Archive for April 23rd, 2010

Sell ‘em? My Mom Would’ve Given Us Away!

Friday, April 23rd, 2010


Are there any parents out there who haven’t wished (for a few brief moments anyway) that they never had kids?

24-year-old Joshua Stagnitto of Brockport, NY went further than that. He put his 1- and 2-year old kids up for sale on Craigslist. His ad stated that his two young children could be used as “child slaves and footstools,” and  advertised they came with a 12 pack of diapers and one dirty t-shirt. Price? $40 dollars for one kid; $200 for both.

Of course, law enforcement agencies and Child Protective Services immediately sprang into action.  After a brief investigation at his home, State Troopers arrested the local man for “unlawfully reporting an incident”.  A spokesperson for the Troopers said the action “was like shouting ‘Fire!’ in a crowded building”. The Father’s court date is in early May.

Stagnitto complained to reporters that “I guess no one shares my sense of humor.”  I dunno – I kind of thought it was funny.

“Don’t Trust Me With Your Damn Money?”

Friday, April 23rd, 2010

“Then Don’t Trust Me With Your Soul!”

The 1980’s was the Golden Age of silver-tongued television evangelists – and what a motley crew they were. There were healers and stealers and bottom-deck dealers. They came in a variety of flavors with two things in common: they were all “messengers of God” – and each tried to separate you  from as much of your money as he could –  in the shortest amount of television time possible.

“If your friends WON’T go to heaven with you – DON’T go to hell with them!”

Jimmy Swaggart (cousin of Jerry Lee Lewis) could sing, play beautiful piano, speak in tongues, and cry on cue. Even two different scandals with $10/hour hookers could not shake his followers’ faith. You can still see Jimmy on Sunday morning TV preaching, crying,  and stealing in the name of the Lord.

“Jim, the Lord let me get addicted to over-the-counter medication for a reason.”

Jim and Tammy Baker looked like a successful, Midwestern Amway couple. Smarmy Jim could oil the dollars out of your wallet with fantasies of luxurious rooms never built. The old joke about Tammy was they scraped away layers of her make-up and found Jimmy Hoffa. Their PTL (Praise the Lord) Club had thousands of members each buying timeshares in a kind of Disneyland for Christian adults – much of which existed only in Jim’s mind.

“HEAL!”

To me, the saddest one of the lot is Ernest Angely, a faith healer still on television today. He could perform “miracles” weekly which let the lame walk, the deaf  hear and the blind see. But unfortunately, he could never grow hair on his own head and sports a toupee that is so bad, it couldn’t be hurt by a chinstrap.

He was arrested in England (the Brits don’t put up with this sort of nonsense), had himself photographed behind bars, and used the picture for the cover of his next faith book.

“I’m OUT of here!”

The scariest and strangest by far? Dr. Gene Scott, author of the quote above. Scott looked an acted like an Old Testament holy man on steroids. While other TV preachers begged for money, Scott DEMANDED his faithful send in their tithes – or they would face an eternity of everlasting fire and doom.

Often called “God’s Angriest Man”, Scott would rant and fill his blackboard with religious teachings in Latin, Hebrew, and Sanskrit. But he would often bellow, “Why aren’t those damn phones ringing with your measly bucks!? If you don’t pledge $600 in the next 10-minutes, I’m walkng out of here! Find your own damn way to Heaven!”

And then he’d throw down his chalk, storm off the set, and for hours, all that was left was a close-up shot of his empty chair and a telephone number to call in your money. GODDAMN Gene Scott could put on one hell of a show!

I often thought if God ever did come back to Earth, one of the first things he’d do was fire this crowd of loony losers – except, perhaps, for Dr. Scott. He’d have to think hard on that one – if only for His own personal safety – and amusement.