Pranks aren’t relegated to just April Fool’s Day. They have been a part of the teenage (and beyond) culture around the world for decades — probably longer.
But it has now moved far beyond the innocent phone calls asking if the callee’s refrigerator is running or if they have Sir Walter Raleigh in a can. It’s gone beyond falsely pulling a fire alarm to watch the fire trucks come or crying wolf.
The prank du jour now involves clowns.
In Greenville, S.C., recently a full-on clown with white overalls, red hair and red shoes was reported trying to lure children into the woods; in Winston-Salem at about the same time, individuals dressed as clowns were attempting to lure children with laser-pointers and cash; in Columbus, Ohio, a 14-year-old boy said he was chased by a man in a clown mask with a knife; in Whiteville, a social media alert adorned with images of clowns claimed schools would be “purged;” and, just last week, a West Bladen student was arrested for making violent threats on social media aimed at east Bladen High and using an image of a clown.
There surely are many more instances state wide and nation wide.
But we hope law enforcement won’t be the only ones on high alert as these troubled, cowardly individuals send in the clowns. Everyone from teachers to parents to friends should be vigilant for someone close to them who may be considering such a dangerous prank.
While the media has long opted not to publicize fire alarms being pulled falsely, these social media or 911 clown threats seem to be aimed at much-more violent incidents — and society is already on edge about such things, from international terrorism to hometown violence.
It is our hope that anyone who is caught making copy-cat clown threats in any way, even if they are merely talking about doing it, is whisked away and face the maximum charges. It should be emphasized, right from the start and in every case, that this clownish behavior is no laughing matter.
Festival delivers again
The 24th annual Dublin Peanut Festival on Saturday may have once again put an exclamation mark on its self-proclaimed title as the Bladen County’s best festival.
For the 24th time, the Peanut Festival has delivered on its pre-fest hype of being “bigger and better.” From the entertainment to the vast array of vendors, assortment of food trucks, carnival rides and, most especially the kick-off parade, Saturday’s event can’t be considered anything less than a huge success.
And now, organizers have the annual task of figuring out how the next one could possibly be bigger and better.
But we feel sure the 25th Dublin Peanut Festival will be just that.
QUOTE OF THE DAY
“Crying wolf may have been the boy’s undoing, but the true irony was that the wolves were always lurking nearby.” (Wes Fesler)