Thursday, February 15, 2007

Coulrophobia is the word someone with letters after his name recently made up to describe a serious fear of clowns, and the Atlanta Journal-Constitution has a backgrounder. Its interviewees seem to think the 1990 Stephen King miniseries "It" was the watershed event that tied together those who had been merely uneasy and a new crop of the truly terrified. Said a Ringling Brothers clown, "It’s the ‘in’ phobia right now."

Steve Bixby, 39, went on trial yesterday in Abbeville, S.C., with his dad, 77, charged with double murder (2 deputies, meaning the death penalty is on the table), and the provocation was that the cops were enforcing an order to confiscate an ugly 20-foot patch of land in the front of their even uglier yard on which sits their truly ugly house so that the state could widen Highway 72. The Bixbys had apparently done a lot of stewing over this and had decided to "protect it to our last breath," Steve said. South Carolina is home to a lot of anti-gov’t types, but nobody goes around killing their good ol’ boy deputies, so it’ll be hard finding a jury that doesn’t want to fry ‘em. [Ed.: Oops, that’s only in the F State that we fry people. No, not with the electric chair. As you recall, we stick a needle in them, but we do it all wrong so that the guy gets an excruciatingly painful chemical burn on his arm, a frying, before he expires.] (Bonus point: The Bixbys recently relocated from New Hampshire, y’know, Live Free or Die, so maybe now we’ll see some name-calling between the two states over who’s got the bigger free-state manhood.)

The Confluence of Horniness and Parkinson’s: Three witnesses on the F State’s Sanibel island say it was retired U.S. Rep. Joseph McDade, 75, of Scranton, Pa. (who has the disease, though it’s not known if he was officially twitching), who was following women around in public at a resort while masturbating. That is, those movements around his crotch could have been manifestations of the illness, or perfectly controlled jerkings. (Other news: Ron Thompson is a state legislator in West Virginia, and we still don’t know what kind of problem he’s got, but the House of Delegates voted to let him back in after kicking him out for having disappeared for 10 months. Thompson brought a note from his shrink, but there were no details.)

Below The Fold
Jeffrey Harrison, a popular studmuffin selection from a 1980s Los Angeles sperm donor catalog (interests in philosophy, music, drama) now lives in an RV with 4 dogs and scrapes by on odd jobs . . . . . Plant greenery to improve the area’s feng shui? No, a county gov’t in China has workers just green-spray-paint the side of a facing mountain (Seriously) . . . . . Apparently the U.S.’s most-contrived holiday (which was yesterday) has taken hold in largely-Muslim Bangladesh, at least in the colleges . . . . . After a report that his daughter-stewardess did a Qantas restroom thing with actor Ralph Fiennes, dad defended the woman, calling the complainers jealous and "probably ugly as a hat full of arseholes" . . . . . A gross failure of punishment as rehab, in Manitoba: A man is looking at his 13th conviction in 10 yrs for threatening to beat up or kill people who have done him even the slightest of wrongs . . . . . Minnesota pastor Mac Hammond clarifies that getting rich is not just what God wants but is actually beyond your control: "[I]f you base your life on [God’s] covenant, these [riches] are gonna overtake you. You can’t do anything about it, friend" . . . . . An alternative notion of "properity ministry" struck former pastor Randall Radic in Ripon, Calif., who faked some documents and sold his congregants’ building right out from under them (and got caught but will probably walk because he’s agreed to testify as a jailhouse snitch in another case).