Thursday, June 20, 2019

An Unwelcome Guest




I’d been in the apartment a little more than six months. Centrally located but quiet, well-furnished, 7th floor. Perfect for me. There were enough small takeout restaurants nearby that I didn’t have to cook much, and the bar scene was just right. I even got the idea that the apartment had a certain feng shui that helped me lure women to it. Since moving in, I’d brought home many, something that had seemed harder in my previous place.

Of course it was sheer superstition about the feng shui. The women I brought back--they hadn’t yet seen the building when they stumbled with me out of this or that bar. So how could the building be working on them in my favor?

No matter. At 32, with a new job and new digs, staying fit at a gym around the corner, women like never before, I finally felt set up in this new city. It had taken awhile, but the town was starting to seem right.

During my fourth month in the new apartment something odd happened. A girl I’d brought home, Maureen was her name, had dragged herself from my bed at about three or four a.m. to find something to drink in my fridge. I was in bed, drunkenly asleep, when she began to scream in the kitchen. Startled awake and stumbling out from the bedroom, I saw she’d switched on the kitchen light and stood against the wall, frozen in panic.

“What’s wrong?”

“You … you …” she began.

“What? What happened?”

“There’s someone in your fridge! Your father! He glared at me. He’s in your fucking fridge!”

Her eyes were wild. She said every word at the top of her lungs, unhinged. She would wake the neighbors, and probably had already.

For a minute I didn’t know what to do. Like everyone, I’d had to deal with nut cases now and then, but this was different. Once her words really sunk in—I was buzzed and half-asleep—I thought that either someone must have put something in her drink at the bar, or the girl was a bona fide psycho.

“You think my father is in my fridge?”

“He said he was your father!”

“But … it’s impossible!”

There flashed through my mind the trouble I might be in—that she’d somehow accuse me. Just recently there’d been a widely reported case in town of a rich young perv who’d been slipping date rape drugs in aspiring models’ drinks. That guy was headed to jail.

I tried to calm her down.

“Listen. There’s no one in the fridge. Just think about it. It’s impossible.”

“I saw him.”

“And besides, my father lives a thousand miles away. So you must have been sleepwalking or dreaming.”

“He’s there. I saw him.”

“But it’s impossible. Really. Here. I’ll show you.”

I stepped toward the refrigerator door.

“No! Don’t you open it! He’s … horrible.”

She was blinking, her breathing uneven. She did look drugged. What was I going to do?

“Okay,” I said. “But my father doesn’t even live in this town, much less in a fridge. Don’t you realize what you’re saying is literally impossible? Just try to be calm, think it through. It’s the middle of the night. Come back to bed. We can talk about it.”

“You’re sick!” she yelled at me, really angry this time. “I can’t stay here. This is SICK.”

She scampered past me to the bedroom.

“Where’s the light switch!” she yelled.

I went and turned it on for her. She dressed quickly, muttering curses as she did, then rushing back to the living room grabbed her purse.

I followed her to door, tried to say something to calm her down, but it was no use. She slammed it on the way out.

It took me awhile to get back to sleep, but that I finally did so made me feel somewhat proud of myself. I got in a good three or four hours before work. No use letting a psycho ruin my night and the whole following day. And as for worrying about trouble, if she was going to cause any, I’d just have to face it. I’d done nothing illegal.

Two days passed without any appearance from the police. I breathed a sigh of relief. Crisis over.

Then one evening about two months after Maureen’s fit I was putting a styrofoam carton of takeout pasta in the fridge when something pinkish caught my eye in one of the door racks. I reached down and fished it out.

It seemed to be half of a set of dentures—the top half. What the fuck? It looked real enough, but was too small, about a third the size normal adult dentures would be. Was it maybe a denture made for a kid? But why was it in my refrigerator?

I took it and sat on the sofa near the lamp, to look it over more carefully. I thought back to the state of the refrigerator when I’d moved in. In fact there’d been a few items from the previous tenant: some condiment jars, a few drink bottles. Had I not noticed the denture when I cleaned them out?

Then it came to me. Looming up like a wall, solid and white and menacing: the memory of that night with Maureen.

I put the denture on the coffee table, then picked it up again. Then put it back down. With a tightness forming in my throat, I went back to the fridge and stood staring at its closed beige door.

Then I laughed at myself, at how absurd it was.

But still. Why was there a denture in my refrigerator?

I opened it and peered in, scanning the spaces, the shelves. Drinks, white plastic bags of uneaten takeout. It was a mess. I swung the trash bin out from under the sink and, my heart starting to pound, began to empty the top shelf where most of the takeout was. Toward the back of the shelf I noticed an empty white bag stretched lengthwise, covering something. I seized the corner and yanked it off.

There he lay on his side, blinking.

“Okay, okay!” he snapped suddenly. “It is what it is. I like the cold. What are you gonna do about it?”

I’d recoiled four or five steps, eyes trying to take it in.

“Huh?” he said. “What are you gonna do about it?”

“What the FUCK!” I yelled. “What the fuck is THIS?”

“It is what it is,” he repeated louder, glaring at me with beady black eyes.

He wore what looked like a threadbare hospital gown. Nearly bald. Shriveled in an unnatural way. From head to toe he seemed a bit over two feet. The head was too large for the body. An obscene doll.

“Who are you?” I demanded. “What are you?”

“Oh is that any way …” he began. Then: “And who are you—if it comes to that? Who are you?”

“This is my apartment. I’m renting it. How long have you been here?”

“Not quite sure.”

“You told a girl you were my father!”

“I didn’t want to scare her. She caught me awake.”

“Didn’t want to scare her?! You think finding a shriveled man in the fridge in the middle of the night is not going to scare the shit out of someone!”

“Well … I did my best.”

“FUCK!” I yelled, stepping closer to the open door.

“Yes, that’s the way. Get it off your chest.”

“Off my chest? FUCK! This is ABSURD. How did you even get in here?”

“I’ve been here a while. I like the cold.”

“But why? And why my fridge? You should be dead staying in there. Are you in there all the time?”

“I think I told you. I like the cold. It helps me sleep.”

“You should be dead! You’re in a fucking refrigerator!”

“But I’m not dead. I can hibernate. Since I was young. I can do it. I think I’m part bear. Hah! Funny, hey?”

His hand did a little kind of pirouette, as if to underline the joke.

“How old are you?” I demanded.

“I don’t keep track. It’s better that way. Sometimes I’m out cold for three, four days. So as for months and years, who knows?”

“Fuck!”

“C’mon now. Let’s just get along. It’s no skin off your back. I only nibble a bit of your chow now and then. Couple times a month I figure. What’s it to you?”

“NO.”

“Just be a good sort and put my bag back over me and close the door. This light bothers my eyes. C’mon then.”

“NO. Fuck!”

“What?”

“You are OUT OF HERE.”

I snatched up the bag he’d been using as a sheet. I wrapped it round my right hand so I could seize hold of him. I didn’t want to actually touch him.

“No no no!” he started, covering his face with his hands when he realized my plan. “You’re not really gonna …?”

I moved closer so as to reach in toward him.

“I’ll bite you!” he barked. “I’ll bite you good!”

“I have your dentures,” I said.

“You only have the top one! I’ll bite! I swear I will!”

Lunging forward, I got my hand round one of his deformed legs. He twisted himself round to make good on the threat to bite. I yanked him out of the fridge in a single swoop.

I held him up in the air, upside down. He was screaming and writhing, trying to grab my arm to bite me. Holding him out away from me, I got to the apartment door and managed to open it. I swung him out onto the hallway floor, far enough that he wouldn’t have time to scurry back. I slammed and bolted the door.

Cussing, heart racing, I retreated to the living room. I stood glaring for a while at my locked door. He didn’t knock, didn’t make a sound. I heard nothing from the hallway.

I needed to get my wits about me. It was too much. A hibernating imp. In my fridge!

I sat back on the sofa, trying to think. Then: “My dentures,” I through the door.

I didn’t reply.

“My dentures!” he said a little louder. “C’mon. Be a sport.”

To be finished with the whole thing, to get him to leave, I took the dentures to the door, unbolted and opened it just an inch, then flicked them through the crack near the floor. I heard them drop against the hallway tile just before reslamming the door.

“Aw, you could’ve broke ‘em!” he said.

“Go away!” is all I said.

I listened for movement, but heard nothing.

I went back to the sofa. A few minutes passed. He made no more noise from outside.

A half hour later I decided to go out myself and look around, to be sure he was gone. I didn’t find him in the hallway, nor on the stairs going down (he was too short to use the elevator) nor anywhere near the building’s entrance. I glanced both ways down the street. Nowhere.

That was a week ago. There have been no problems since. I did clean out and disinfect my fridge. And I called my father. Why I’m not quite sure.

I’m still only half convinced it happened. But no, I know it did. It is all seared in my mind. Nobody drugged me.

And so a question: If I run into Maureen again, which I suppose is possible, should I apologize? Should I tell her?

I’m not decided.

E.M.

Check out my Idiocy, Ltd. and begin the long, hard reckoning.

Friday, June 14, 2019

Stop Lying About Sohrab Ahmari


EWTN Screenshot: Sohrab Ahmari

I’ve been roundly disappointed in reactions to Sohrab Ahmari’s piece decrying “David French-ism”. Reading through the first flurry of pundit weigh-ins, I kept thinking Huh? Did I miss something in the original piece? So I went back and reread it. No, in fact, on second reading I still didn’t find any blanket rejection of the liberal order. Ahmari was not, as many claimed, declaring himself a theocrat. It’s just not there.

Ahmari’s position, it seemed to me, was far more nuanced. In brief: The liberal order is such that it will typically end up imposing one or another vision of the good. For any liberal state to hold together, this is perhaps even a necessity. Our current left (with its hysterical identity politics playing on constant loop, with its penchant for censoring critics in the name of a bogus “safety”) has nearly succeeded in establishing its own vision of the good as paramount. The problem is that that vision is a disaster, whereas conservative ideas of the good, at least the kind held by Ahmari, have the imprimatur of a long history of cultural flourishing.

Given the stakes, given the left as it stands, Ahmari is arguing that conservatives need to begin playing hardball if they are not to be utterly silenced. This is the main thrust of his argument. Not reject the liberal order as such: rather, play a louder, more aggressive game within that order. Conservatives need to stop dreaming that mere proceduralism will save the American future.

Is that beyond the pale?

To reject David Frenchian proceduralism as a fix-all approach is not equal to becoming a fascist. Many of Ahmari’s critics don’t seem to get this. He is not arguing for an end to the Constitution or some kind of Catholic sharia; he simply seeks more direct engagement in areas of pubic life besides just the courts and polite conservative political reviews.

I myself think there’s a large and disgusted demographic of Americans who would agree with him on this. They want pushback. Why, they wonder, don’t our conservative leaders stand up to these pinkshirt bullies?

This is not to reject polite debate in arenas where it is necessary—say, in the courtrooms where David French has accomplished so much. I point this out because Ahmari was also widely attacked for stating what seems to me a necessary truth about our moment. He finished his essay with the words:

Progressives understand that culture war means discrediting their opponents and weakening or destroying their institutions. Conservatives should approach the culture war with a similar realism. Civility and decency are secondary values. They regulate compliance with an established order and orthodoxy. We should seek to use these values to enforce our order and our orthodoxy, not pretend that they could ever be neutral. To recognize that enmity is real is its own kind of moral duty.

Ahmari’s critics were horrified that he called civility and decency “secondary values”. But these critics at best misread his point, and at worst show that they’ve lost all sense of the hierarchy of values that comes with any serious thinking about the good. Luckily Matthew Schmitz of First Things debunks these misreadings in an excellent essay that you should take the time to read.

Ahmari’s post-battle talk with Mark Bauerlein (on podcast) confirmed me in my first reading of his piece. Since I think a lot of people still aren’t getting this, and others are tendentiously pretending not to get it, I’ll type some out by way of transcript.

Bauerlein mentions the Drag Queen Story Hour, which set off Ahmari’s argument with French, and wonders if conservatives who believe in proceduralism above all have any means of stopping this debased new institution.

AHMARI: If your conservatism is merely the upholding of procedure and maximal autonomy, with harm and consent as the only limiting principles, then you may win X, Y, Z legal battle over religious liberty in the courtroom, but the thrust of the culture will sweep you away. Because the ideology that we are up against says not only is drag to be tolerated in the drag queen bar or whatever … not only will it be legally tolerated, but it must be treated as normative, [that] for me [as drag queen] to feel fully autonomous in my identity, you will have to acknowledge that everything I’m doing is fine … Or if it’s a matter of the transgender thing, it’s not enough that you say So-and-so has a right to surgically transition: you must say that this person was always the gender that they became, and that their old name is now a taboo, it’s a dead name. That’s the full exercise of my autonomy [as trans], and it will [have to] destroy your autonomy for me to feel autonomous.

So that’s why I think that this idea that Sohrab Ahmari, by challenging David French-ism or this sort of conservatism, is proposing, you know, the restoration of the Papal States, or a kind of Catholic sharia—all these extremist labels that have been thrown at me—also reveals the kind of limits on the conservative imagination, that there’s only one configuration. And anything that suggests that we could go back to, for example, decency laws, or obscenity laws, must mean, you know, Vichy, or Pius IX, or Papal States. You know, there were people who were firmly in the liberal tradition—I cite Matthew Arnold in the essay—who say, Yeah, liberalism and autonomy in their proper spheres, but there have to be other limits [besides mere autonomy]: there are spaces in which the moral authority of the community must override individual rights, or free trade, blah blah blah. To be a bit pragmatic actually. Who’s the dogmatist [here]—the one who says, “In the face of Drag Queen Story Hour, if you want to do anything about it, you must want sharia,” or the one who says, “No, in its proper sphere, OK, but don’t try and make it normative for my children.”

Bauerlein then asks if Ahmari considers this development a result of the excess influence of libertarianism from the 1950s forward. Ahmari agrees, and points out that since 1960s especially, conservatives may have grumbled about this or that development, but nonetheless pursued a deregulatory approach in all spheres of life; one which, he implies, has given the left carte blanche to remake the culture according to its own perverse blueprint.

Honestly I’m tempted to type out more, but I think the main point on Ahmari’s supposed “illiberal turn” is clear. Listen to the whole thing.

And speaking of blueprints, I myself would like to see conservatives with a bigger voice than my own start getting on board with more concrete initiatives. There is news of a “Straight Pride” rally planned for Boston later this year. That seems a good start, though to me the choice of name, merely derivative, is not ideal. I’ve long thought about the need for some kind of celebration or rally to counter the Rainbow Cult Processions that now gyrate through our cities. I’d call the event the Back to Basics Rally.

Why "basics"? Because our bodies, male or female, are one of the basic grounds on which our health and wholeness depend. It is this basic ground, the beauty and goodness of healthy development as male or female, that is being rebelled against. We should never be seducing youth into rebelling against their bodies and then, insanely, affirming and celebrating them when they do. But that is precisely what America's elites are doing.

Participants in Back to Basics would stress a few central truths:

1) Transgenderism is not a matter of “discovering one’s true gender”, but a dangerous psychosexual disorder, one which quickly spreads (cf. Rapid Onset Gender Dysphoria) among youth.

2) Wise Americans raise their boys and girls to become healthy men and women, not sexually confused mannequins prey to a cultural fad.

3) LGBT activists currently have far too much sway in our schools.

4) During elementary and high school, boys and girls should only be identified based on their physical bodies and should use corresponding restrooms and locker rooms. The respective pronouns are he, him and she, her. Public schools that do not uphold these basic standards should be sued, boycotted, and protested by parents. Such schools, through their pandering to a destructive sexual cult, gravely endanger American youth--as is already happening.

Back to Basics Rally participants would also, of course, celebrate: 

1) the goodness and givenness of the body;

2) heterosexuality and the goodness of traditional marriage and family;

3) a sane return to basic biology;

4) healthy, age-appropriate education of youth.

In short, participants would celebrate the opposite of what our mainstream culture now promotes--a rebellion against the body via an LGBTQ dogma that demonstrates an ever-deepening fetishization of sexual and gender disorders under the rubric “Pride”.

There are millions of American parents who see how this cult has run rampant over our schools and media. Back to Basics Rallies would allow them to come together to push back against the destructive ideology being spoon-fed to their children. If these parents were to unite under a platform stating basic biological truths, in defense of their children's healthy development, they could turn the tide against this cult. I propse Back to Basics, B2B, as an effective slogan for this needed movement.

And really: How far are responsible parents going to let this go before they take a stand? Studies now suggest that the number of young people identifying as "trans" or "nonbinary" has increased as much as 4000% (!) in recent years. The reason is not difficult to grasp given the climate created by the LGBT movement and its trendy cheerleaders in the entertainment industry. Young people see gender-bending as a vehicle through which to gain the attention youth always crave, as well as a route by which they may dramatically mediate the suffering and confusion that come with growing up. That this gender-cultism often ends with hormone-blocking therapy and surgery is what makes the phenomenon truly tragic. Youth are defacing their natural bodies and scarring themselves for life, and school authorities are helping them do it. Many of these youth will end up sterile, will arrive at age thirty and wonder: “How could they have let me do this to myself?” That this will happen, that it is happening already, is as obvious as Wednesday follows Tuesday.

Would Ahmari, or other conservative writers, get on board with such initiatives as Back to Basics? I’m not sure. But such a movement as I sketch out here, with raucous in-your-face rallies and parents up in arms against our sexually corrupted education system, seems the kind of thing Ahmari is calling for. This is not a rejection of the liberal order, but a rejection of the new gaythoritarianism that is corrupting American culture and endangering American youth.

Check out my Idiocy, Ltd. and begin the long, hard reckoning.

Sunday, June 2, 2019

The Clown Goes Rogue




The Disassociated Press, June 3, 2019

by Eric Mader

[Collaborative juvenilia. Written with ideas from my teen students here in Taiwan.]

Now with an Interpol warrant on his head, police in several countries are still seeking to apprehend Ronald McDonald, the famous mascot clown of the McDonald’s restaurant chain, after a string of crimes for which he is the prime suspect.

Authorities believe the clown went rogue some time early last month.

Though the clown’s reasons for dropping his role as symbol of the McDonald’s Corporation are still unclear, investigators now believe he initially sought to launch his own new restaurant chain in the US northwest.

Under the alias Ronny Green, it appears the clown opened two restaurants in the Seattle area in April, offering “organic food for folks on the go”. Featuring “drive thrus”, kiddy playgrounds, “Earthy Meals” and a towering green plastic “G” in front of each location, the company sought to employ strategies successfully used by the McDonald’s chain.

Investigators are also convinced the restaurant’s mascot was Ronald McDonald himself in disguise. For his new venture, the clown dyed his hair green, used earth-tone make-up instead of white for his face, and sported a clown suit in green and white stripes with huge brown clown shoes instead of the huge red shoes he’d worn previously.

A McDonald’s company representative, who asked to remain anonymous, has acknowledged by phone interview that the parent company suspected their former clown was involved in the new effort, and that they were considering legal action. They had just prepared documentation to file suit, the source said, when several Seattle children recognized “Ronny Green” as Ronald McDonald and the story hit local media.

In the media frenzy that followed the children’s claims, “Ronny Green” disappeared, absconding with the new company’s earnings. Employees at the two locations were never paid their first weeks’ salaries.

Investigators have also verified that the spinoff restaurants’ products, including a hamburger-like sandwich called the “BigGeo”, did not contain the organic ingredients advertised.

“They were all substandard ingredients,” Darren Schnorr of the Washington Bureau of Public Health said. “They were even using illegal things. We discovered animal feed being used to make the burger patties.”

On the Lam

Fleeing Seattle, the clown headed east, appearing in the greater Chicago area as main suspect in a string of burglaries and muggings. Again children brought in to view CCTV footage of one of the break-ins confirmed that the clown in the video was Ronald McDonald.

“That’s Ronald!” several children screamed out simultaneously when shown CCTV footage of one break-in at Chicago apartment complex.

Authorities believe the clown then headed south. In a daring move, he changed back to his original McDonald’s costume and dyed his hair bright red.

The clown is believed to have impersonated a bus driver for two days in the Little Havana district of Miami. Offering “Free Medium Fries with Every Ride”, Ronald McDonald was reported by several passengers to be driving recklessly and playing loud Marilyn Manson music on his bus. Police have now confirmed the bus in question was removed from a Miami Metro Transportation Authority lot.

Police also believe the clown may have been lacing the free French fries with barbiturates, as many passengers, once dropped off, remembered little of their ride or were later found unconscious on area sidewalks.

Federal investigators, put on the case after the incidents in Miami, believe Ronald McDonald then decided to lay low for a time. They picked up the clown’s traces two weeks later in Atlanta, and nearly caught him this time, when it became clear he was posing as a local grandmother.

Timmy Shears, 8, suspected something was wrong with his grandmother when he visited her at her Atlanta suburban home two days before his birthday.

“She looked different, kind of sick,” Timmy later told local news channel WSB-TV. “She smelled bad too. I mean, grandma always uses lots of perfume and body lotion, but this time her smell was different. And really really bad.”

Timmy’s parents became suspicious when Timmy, returning home in the evening, told them that his grandmother had offered to help him shower in her house, but did not pursue the matter.

Then, on Timmy’s birthday two days later, the boy brought home a birthday cake his “grandmother” had made him with his favorite strawberry frosting.

After eating a piece of the cake, Timmy became ill, and his parents, checking the cake, found that several dead goldfish “frosted onto the cake’s surface” along with “other unidentifiable scraps”, according to police. Timmy’s grandmother kept goldfish in her home.

Mrs. Shears rushed her son to the hospital, but got no answer on her mother’s phone.

“I was afraid my mother had gone mad,” she says.

Going to her mother’s house an hour later with her husband, she found the woman tied up in the basement and delirious, covered with ketchup and mustard, the floor strewn with French fries. Her goldfish were gone from the fish tank.

But before police could arrive on the scene, the clown had again gotten away. A police report later confirmed the French fries fed to the old woman contained the barbiturate pentobarbital.

Authorities believe the clown next headed southwest. Federal officials suspect he eventually crossed the border into Mexico at Laredo. In Mexico city he apparently boarded a flight to Paris, though on what passport is unknown.

Paris: Interpol Warrant

In the French capital, Ronald McDonald again upped the ante. Borrowing from his Miami tactics, but this time armed with an AK-47, he commandeered a city bus on the Rue de Rivoli just before the dinner hour, crashing through one of the north walls of the Louvre Museum. Seven passengers and one pedestrian were injured in the crash, but the clown was seemingly unscathed.

Having thus gained entry to the Louvre, the clown proceeded to run the through the galleries firing randomly, laughing with glee and spray-painting obscene graffiti on several masterpieces of European painting. One security guard was shot during the rampage, but only sustained minor injuries.

The clown escaped before French military police could enter in pursuit.

The following day, May 12, as Paris mayor Anne Hidalgo was giving a press conference on the event, shots were heard from an adjacent rooftop. Ms. Hidalgo ducked to the ground, but one of the would-be assassin’s bullets critically wounded a city legislator standing at her side. The clown was filmed fleeing across rooftops and again escaped before authorities could apprehend him.

It has now been confirmed that Ronald McDonald spent around two hours that same night reveling in the chic Paris night club La Java, where other revelers took numerous selfies with him. No one at the club contacted authorities. Several reports suggest the clown still had his spray paint can with him and was spray-painting fellow clubbers and furniture.

It was after these Parisian incidents that Interpol put out a warrant for the Ronald McDonald’s arrest.

Jakarta: Metamorphosis

After Paris, the track went cold for almost a week before reports surfaced that the clown had appeared in the Indonesian capital Jakarta. Authorities are still uncertain, however, if these reports are trustworthy.

Rumors of what is now being called serangan badut Amerika, the “American clown invasion”, began with Sarif Suryantono, 26, whose family owns a parking garage in the capital’s Tanah Abang district.

Mr. Suryantono claims he was working one night in the small office attached to the garage when he heard a man’s laughter coming from among the parked cars. He said the man sounded drunk or deranged.

When he went to investigate, he said he found “the McDonald’s clown, dirty and drunk, leaning against a parked car”. The clown, he claims, was “licking the car’s driver side window, as if trying to clean it,” according to a report in the Jakarta Post.

Mr Suryantono said that when he spoke to the clown, demanding to know if that was his car, the clown stood up, gestured toward the buildings outside the lot, and said, “Yes. And all this city is mine.”

“Suddenly,” Mr. Suryantono said, “he broke apart into many pieces, like in a horror movie, and he became thousands of cockroaches. The cockroaches spread out over the floor like oil and began to scurry away.”

Mr. Suryantono said he fled the scene in terror. He said his parents did not at first believe his story, and that later, returning to the parking garage with them, they did not find any of the roaches, though he could point out the licked places on the car’s window.

Mr. Suryantono and his family initially decided not to tell anyone else of the incident. It was only later, the next day, when they returned to the garage, that they found two of the roaches in the alley behind it. They immediately contacted the Jakarta Post and asked a journalist to come investigate.

“The roaches are different,” Mr Suryantono claims. “There is reddish hair around the head. They’re larger than normal roaches.”

Mr. Suryantono didn’t attempt to catch any of the roaches, however, because he considered them “evil”.

Since his story hit Indonesian media, many in the Tanah Abang district of Jakarta have reported seeing the “clown roaches”, and some have managed to kill them and post photos on social media, but capital city authorities so far have declined to comment on the “American clown invasion”.

Asked in a follow-up television interview if he would be willing to lead authorities to find some of the roaches, Mr. Suryantono said that he personally hadn’t seen any of them since, but that he regularly hears vendors and others in surrounding neighborhoods talking of them.

“I have one man who told me he thinks it’s a biological weapon of some kind,” Mr. Suryantono said. “He thinks it was developed by the CIA. We are very fearful. And the police still pretend that nothing happened. We will see where this all leads. It is not good.”

South America: La semana de tres lunes

Whether by airline or some other means, some are convinced the clown next appeared in South America, where, impersonating the day Monday, he is believed to be responsible for what is now infamously referred to on the continent as “la semana de tres lunes”--the week of three Mondays.

Thousands of people across several South American nations reported waking up on the morning of Monday May 20 from disturbing dreams involving “el payaso McDonald”--the McDonald’s clown. Already during the early working hours, such dreams were widely remarked and commented in local social media as an odd coincidence in Peru, Bolivia, Paraguay, Chile and Argentina.

Subsequently, according to reports, workers and students in these countries noticed the hours until lunch break dragging on and on, seeming much longer than usual, and many reported feeling hungry and ready for lunch by 10:00 a.m.

“By 10:30 my kids were going nuts,” reports Luisa Contreras, 29, a Chilean elementary school teacher. “I could tell something was wrong, but couldn’t figure out what.”

When the noon bells finally rang, the clown apparently managed to make the hour from noon to one o’clock pass in a mere handful of minutes, forcing people across the affected regions back to work before they could finish their lunches.

“The afternoon of that day was a nightmare,” avers Juan Vasquez, 34, a bank clerk in the Argentine capital Buenos Aires. “I think it lasted at least twenty hours.”

Last week protests demanding a long weekend to make up for the “three Mondays” were organized in several South American capitals.

By the following day, Tuesday, the clown had again disappeared.

At present it is unknown whether international authorities are investigating this South American lead or whether the clown will turn up somewhere else.

McDonald’s representatives have assured customers that these unfortunate events linked to their former mascot Ronald McDonald will not in any way influence their pledge to continue serving “fresh and healthy food”.

More cowbell at Minor Scratches