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‘People – Drop Your Costumes and Put Your Hands Up!’

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A few nights before Halloween, a man in Nunica, Michigan attended a costume party dressed as a zombie. Stepping outside for a smoke, he decided he’d creep onto the road in front of the house in order to frighten motorists.  And boy, did his plan work. He scared one driver so badly, the guy ran him over with his car.  So in that sense, 45-year-old Jeffrey Stiles was quite successful.

Jeffrey did not die, because as any fan of The Walking Dead knows, in order to kill a zombie, you must detach the head from the body. Stiles is recovering from non-life threatening injuries and police are looking for a hit-and-run driver who is now really, really scared.

In tracking down the hit and run driver, Michigan police may have to enlist the help of the state’s real life super hero, Bee Sting.  But they’ll have to move fast because Bee Sting, who dresses up as a law-enforcing bumble bee, accidentally discharged his shotgun at a trailer park where he was fighting crime. As a result, this four-winged hairy insect may be going to jail.

Super hero Phoenix Jones might have been able to help Michigan police get their man, except he might be going to jail too.  Phoenix dresses up in a yellow and black cape-style costume and — though nobody has actually asked him to — fights crime on the streets of Seattle, Washington.  He has been accused of using pepper spray to break up a fight in front of a downtown bar that witnesses say never happened. That’s an excellent indication of a dropping crime rate, where a super hero has to manufacture misdeeds in order to look busy.

On second thought, putting Phoenix Jones and Bee Sting on the same case probably would not have worked.  With both showing up in clashing bright yellow costumes, they’d have likely gotten into a real cat fight.

Which brings us to Hello Kitty. Two hours past midnight on Halloween, Hello Kitty was arrested in the small town of Gorham, Maine and charged with drunk driving.

Carrie Gipon, 37 years old and dressed in a classic red and white Hello Kitty costume, was spotted driving in the wrong lane and pulled over by police.  She refused to take the breathalyzer after she kept getting her whiskers caught in the inhaler.

Gorham police took down Hello Kitty all by themselves, choosing not to enlist the help of Matthew Argintar, New Jersey’s very own Batman. The all-black, masked crime fighter may not have been available anyway since he was recently arrested near a Home Depot for disorderly conduct and the illegal possession of handcuffs.

Oakland’s Motor Mouth might have been able to bring justice to the Hello Kitty caper but coast-to-coast is a long way to fly.  He would have had to refuel his cape at least six times.

Motor Mouth best sums up this new super hero phenomena when he says:  “I want to help the cities of my area and make sure that people know my name and that I’m not just some random guy wearing a mask, some dude who read too many comic books or somebody that doesn’t have a life.”

Motor Mouth, who wears a black bullet-proof vest, learned all his skills as a super hero from a comic book called “Kickass,” which tells me that might have that vest on backwards.

Do you remember when men who wore masks were the bank robbers, not guys named Captain Oyster and Phantom Zero hanging around banks to catch the robbers?!?  Do you remember when Superman and Spider-Man put bad guys behind bars instead of serving time in the crowbar hotel themselves?!?  Do you remember when everyone was kung-fu fighting and not handcuffing, pepper-spraying and firing shotguns off in the middle of the night?!?

Still, they’re in our midst.  They come in all sizes and costumes and almost every big city in America has one – today’s real life super hero.  They have names like Moon Dragon, Geist and Purple Reign.  Crime fighters, or just guys who like to wear tights?

There’s even a team of them now operating in Canada.  They wear cowboy hats and scarlet red tunics and they ride horses in circles to the sound of music and … No! Wait!  Those are the Royal Canadian Mounted Police!  Those guys are for real!

Call me old-fashioned, but I think super heroes belong on the pages of comic books and these real-life super heroes belong in protective custody.  As far as guys in costume helping citizens in distress, we should have drawn the line at Boy Scouts helping little old ladies cross the street and doing it for a chivalry badge.

People in costumes and crime are a real bad mix. As Superman’s Lois Lane once said:  “How many “f’s” in catastrophic?”

For comments, ideas and copies of The True Story of  Wainfleet, go to www.williamthomas.ca

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