Mondo Bizarro Sep 5 2016
CLOWNING AROUND
Sightings of bizarrely garbed figures have South Carolina residents baffled and worried.


A rash of scary clown sightings have occurred in the U.S. in the last week in the state of South Carolina, mainly in Greenville and Spartanburg counties. The encounters have varied from clowns attempting to lure children into the woods, to a pair of citizens chasing two clowns into a waiting car driven by a third clown. The photo above is an actual shot made by a man in Greenville, which he posted to Twitter with the caption, “Just spotted a major freak behind Fleetwood Apts.” The building happens to be ground zero for some of the clown sightings.

The favored explanation online for all this weirdness is that it's a publicity stunt for the new Rob Zombie horror movie 31. If that's the case, we've done our part for Rob by sharing the promotional poster just below. But assuming these sightings are publicity stunts, doesn't that seem like a very serious risk to take? American cops are trigger happy, and it isn't glitter and confetti that comes out of their guns. Let's say instead of a clown getting ventilated, though, he was arrested. For what, we aren't sure, since it isn't illegal to offer kids candy, which is what reports say one of the clowns did—but whatever, clown gets arrested. All the suspect would have to say is, “I'm a clown, it's true, but not that clown.”
 
Absent fingerprints (“No prints, sir, he must have worn gloves.”), shoe prints (“The casts are finished, sir—he wore size 37.”) or DNA (best not to think about that), only an admission of guilt could connect the arrested clown to the previous clowns. Or maybe police could stage a line-up. Of clowns. Bring in a tearful witness. “Yes, officer it was the one on the far left. I'm sure of it. I'll never forget *sob* his big red nose.”

Our guess is that these sightings are one of those instances of bizarro cultural programming, like the one that causes UFO or Bigfoot sightings. Rogue clowns have been reported lately not just in South Carolina, but in Ohio, Wisconsin, California, and even jolly old England. For our part, we hope the sightings simply stop. We don't need to get to the bottom of them. If they're real, we don't want to know who (doubtless one or more smug white guys, though) figured it was a perfectly fine idea to dress in a weird costume and terrify bystanders—this in a country where people wearing nothing more than dark skin end up shot for jaywalking. Which raises the question: if a clown were to be shot, would it be tragic, tragicomic, or just plain comical? Guess it depends on how you feel about them.

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Sportswire Feb 2 2009
YES YOU CANNABIS
Olympic inspiration Phelps embroiled in weed scandal.

U.S. swimmer Michael Phelps, who won eight gold medals at the Beijing Summer Olympics last year, was at the center of a scandal yesterday when a photo of him using his superhuman lungs to suck a bong load appeared in the British tabloid News of the World. The photo was snapped at a party he attended at the University of South Carolina during a four-month break in his swimming schedule. Phelps didn’t bother with a denial. Instead he admitted that, yup, he was smoking out with some friends. Got higher than a kite in fact, and got rather memorably laid that night too, but not before snorting several fat rails of coke off the waxed montes veneris of two eighteen year-old Croatian exchange students.

Mere hours after Phelps’ admission, the U.S. Olympic Committee voiced concern for America's impressionable children in a statement describing Phelps as a role model who was “well aware of the responsibilities and accountability that come with setting a positive example for others, particularly young people.” In a seemingly coordinated move, conservatives in the U.S. Congress introduced a bill that would require American cities to restaff all police and sheriff’s departments with children. Republican Mitt Romney said, “We have conditioned Americans to feel such anxiety for the well-being of children that we believe crime will virtually vanish for fear that an all-child police force might potentially encounter it.”

At Pulp Intl. we’re just happy we can put anything into our bodies we wish. In fact, the only time people here in the third world really panic over children is when they’re late for their sixteen-hour shifts at the Puma sweatshop. On behalf of all those trapped in less-enlightened countries than ours, we sympathize, because this “set a good example for the children” routine has truly reached levels that verge on the comical. Have a few drinks too many and it’s “please, set a good example for the children.” Drive your car through a hedge and into a swimming pool and it’s “please, set a good example for the children.” Shoot someone in the head with a bottle rocket because you want to see if their hair catches fire and it’s “please, set a good example for the children.” It’s gone way, way too far.

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History Rewind
The headlines that mattered yesteryear.
August 15
1969—Woodstock Festival Begins
The Woodstock Music & Art Fair, which was billed as an Aquarian Exposition, takes place on a 600 acre dairy farm in Bethel, New York. It would run for three sometimes rainy days and feature thirty-two acts performing at all hours of the day and night. Today the festival is regarded as one of the greatest events in popular music history.
1977—Radio Signal Arrives from Deep Space
An unidentified radio signal, nicknamed the WOW Signal for the notation a scientist made on a computer readout, is briefly detected by the SETI (Search for Extra-Terrestrial Intelligence) project's Big Ear radio telescope. Despite a month of searching the same section of space, the signal is never found again.
August 14
1912—U.S. Invades Nicaragua
United States Marines invade Nicaragua to support the U.S.-backed government installed there after José Santos Zelaya had resigned three years earlier. American troops remain for eleven years.
1936—Last Public Execution in U.S.
Rainey Bethea, who had been convicted of rape and murder, is hanged in Owensboro, Kentucky in what is the last public execution performed in the United States.
August 13
1995—Mickey Mantle Dies
New York Yankees outfielder Mickey Mantle dies of complications from cancer, after receiving a liver transplant. He was one of the greatest baseball players ever, but he was also an alcoholic and played drunk, hungover, and unprepared. He once said about himself, "Sometimes I think if I had the same body and the same natural ability and someone else's brain, who knows how good a player I might have been."
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