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.
October 02
1919—Wilson Suffers Stroke
U.S. President Woodrow Wilson suffers a massive stroke, leaving him partially paralyzed. He is confined to bed for weeks, but eventually resumes his duties, though his participation is little more than perfunctory. Wilson remains disabled throughout the remainder of his term in office, and the rest of his life.
1968—Massacre in Mexico
Ten days before the opening of the 1968 Summer Olympics in Mexico City, a peaceful student demonstration ends in the Tlatelolco Massacre. 200 to 300 students are gunned down, and to this day there is no consensus about how or why the shooting began.
October 01
1910—Los Angeles Times Bombed
A massive dynamite bomb destroys the Los Angeles Times building in downtown Los Angeles, California, killing 21 people. Police arrest James B. McNamara and his brother John J. McNamara. Though the brothers are represented by the era's most famous lawyer, Clarence Darrow, of Scopes Monkey Trial fame, they eventually plead guilty. James is convicted and sentenced to fifteen years in prison. His brother John is convicted of a separate bombing of the Llewellyn Iron Works and also sent to prison.
1975—Ali Defeats Frazier in Manila
In the Philippines, an epic heavyweight boxing match known as the Thrilla in Manila takes place between Muhammad Ali and Joe Frazier. It is the third, final and most brutal match between the two, and Ali wins by TKO in the fourteenth round.
September 30
1955—James Dean Dies in Auto Accident
American actor James Dean, who appeared in the films Giant, East of Eden, and the iconic Rebel without a Cause, dies in an auto accident at age 24 when his Porsche 550 Spyder is hit head-on by a larger Ford coupe. The driver of the Ford had been trying to make a left turn across the rural highway U.S. Route 466 and never saw Dean's small sports car approaching.
1962—Chavez Founds UFW
Mexican-American farm worker César Chávez founds the United Farm Workers in California. His strikes, marches and boycotts eventually result in improved working conditions for manual farm laborers and today his birthday is celebrated as a holiday in eight U.S. states.
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