The creepy clown craze

FLINT – The only things scarier than Creepy Clowns wandering the woods are Angry Dads with Baseball Bats Who Would Love to Get Within Louisville Slugger Range of Creepy Clowns Wandering the Woods. I know. I’m one of them. Man, I’d like to have a word or two with the twits pulling that stunt and scaring everybody.

– What’s amazing is how fast creepy clown hysteria has grown. We’ve had, what, a dozen or so “sightings” of creepy clowns nationwide, three quarters of them probably false, and yet everyone I know is freaked out or angry about it. Hey, teenage guys: Not your best Halloween costume choice this year. I’d go with Terrifying Trump or Horrifying Hillary if you really want to frighten people.

– Real clowns are saying the creepy clown sightings are damaging their reputation. Sorry, I don’t think that’s possible. (What can I say, I’ve never thought they were funny.)

– For you, as a service, because I know you depend on me to do awful things so you don’t have to, I watched as much of the vice presidential debate as I could. It was not pretty. After two questions, I was posting this to Facebook: “I have about one more unanswered question in me before I give up. These debates are getting stupid – I want to find the person who invented ‘the pivot’ and freaking strangle him. Also, the moderator should have a stun gun button and use it every time these guys talk over one another.”

– The debate improved a bit after that, to be honest, but the point still stands: Our current debate format has become obsolete. The candidates simply don’t give a straight answer anymore. We’d be better served by a one on one interview with each candidate, but with a 30 minute time limit and a five minute penalty for each time he or she doesn’t give a straight answer, pivots to talking points or talks about their opponent. You like?

– The biggest eye-roll moment was when Pence said Trump wasn’t running an insult-based campaign. Really, dude? We have ears, ya know.

– A news story now says Flint, on top of everything else, has had an outbreak of a shigellosis, a high contagious gastrointestinal illness, since the water crisis began. What’s next, the plague? It might take that before state and federal lawmakers finally get off their uncaring duffs. I’ve said it before and I’ll say it until pipes are replaced: This is the slowest governmental response to a civic disaster in American history. Unbelievable. A pox on all their houses. Even worse, Flint water in all their houses. See how they like it.

– You know I love me some ArtPrize over in Grand Rapids. But my favorite item at the show this year wasn’t art at all, per se. It was a collection of quotes about looking back vs. looking forward. My favorite was “You know you’re on the right track when you’re uninterested in looking back.”

– It looks like the Detroit Tigers will keep manager Brad Ausmus. Please, god, no. His lack of urgency cost the Tigers games this year because he didn’t want to use his closer for four outs or ask a starter to pitch on short rest or …. The problem with Ausmus as a manager is he doesn’t get that, yes, baseball is a long haul, but you have to play that long haul with urgency – every day. April wins mean just as much as September wins. I also saw the team mailing it in too often and not adjusting to game conditions. The season’s last game was a great example. They couldn’t hit the Braves starter – at all – but did they try to bunt their way on, take more pitches, shorten strokes, adjust to the umpire’s strike zone? Of course not. A manager is there to tell his team, hey, let’s try this. Lecture over. The long winter looms. Love my Tigers, if not the result.

– “The greatest danger to our future is apathy.” – Jane Goodall.

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Andrew Heller, an award-winning newspaper columnist, appears weekly in the Daily Press. He graduated from Escanaba Area High School in 1979. Follow him at andrewheller.com and on Facebook and Twitter. Write to him via email at andrewhellercolumn@gmail.com.