Once again, there is no shortage of interesting news in the world around us. Rather than boring you with some lengthy introduction about how freaky life on this wonderful Friday is, however, I’ll launch right into some of the stories that caught my attention. Some are sad, some are happy and some are bizarre, but I assure you they all have something that sets them apart. Don’t take my word for it, though. Check out the happenings from yet another Freaky Friday and judge for yourself, dear reader. I have no doubt you will agree by the time you reach the bottom of this post!
We begin in La Grande, Oregon, where 15-year-old Jadin Bell—a gay teen subjected to bullying because of his sexual preference—hanged himself last January. A passerby found him hanging from a play structure outside Central Elementary School and rescued him, but he died a few weeks later after being taken off of life support.
In honor of his son, Jadin’s father Joe Bell decided to walk cross-country in an effort to educate people about bullying and the tragedies it can cause among our youth. He spent much of his time in the Midwest, chronicled his journey on his Facebook page and planned to reach Wichita this November.
Unfortunately, this will never happen.
On Wednesday night, Joe was walking down Highway 40 near Kit Carson, Colorado when he was struck and killed by a tractor-trailer. The driver—49-year-old Kenneth Raven—may have fallen asleep at the wheel, but it matters little since Bell was pronounced dead at the scene. And sadly, “Joe’s Walk for Change” has now come to an abrupt end.
This story is incredibly sad, to say the least, but it’s also ironic how one tragedy prompted Joe’s walk—namely the suicide of his teenage son—but it was this very walk that eventually resulted in his own tragic death. Some would call this an “act of God” and claim that everything happens for a reason, but I quote George Clooney’s character Seth from the Robert Rodriguez film From Dusk Till Dawn in response: “Yeah, those acts of God really stick it in and break it off, don’t they?”
Indeed they do, Seth. Indeed they do.
After that depressing story, I feel the need to switch gears to something a little more positive and uplifting. Enter 9-year-old Mridula Shanker, a fourth grader from Ann Arbor, Michigan who just made the news for a different reason: breaking the Guinness world record for hula-hooping.
“I like to hula hoop and break records,” the young lady told reporters recently. “It’s kind of easy.”
Mridula’s last point is arguable—I’ve never had much luck getting more than a few rotations out of any hula hoop I’ve tried—but it certainly must come easy to her. She just received confirmation from the Guinness people and, for now, her record of 166 rotations in one minute—while doing a gymnastic move known as the arabesque pose, no less—stands as the best in the world.
I can say this: if breaking the record were up to me, Mridula would never lose the title!
Story three shoots us south to Lubbock, Texas, where some billboards scattered throughout the “Hub City” have caused quite a stir. They show Jesus Christ with his arms extended and a thorny crown on his head, but there is one big difference that has people talking: this Jesus has ink.
Yes, a total of 56 billboards show J.C. with tattoos of words like outcast, fear and addicted running across his chest and down his arms. They were sponsored by a mysterious group known only by the name “Tattoo Jesus,” but on their website they describe themselves as “a small group of people humbled by the love of Jesus” and claim that this “is not an effort to raise money or support any specific organizations.”
See it for yourself HERE.
What you will also find is a video that shows Jesus changing the tattoos of people who come in with these same words on them. It’s actually a pretty unique idea, especially to hear Jesus Tattoo volunteer Jay Corner explain it.
“People find out that they have scars and they have things in their past that they haven’t let go of,” Corner told local reporters recently. “Christ says that he’ll take that from us and so through tattoos… we use imagery to show that.”
I hope this doesn’t come off as hypocritical or sarcastic coming from an agnostic, but amen, brother. Any strange or unusual approach to getting people’s attention—in a society so determined to distract us—is A-OK in my book. I can also appreciate the fact that there’s an underlying theme some may not pick up on: acceptance. I have tons of friends with ink, piercings and other physical features deemed socially unacceptable by many—and yes, they always draw stares no matter where they go—but you know what they say about judging a book by its cover, right? These friends may have unusual “covers,” but what lies within is solid gold. And nothing they do to their physical appearance will ever make me love them any less.
That’s what Jesus would do, after all.
And so we arrive at the final story of this Freaky Friday, which comes to us from the East Coast—more specifically from Rocky Hill, Connecticut.
Scot Haney is a meteorologist at WFSB who enjoys eating Grape-Nuts cereal for breakfast every morning before heading to work. This past Wednesday, he followed the same routine, drove to the studio and assumed his usual position in front of the camera. As he was delivering his weather forecast, however, he suddenly noticed what he thought were some leftover pieces of cereal on the floor.
And brace yourselves, people, because what comes next is pretty nasty… not to mention completely unexplainable.
Right in front of his co-anchors and all of his WFSB viewers, Haney scooped up the cereal and ate it live on television.
“I can’t believe you just ate that,” WFSB Anchor Irene O’Connor told her colleague. Morning traffic reporter Olessa Stepanova echoed O’Connor’s sentiment and added, “You can’t.”
Oh yes he can, ladies. And he did, but it gets worse.
Haney swallowed the cereal and confessed that it was “a little soggy,” following up a moment later with “they taste like shoes.” Still, he continued with his forecast and the news went on as planned… at least until the Trending Now segment of the program began. That’s when Haney realized a horrible truth: it wasn’t cereal he ate before, it was cat vomit!
You read that right. Cat vomit. Felinus Barfanus, if you want to get technical.
As it turns out, Haney’s cat had been sick that morning and on his way out the door, the unsuspecting weatherman stepped in it and eventually tracked it into the studio—a fact he shared on the air, by the way.
“And that’s what I ate,” he told the world, or at least that small slice of the world that subscribes to WFSB. “I thought it was Grape-Nuts. I ate cat vomit right here on television. It’s disgusting.”
True enough, my friend. It is disgusting, but it’s also a great way to end the freakiness of yet another Friday. Thanks for reading and enjoy what I hope will be a fun, relaxing and safe weekend for us all.
Peace out and be good to each other.
Posted on October 11, 2013, in Perspectives and tagged acceptance, commentary, current-events, humor, Jesus, news, perspectives, Pets, religion, Tattoo Jesus, tolerance, tragedy. Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.