“Matt Gaetz has denied ever paying for sex, and over the past two weeks has sought to frame the [sex-trafficking of an underaged girl] allegations against him as the result of political bias in the justice system and the media.” — CNN

- - -

I, Pennywise, the clown who lives in Derry, Maine, would like to set the record straight about my conduct with minors.

I have never, ever engaged in illegal activities as an adult man, for I am actually an extraterrestrial monster in the corporeal form of a clown.

These sick and twisted lies are being perpetrated by the deep state of Derry, Maine. These corrupt residents want nothing more than to destroy my name so that they can prevent me from terrorizing the town and feasting on their children every 27 years.

Clearly, I am the victim of a smear campaign. Every day, the mainstream town paper claims that I lure children with balloons, beguile them with promises that “we all float down here,” and maintain a tower of bones in my underground lair. I am outraged that they would make these accusations based on strong evidence that I eat children.

There has been one man in particular who has been out to get me. He denies that he has any connection to these rumors whatsoever, but I know it’s him and not the town at large.

Do I live in an underground nest? Yes. Unlike these elitist, partisan parents trying to take me down, I’m a hardworking, simple man who happens to live in a sewer. And it is my god-given right to hunt people in my own home if I want to!

Did I have inappropriate conduct with minors? Look, I’ll be honest, I’m not a monk. But I can confidently say that I’m a shapeshifter who can manifest into your scariest nightmares and devour you in one harrowing gulp.

In regards to that time I saw young Georgie playing with his paper boat on the street, was it inappropriate of me to call him from the storm drain? And when his tiny little arm happened to fall right into my razor-sharp mouth, was that my fault? And was it my fault again when I did the same thing to all the other kids in this town, generation after generation? You tell me.

Clearly, this investigation is about the kid-eating clown, not the crime.

And now, of all things, people are looking into my Venmo history. Surely I am no different than any other American who enjoys Venmo for the convenience and the lack of paper trail.

Okay, yes, I made several payments to an acquaintance with a shady past. But as you can see from the descriptions, these purchases were completely innocuous. Look at my Venmo charges and tell me if “balloons” and ‘buzzsaw for teeth sharpening” don’t seem like the purchases of an honest American. If anything, these payments indicate that I’m trying to ensure our children’s well-being, because without them, I’d have nothing to subsist on every twenty-seven years.

If you still don’t believe me, then go ahead and ask all the female clowns who have my back. I have no doubt they can vouch for my character as a flesh-eating monster. They will confirm that not once have I ever misbehaved or gnawed on a plump, juicy arm in their presence.

Now, if you’ll please excuse me, I have some kids to terrorize.