Sumter, SC – Theodore Roosevelt was the 26th President of the U.S., and the first American to win the Nobel Peace Prize. Rumor has it the ‘teddy bear’ was named after him, and he had a guinea pig named Father O’Grady and a snake named Emily Spinach. Really. Where the fuck was I going with this? Oh, yeah. Teddy once said: “Walk softly, but carry a big stick.” Perhaps 31 year old Carlos Lincoln was thinking about that sage advice when, during an argument on September 5th, he picked up a piece of wood to beat the shit out of 21 year old Reginald Gass. Perhaps that is when Gass recalled his favorite Teddy Roosevelt quote, “Do what you can, with what you have, where you are”, when he plunged a potato rake into Carlos’ chest. Ouch. Did anyone else accidentally read “potato cake” at first and giggle?
It was your typical Saturday afternoon on Atlantic Avenue. That is, if you managed to ignore the two dudes furiously sword fighting on a front lawn across the street with a stick and a potato rake. According to the coroner, Harvin Bullock, the two were arguing when Lincoln picked up the wood and Gass grabbed the rake (cue old Star Trek fighting music). Apparently, the two ad-hoc samurai squared off there in the yard for a bit, swinging and striking at each other, which you’ll have to admit, was probably fairly entertaining. Gass ended the fight however, when he buried the potato rake in Lincoln’s chest like a fucking battle axe, killing him. Coroner Harvin Bullock sums it up: “I found it very unusual, just to know that you could come up with a potato rake in the middle of the afternoon when you’re in the middle of a fight,”. Maybe that “Gardening Tools for Guns” trade-in program a few months ago wasn’t the best idea.
My condolences to any family and/or friends Carlos Lincoln left behind. Senseless, violent, tragic death can seem almost impossible to overcome. What could have caused two adult men to suddenly square off, gritting their teeth and desperately snatching at junk piles to secure some edge in the coming clash? We know they were arguing, and one article says the men were cousins (yet another states they were acquaintances) – a family dispute? Too much emphasis on random Teddy Roosevelt quotations in the Sumter public school system? Violence in video games? If so, then I guess my pre-ordered copy of “Farm Fighter IV” won’t be arriving any time soon. Oh, well. Who wants potato cakes?
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