My old friend Larry and his lovely wife just moved to Cornish, Maine. That’s an entire state I’ve never visited even once — I doubt if I’ve even flown over it — so I went looking around on teh innertubes to see what I could find.
I came across this, from what appears to be an abandoned blog:
It’s just possible that the single stupidest bastard in the world has emerged from the muck, scrambled up on his hind legs, and announced his presence to the world.
And believe it or not, he’s not a Floridian, or even a Southerner. Here’s the story, courtesy of the New York Times:
LEWISTON, ME. — On a hot July night, a few dozen Somali men were kneeling shoulder to shoulder in prayer at a storefront mosque here when the door opened and the frozen head of a pig, an animal considered unclean in Islam, rolled across the floor.
Men fled in fear. A child fainted. Some called the police and ran after the person who had rolled the head in. A suspect, Brent Matthews, was quickly apprehended and charged with desecrating a place of worship. Mr. Matthews, 33, said that the incident was a prank and that he did not know the significance of a pig’s head.
He also didn’t know that the storefront was a mosque. It’s not even clear, from his protests, that he was even aware that in the city of Lewiston, ME, population 35,000, there are approximately 3,000 Somalis, or what they are.
At the hearing Mr. Matthews said that he had planned to put the head outside “where the dark people congregate” as a joke, and that it had slipped from his hand and rolled inside. He said he felt bad about the incident and wished he “could turn back time.”
“Dark people.” He was just having fun with “the dark people.”
Mr. Matthews’s lawyer, James Howaniec, said his client had intended to play a prank. Mr. Howaniec said Mr. Matthews got the head from a pig roast in June and had originally planned to use it for target practice. Mr. Matthews then decided to plant it outside the center, thinking it was simply a gathering place, the lawyer said.
“He did not know it was a place of worship,” Mr. Howaniec said. “There’s certainly nothing in the exterior of the dilapidated storefront that would lead anyone to believe it was a place of worship. He is insistent that he did not know the significance of a pig’s head to the Muslim community.”
Well, hell. Good ole boy didn’t get his gun-firin’ target practice in, and figgered it was a right shame to waste a perfectly good pig head, so what the hail, right? Mise well play a little joke on dem dark peoples.
“It’s our position that while it was an act of stupidity, it did not rise to the level of any sort of crime, let alone a hate crime,” Mr. Howaniec said. “It’s clearly not something he’s proud of, but as an attorney looking at criminal statutes, I don’t think it rises to the level of desecration of a place of worship.”
I actually feel bad for this lawyer, whose desperate defense seems to be that his client is so stupid, so uninformed and ignorant, that his crime should be viewed as less serious than the law provides for. It’s just plain old dead pig head rolling gone clumsy and bad, not desecration of a house of worship, ethnic terrorism, or garden variety hate crime. Could happen to anybody.
Next case up — the fun-loving fellow caught roasting marshmallows on a burning cross at the AME church picnic.
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All of this is from 2006, so possibly things have improved somewhat. And you will accurately point out that incidents like this one happen all too often, all over the fruited plain, wherever imbeciles accumulate.
But in any case I wish Larry lots of luck with his new home and neighbors.