at the Dept. of Energy? The guy doesn’t know the difference between an amp, a watt or an ohm. We laughed so hard we cried. Betsy DeVos couldn’t pass clown school, for crying out loud. Our editorial board was on the floor. Nowadays the name Trump and our profession are seen as one in the same. Now it’s not funny anymore. Clowns that scared dogs and little children used to be pretty rare. Now he’s on TV every minute of the day it seems and we’re all scared. We’re ruined as a profession.”

Jack pointed out that real fake news, the kind of news that used to make you laugh at MAD Magazine, The National Lampoon and The Onion is in decline. Satire is dying, replaced by nefarious fake news sites and writers and editors who have no souls, no funny bones. 

“Child sex rings in pizza parlors and presidential wiretaps? asked Jack. “Where the hell is J. Edgar Hoover and Nixon when you need them. Those guys were the pros, not the amateur hour we have now.”

Honest clowns are now flipping burgers at fast food restaurants and working at the car wash. Changing tires at truck stops. Handling baggage at bus stations. Working at day care centers and assisted living homes. A lot of older clowns have simply fallen out of the workplace, given up on gainful employment and are simply waiting for social security and medicare. Smiles have turned to frowns. 

Homeless clowns with big feet, bow ties that spin and hair that points to outer space wander the countryside. Families have disowned their clown brothers and sisters, saying they aren’t productive citizens any longer and are simply a drag on society.

Public opinion has turned against them.

“Once a clown, always a clown,” said one Fortune 500 CEO. “They can’t be retrained no matter what they say. They should be deported along with all the illegal immigrants and troublemakers who just don’t love our country like we do. That’s not cruelty. That’s reality.”

The once gay and carefree workforce is somber. One clown interviewed recently by 60 Minutes smoked cigarette after cigarette and talked not of bringing happiness to children but instead of recent heart surgery, a case of shingles and the local soup kitchen where he eats his meals alone near the door.

“People used to smile and wave at us as we drove around in our little clown cars,” he said with as sad a face as could be painted in a day. “We used to drive around with the top down and honk the horn like we were movie stars. Now people avoid us like we’re lepers. Lecherous lepers, to be exact.”

Alcohol and drugs have taken their toll. The Centers for Disease Control noted an alarming surge of clowns who spend their days in opium dens and darkened bars instead of under the bright lights of the big tent.

“Trump last week gave the go-ahead to mine more coal and drill more oil, dismantling the efforts to curb climate change,” said Bumpo. “He said he’s going to start a new era of production and job creation while at the same time he’s killing us clowns. What hypocrisy. We are a forgotten people in our own land.”