Reality Round-Up: Hump Day Happenings

Happy Hump Day! (courtesy of Jin Fitness)

Happy Hump Day! (courtesy of Jin Fitness)

For as long as I can remember, people have referred to Wednesday as Hump Day. Initially—and likely due to hormones that were raging the first time I heard this term—I thought this meant that out of all the days of the week, Wednesday was the day when people were most likely to have sex. And since humping is a slang term for coitus, this made a lot of sense to me at the time and still does, to some extent.

Incidentally, scientists at Stanford University once compiled data from numerous mating rituals and concluded that couples were more likely to have sex on Wednesdays, but that’s beside the point. The same may not be true today.

Later—after I entered the so-called “work force”—I discovered that Hump Day really referred to Wednesday being the midpoint of the week. Making it to Wednesday and “getting over the hump” meant it would be smooth sailing to the weekend—only two days left until you were free to sleep in, spend time with family, shop, cut grass or do whatever it is you wanted to do. And like people everywhere, I welcome Hump Day with open arms every time it comes around.

Yes, Fridays are better, but Wednesdays are pretty cool, too.

In terms of news, crime and all sorts of other human experiences, though, Wednesdays are no different from any other day of the week. With this in mind, I decided to devote this edition of the Reality Round-Up to Hump Day and, let me tell you, I was not disappointed. What follows are stories I found as I drifted through cyberspace over the course of the day, conveniently collected for your reading pleasure. So stop all the humping for a minute and check it out, would you?

Boulevard of broken genitals? (courtesy of KXLY)

Boulevard of broken genitals? (courtesy of KXLY)

CLARKSTON, WASHINGTON

This story is very short, but also extremely gross, especially to guys like me.

On Tuesday morning, calls were placed to the Clarkston City Police Department and Asotin County Sheriff’s Office regarding an older man—an older naked man—who was seen lying in the middle of the road on 5th Street. When officers arrived, they discovered the 62-year-old was also injured and in dire need of medical attention. No one knows for sure how it happened, but his genitals had been severed.

The very thought of it makes me grimace.

Fortunately, the man’s genitals were recovered—I feel for the officer tasked with collecting them—and there’s a chance they could be reattached. I hope, for his sake, this is the case because living without all your necessary “toilet parts” is no picnic, I’m sure. More importantly, I hope he takes better care of his junk the second time around!

CHICAGO, ILLINOIS

It is no secret that the “not guilty” verdict in the trial of George Zimmerman—the community watch volunteer who killed 17-year-old Trayvon Martin last year—has caused controversy and generated national discussion about a host of issues, the most notable of which is race. But a sign posted outside the First Baptist Church of University Park in Chicago recently added more fuel to the fire, so to speak. Take a look.

Those K's are not home runs (courtesy of First Baptist Church of University Park/Facebook)

Those K’s are not home runs (courtesy of First Baptist Church of University Park/Facebook)

The sign was inspired by one posted in 1949 by Reverend Vernon Johns of Dexter Avenue Baptist Church in Montgomery, Alabama. Following the shooting of a black man by a white man, Johns—a prominent Civil Rights leader—posted a sign that read “It is Safe to Kill Negroes in Montgomery.” And like Reverend Johns, officials at First Baptist hope their sign will raise awareness about the mistreatment of African Americans in our society.

“The message on the sign is not a message of hate,” the church said in a recent statement. “It is a message of awakening and call to action. It is a message not intended to divide, but to cause honest reflection in order to make this country a better place for ALL.”

Reactions to the sign have been mixed, but many have objected to the misspelling of “America” with the letters KKK—a clear reference to the notorious Ku Klux Klan. The church has since corrected the spelling—which some of their Facebook followers deemed “hateful and divisive”—but I, for one, think the original spelling should stand.

After all, if you can’t reach people through more conventional means, then a little “shock value” might be just the thing to get people talking. And in this case, it certainly seems to have worked. I only hope that talk turns to action because otherwise, what’s the point, right?

Ahlittia North... another life cut short (courtesy of Jefferson Parish Sheriff)

Ahlittia North… another life cut short (courtesy of Jefferson Parish Sheriff)

NEW ORLEANS, LOUISIANA

Whenever I read about children being mistreated, neglected, abused or killed, it always brings tears to my eyes. Aside from being the epitome of innocence and wonder, children also represent the future. And if we can’t take care of our children, what kind of future can we really expect to have?

Sadly, the world was robbed of yet another child on Tuesday when the body of 6-year-old Ahlittia North was found in a trash can near her home in the suburb of Harvey. She had been stabbed four times—twice in the neck and twice in the abdomen—and there were bruises all over her body.

North went missing last weekend and investigators spent all day Saturday searching for her—looking through boarded-up buildings, checking alleyways and, of course, digging through dumpsters. In one building they discovered a pool of blood and after testing it, they realized the DNA matched that of the missing girl.

Needless to say, this didn’t leave much hope of finding her alive and well.

Matthew Flugence: Child Killer (courtesy of Jefferson Parish Sheriff)

Matthew Flugence: Child Killer (courtesy of Jefferson Parish Sheriff)

After receiving the test results, authorities retraced their steps and soon discovered North’s body in a trash can, wrapped in a blanket taken from her home. It was obvious that her killer dumped her body after the initial search on Saturday, most likely so garbage trucks would haul her away. Police followed the trail back to 20-year-old Matthew Flugence—the girl’s stepfather and frequent babysitter—and charged him with her murder. His brother Russell was also charged with obstruction of justice since he knew about the crime and refused to implicate his brother by sharing it with police.

For the life of me, I simply cannot understand how anyone could hurt—much less kill—a defenseless child. Losing any human life is tragic, but losing a child—someone too young to have even experienced all that life has to offer—is even worse, at least in my opinion. Of course, there’s something else that bothers me when I hear stories like this, and that is the fact that at one time, even murderers were children. And just as little Ahlittia’s parents had high hopes for her future, the parents of murderers likely had the same hopes for children who, for one reason or another, turned into monsters instead.

So to any parents with young children out there, please take the advice of Crosby, Stills & Nash and “teach your children well.” Only then may your hopes for their futures truly be realized.

Is it possible someone poisoned the children? (courtesy of Guardian Express)

Is it possible someone poisoned the children? (courtesy of Guardian Express)

DHARAMSATI, INDIA

Although the Reality Round-Up normally focuses on news from the U.S.A., a story from India recently caught my attention. And since it involves children, I could not resist writing about it here. Unfortunately, it isn’t good news.

In the northeast Indian district of Saran—in the village of Dharamsati—22 school children have died and another 25 have been hospitalized after free school lunches were found to contain organophosphorous, an insecticide commonly used in agriculture. It is also related to sarin gas, a nerve agent classified by the United Nations as a weapon of mass destruction.

Just watch the Nicolas Cage-Sean Connery film The Rock and you will understand what makes sarin gas so deadly. Even the smallest concentrations can be fatal to an adult, so imagine what would happen to a child who has been exposed to it.

According to the latest reports, the children killed by this horrible poison were between the ages of 5 and 12. And authorities have not yet determined whether this was an accident or if someone poisoned these kids deliberately. Either way, there are a lot of grieving parents in India right now. Please pray for them if you are so inclined.

LEXINGTON, NORTH CAROLINA

11-year-old Lauren Cecil loved to swim. Most summer evenings, she could be found at Brookside Swim Club, enjoying the pool with friends and preparing for the next swim meet. And with another competition right around the corner—this Friday in nearby Denton—she was doing everything she could to make sure she was ready.

Unfortunately—and due to a tragic and mysterious accident—Lauren would not live long enough to compete in Friday’s meet.

Try plastic, not metal (courtesy of Fox WGHP-8)

Try plastic, not metal (courtesy of Fox WGHP-8)

As she was swimming Tuesday night with a few friends, a power line adjacent to the pool snapped and sent untold volts of fatal electricity into the water. Lauren’s friends were able to scramble to the concrete deck and escaped injury, but such was not the case for poor Lauren. In an effort to flee, she mistakenly grabbed one of the metal ladders to climb out of the pool and received a fatal jolt. Lifeguards fished her out using a body board and performed CPR for several minutes, but it was too late. She was pronounced dead on arrival at Wake Forest Baptist Health Center a short time later.

No one is likely to blame for this terrible incident, but it does prove that you never know when death will come for you. If ever there were a stronger argument to support the notion of carpe diem—more commonly known as “seize the day”—this would have to be it. We really must take advantage of every waking minute to enjoy the lives that can be taken from us at any moment. It’s just especially heartbreaking when death comes for someone as young as Lauren.

So ends another edition of the Reality Round-Up—and a rather depressing edition, at that. Fortunately, things should be looking up because now, you can return to the humping I so rudely interrupted with this article.

Happy Hump Day, everybody!

Posted on July 17, 2013, in Perspectives and tagged , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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