Virus the Clown

Virus the Clown
photographed by Justina Atkinson
The following is an excerpt translated from an audio tape interview given by Dr. James Matthews of Greystone Park Psychiatric Hospital to the paitent we know as Virus The Clown. The tape is over 15 years old and has been played many times since, so I apologize for any interruptions due to damaged or missing pieces during the interview.
Used with permission. Translated by Regina.

May 18, 1996 4:45pm
Patient#: 478001 P-------- "Pennelo Pie the Clown" B-------
Interviewer: James A. Matthews M.D.
Greystone Park Psychiatric Hospital
Greystone Park, NJ 07950

This is the sixth (6) interview given since her arrival on September 4, 1995.

MATTHEWS: "Case #29300032-E. So how are we today, P--------?"

VIRUS: "You know I don't go by that name anymore."

MATTHEWS: "I've noticed. I've also noticed that you threaten other patients and nurses with the use of your new persona. Want to chat about it?"

VIRUS: "Is there really anything to chat about?"

MATTHEWS: "Let's start out with your name. Why 'Virus'? It sounds highly negative for a clown."

VIRUS: "I'm growing up. I'm thinking for myself now. I learn on my own. There is no reason why I can't express what I feel through what I do. And what I do is addictive. It's contagious. It spreads... like a virus."

MATTHEWS: "Interesting. Well, I really wouldn't say that any of what you do is appropriate for children."

VIRUS: "(expletive) them."

MATTHEWS: "Excuse me?"

VIRUS: *spoken slowly* "(expletive)... them!"

MATTHEWS: "Why abandon the only audience a clown needs?"

VIRUS: "I don't need them. My audience does not stop there. Besides, children these days can care less about balloon animals or magic tricks. They are more interested in pulling my hair, stomping on your feet and stealing your nose. If they want to tear me apart, I will not hesitate to make it the most horrifying experience ever."

MATTHEWS: "Who would want to see a clown do that?"

VIRUS: "I would."

MATTHEWS: "P--------"

VIRUS: "That's NOT my name, Matty."

MATTHEWS: "And that's not MY name. It's Dr. Matthews."

VIRUS: "You seem pretty defensive about that. Wanna chat about it?"

MATTHEWS: "Very funny, Virus."

VIRUS: "Thank you, Dr. Matthews."

-long pause-

MATTHEWS: "Besides your clothes, make-up and rather unconventional clown attitude, what else about you is newfound?"

VIRUS: "Fire."

MATTHEWS: "Fire? As in what you did to Mr. Baxter's caravan?

-A loud crash and a horrible scream is heard.-

VIRUS: "(expletive) YOU!! (expletive) YOU!! THAT (expletive) DESERVED IT!"

-Sounds of orderlies are heard as they are obviously holding her down. Virus is now heard screaming "NO!" repeatedly and after a few minutes, the screams stop and Dr. Matthews is heard talking silently to a 3rd party.-

MATTHEWS: "Patient has been administered 25mg of Thorazine. Hopeful effects of this will help to calm violent outbursts and promote rational reasoning in 30 minutes. Until then, we will proceed with the interview through possible slurred speech and incoherent wording."

-A few minutes later, Virus starts to mumble and drool as if she was trying to say something.-

MATTHEWS: "P--------?"

VIRUS: (Very weak) "It's not... can't... you won't do nothing... to me."

MATTHEWS: "P--------?"

VIRUS: "No... it's not... She's not me... not no more."

MATTHEWS: "Can you tell me your name?"

-There is a very long pause, mostly noises of Virus moaning silently.-

MATTHEWS: (to 3rd party) "Patient is clearly incoherent and unable to-"

VIRUS: "VIRUS!" (coughs and passes out in her chair)

MATTHEWS: (to 3rd party) "Patient is convinced that her alter ego 'Virus' now controls her mind and body. As 'Virus' she is unstable and overwhelmingly violent to herself. Only one recorded instance of violence toward others exist. A police report from 5 months ago documents severe assault and arson to Mr. Anthony Eugene Baxter. Mr. Baxter is the owner and Ringleader of the Cirque du Ciel Coloré (The Circus of the Colorful Sky). Patient claimed Mr. Baxter murdered her father when it was an obvious suicide. Orphaned at 12, her solitude became campfire stories. Only coming out of her caravan to eat, care for her pet tiger and socialize with a sideshow performer, she would keep to herself and constantly write in a journal. The journal has not been confiscated upon her commitment into the hospital or else I wouldn't be here for the 6th time trying to treat a (expletive) clown!"

-Dr. Matthews is clearly frustrated with Virus at this point that 3rd party had to intervene. As Dr. Matthews was escorted out, the faint sound of low laughter was heard.-