Clown: 'I may as well be wearing a Hells Angels vest'
"ARE you sure you want to do this?" a friend asked Matt Farthing about a job he lined up last night.
"You might get jumped."
Mr Farthing works as a teacher by day and moonlights as a clown for parties and events.
Last night he was busy playing guitar, riding a bike and making balloon animals and children laugh at the Christ Church fair.
But for the first time, he felt he had to notify the police.
"I'll be honest - I actually registered my gig with the cops today," he said.
"I called and said 'Look - if you get anyone ringing up at a quarter to five in Woongarra St, it's me."
The "creepy clown" fad that has swept the internet, apparently arriving in Australia from the US, was disappointing, he said.
While he's met a couple of people with clown phobias in his time - "that was a bit awkward" - and said the white face make up, which he does not use, may be confronting for some, Mr Farthing said he wasn't deterred by the opportunity to raise money for charity and make kids laugh.
Hard evidence of any clown sightings in Bundaberg is yet to surface.
"I'm not trying add fuel to the fire," Mr Farthing said.
"(I just want) to put a friendly face out there and remind people that the idea of a clown is to have fun and to make people laugh.
"It's sad that something that should be a joyous thing has been turned into the exact opposite," he said.
"It saddens me that people want to follow along, sheep-like, with the latest craze.
"Maybe there's a link between anonymous trolls on social media, where you can put up that facade so that people can't see who you are, and you can get away with more bullying and nasty stuff.
"You can look at me clowning and go, 'That's Matt with a couple of red dots on his cheeks.'
"It's cowardly - if you're going to walk towards me with a machete, at least show your face."
He challenged those spreading the creepy fad to "try some real clowning".
"It's hard work - it's probably scarier having a crowd of thirty kids around you demanding a good time," Mr Farthing said.
"That would put them in their place."