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Opinion

The Brownsville States-Graphic page

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Thursday, September 23, 2010

Hoaxed

Calvin's Corner By Calvin Carter, Staff Writer

“Ever get the feeling that you’ve been cheated? Good Night!”—John “Johnny Rotton” Lydon I love a good prank. It’s perhaps a crueler side of mine not shown often, but believe me when I say that my pranks contain no ill will other than producing a few laughs. I believe my favorite took place when I was in college, and some of my friends and I placed this chemical stink substance on the dorm room doorknob of a fellow chum of ours. We never did ask the friend that did produce the substance exactly where he got it. We just figured since he spent most of his time in the chemistry department, he had his ways. To this day, I could never tell you what was the motivation on this particular trick, other than boredom. We were young men, too bored to study and work, yet, strangely, too uptight to engage in any of the normal debauchery— usually alcohol related— our peers would gladly engage in. The substance was yellow, placed in a bottle, which rivaled the size of an eye drop bottle. This was the perfect size as the stuff was very potent. We held in our hands bitesized nose poison, which smelled like rotten eggs and swamp air married and popped out a child that didn’t shower for months. During the midnight hours, we quietly tiptoed, down the hall. We were ninjas on a mission to disturb the smelling ability of our friend with powerfully unpleasant concoction. It was noon the next day before any of us would learn if the trick worked. While dining with our poor duped friend, none of us could help but notice that every time he lifted his fork full of salad to his mouth, his face would violently scrunch up and his neck would jerk suddenly away to the side, the food never meeting its predetermined path. “Does any of today’s food smell funny to ya’ll?” our friend said with a scoffing breath of disgust. Putting on our best poker faces, the three of

us would face each other, our faces accessorized with raised eyebrows or puzzled gawks and then face our victim with a slightly questionable “No.” It was by the third attempted bite that we were on the ground laughing hysterically. In its own unique way, a prank or mini-hoax is sort of an ultimate term of endearment from me, showing that if I went to complete trouble to plan and produce an elaborate scheme that leaves you duped, then it’s got to mean “Hey, I really like you.” Or maybe your naivete’ was too much of a sweet song to the ears of my little devil-winged conscience. But you never pull a prank or hoax for any type of real gain, unlike the two ladies this column is about to talk about. I’m sure most have already heard of 28year-old Bethany Storro, a Vancouver Washington resident who splashed acid on herself, but claimed that a unidentified black woman with ear piercings was the attacker. Storro managed to net $25,000 plus from good Samaritans who felt sorry for her alleged attack. Between inconsistent stories and an acid pattern showing no evidence of someone splashing her, Storro’s ruse was put to light. The police are now pursuing theft charges to throw at Storro. Storro claimed that she wanted to either kill herself, or damage her face so bad that she could “get a new one.” Part of me feels like this is just another attempt to play the sympathy card, and cushion the blow of public out lash that is sure to hit. Then again, you have to have serious poor, self-image issues to want to burn your own face with acid. I know, in this orderly psychological world of disorders, it can seem like she was trying to just victimize herself, but really, you honestly have to believe something is wrong to cause yourself harm. I mean, not a week goes by where I don’t look in the mirror and not particularly like what I see. I have those days.

Maybe a lot of us do. But I haven’t really had a desire to burn my own face with acid. It’ll require a further thought before I can decide whether she’s really a victim, or trying to hoax us again. However, a New York state lady is nothing but a cruel liar. Many are unhappy with paying for Jessica Vega’s wedding and expensive Aruba Honeymoon after faking that she had Leukemia. Who does that?! Vega’s ruse became suspicious once she admitted that the diagnosis was given to her via a home delivered letter from a doctor. In this age, when technology has made everything so instant, why would a doctor deliver such lifethreatening news in that manner. Besides, is it not the norm where doctors tell you this news, faceto-face? If you want to explore this deeper, then I suppose you could comment on class struggles and the media’s skewed affect on it. For example, I always figured that a wedding is merely suppose to be legally and symbolically unifying two people who love each other. I didn’t think it had to be this supreme gala or extravagance. Shows like Bridezilla would stomp over my idea, or mutate it into something else completely foreign. Maybe as a guy, my thoughts on weddings are moot, especially when the thought of spending money I don’t have doesn’t seem that appealing to me. But take the time and ask yourself, when you describe your “dream wedding,” is it something you want because it best represents this unifying moment or is it something you want because TV has told you that you want it? Anyway, I guess the point I wanted to get across with this column is that there is such a thing of going too far, even for me, a person that loves to trick people. You would never find me, faking a horrible illness just for the sake of taking people’s money and taking advantage of their generosity. That is beyond cruel. But stink liquid on a doorknob? I’m there.

Signs and Wonders By 28th Judicial District Circuit Court Judge Clayburn Peeples I had to hear a case in or stained glass. To traditional advice Waverly not long ago, “advertise” their for insomnia from a and as I was driving presence, they used church whose minister along the way I noticed marquees, street signs surely is fun to be a sign in front of a little and display windows, around; “Have Trouble country church that and slowly, but surely, Sleeping?” We Have said something to the the practice spread all Sermons — Come Hear effect of, “You Think across the religious One!” the Floods Were Bad — landscape. Reminds me of Wait Till You Feel the And now they are my favorite preacher Flames!” as common as sin. story. It seems one Church signboards They’re everywhere, Sunday morning the are relatively recent but to whom are they minister noticed a phenomena, or at least, aimed? Are they a form small boy standing I think they are. If they of outreach ministry in the vestibule in had them when I was a or simply an attempt front of a large plaque boy, I don’t remember to amuse or inspire commemorating the them. Some churches the church’s regular lives of all the young would discreetly post congregants? men in the congregation the title of next week’s Or maybe they’re for who had died in the sermon on a board everyone. “Forbidden service of our country inside a glass case, sort fruit,” warned a sign I during the various of a teaser as to what saw in rural Kentucky wars we have fought. to expect come Sunday, a few months ago, After watching the but nobody ever posted “makes terrible jams.” boy study the list for the likes of the pun “WalMart,” proclaimed several seconds, the laden, smile provoking another, “Is Not the minister walked up “sermons in a sentence” Only Savings Place.” and placed his hand messages that adorn, if Or how about, on the boy’s shoulder. that is the proper word, “Free Coffee — “Good morning, Jack,” church yards all across Everlasting Life — he said to the boy. the nation these days. Yes, Membership Does “Good morning Very few people Have It’s Privileges.” Brother Walter,” the boy are ambivalent about Some are overtly replied, still looking at them. They seem to political; “Democrats!” the plaque. “Could I either love them or proclaimed one, “Get ask you something?” they really, really hate Right With God.” “Yes,” said the them, but even their But most, it seems minister. detractors read them to me, simply try “What is this? Why and smile, or groan, in to offer words of are all those names spite of themselves. encouragement to a written on the wall?” “How will you weary world. They’re “Well son,” said the spend eternity,” asks just gentle reminders minister, with all the one. “Smoking, or that churches, at their gravity at his command, Non-Smoking?” Or, best, offer something “They are all the young how about the tongue- better than the ways men from our church in-cheek humor of of the world. “Try our who have died in the “For God so loved the Sundays,” said a church service.” world that He did not I’ll bet is a friendly The little boy stood send a committee.” place to worship, silently for several “Trespassers will be “They’re Even Better seconds, then looked baptized” warns a sign Than Baskin-Robbins.” up and asked quietly, in one church’s parking “If You Can’t Sleep, “Which one Sir, the lot. Don’t Count Sheep — 8:30 or the 10:30?” Where did this all Talk to the Shepherd.” From out of the come from? Historians, Or consider this non- mouths of babes. some anyway, suggest it all started with the needlepoint samplers women and girls made in Early America. Usually they decorated them with verses from Proverbs or Psalms or some other religiously oriented saying like “Cleanliness Is Next to Godliness.” Terry Thompson Terry Thompson Ceree Peace Poston In the nineteenthScott Whaley,Scott Whaley,Vicky Fawcett,Vicky Fawcett, Ceree Peace Poston Editor & Publisher Office Manager Sales Manager Editor & Publisher Office Manager Sales ManagerReceptionist Receptionist century, lithographers and other printers began to publish cards and prints suitable for framing with inspirational messages Scott Whaley,Scott Whaley, Calvin Carter,Calvin Carter, on them. These were Matt GarrettMatt GarrettJeff Perry Julie Pickard, Editor & Publisher Editor & Publisher Julie Pickard, Staff WriterStaff WriterStaff WriterStaff Writer Graphic Designer Graphic Designer Sports Writer very popular all over the country. Calvin Carter, Calvin Carter, The Brownsville States-Graphic(USPS ISSN 08909938) Rebecca Gray The Brownsville ISSN 08909938) Rebecca Gray States-Graphic(USPS Communications Communications Then, in the early Staff WriterStaff Writer with the newspaper with the newspaper is published by Haywood Newspapers isweekly published weekly byCounty Haywood County Newspapers part of the 20th Century, the include the L.L.C., 42 South P.O. Box 59,P.O. Brownsville L.L.C.,Washington, 42 South Washington, Box 59, Brownsvillemust includemust as thousands and author’s signature, author’s signature, Sara Clark, Sara Clark, TN 38012. TN 38012. thousands of migrants address and address and Josh Anderson Josh Anderson Periodicals postage paidpostage at Brownsville, TN. Periodicals paid at Brownsville, TN. telephone number. telephone number. left the rural areas of Graphic Design Graphic Design POSTMASTER: Send address changes to changes to POSTMASTER: Send address All letters toAll theletters to the the South and settled in The Brownsville States-Graphic, P.O. Box 59,P.O. Box 59, editor reflecteditor The Brownsville States-Graphic, the reflect the Terry Thompson Terry Thompson Northern urban areas, opinions of the TN 38012 TN 38012 opinions of the Sales Manager SalesBrownsville, Manager Brownsville, they brought their“A publication not and are not of AmericanofHometown Publishing”Publishing”writer and arewriter “A publication American Hometown non-traditional faiths, necessarily those necessarily those Leticia Orozco Leticia Orozco DEADLINES: DEADLINES: of the newspaper. of the newspaper. mostly Pentecostal, Receptionist Receptionist News, Monday at Monday Noon • Advertising, Monday at Monday Noon at Noon News, at Noon • Advertising, The newspaper Theisnewspaper is with them. With no Classified Advertising, Monday at Monday Noon at Noon not responsible Classified Advertising, not for responsible for Vicky Fawcett, Vicky Fawcett, church buildings Society news, Monday Noon at Noon Society news,at Monday unsolicited material. unsolicited material. Office Manager Office Manager available, however, Legals, Monday Noon at Noon Legals,at Monday We reserve the Weright reserve the right to reject or shorten to reject or shorten SUBSCRIPTIONS (PER YEAR): they started churches SUBSCRIPTIONS (PER YEAR): letter to the editor. $35;County In-state$35; $42;In-state Out-of-state $49 Haywood $42; Out-of-state $49letter to the editor. in whatever buildingsHaywood County were available, often storefronts without traditional steeples

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