Shriner Car Injures 2 At Parade

The Hook‘s newest issue confirms the rumors: a Shriner’s go-cart plowed into the crowd at last Saturday’s Dogwood Parade, breaking the ankle of a 5-year-old and injuring his mother. The driver of the car said it happened because “we were doing a maneuver and someone got out of time, and I had to swerve to avoid hitting him.” The Shriners, appropriately, operate 22 free children’s hospitals across the country; the injureds’ bills will be taken care of, naturally. The Hook has the story.

40 Responses to “Shriner Car Injures 2 At Parade”


  • Or, as my wife and I refer to them, the “Zoom Zoom Men.”

    What is the deal with Shriners and go-carts? The 2001 Dogwood Parade was the first time I’d ever seen such a spectacle. I remember folks sitting on the curb who dodged out of the way or grabbed their kids as the carts passed by within a foot or two. The fumes in the air, along with the inherent absurdity of the situation, provided a truly surreal experience.

    Aren’t the goofy hats enough?

  • I’ve always wanted to be a Shriner and sit in the cars and go zoom zoom around parades. But my mom told me you had to be a man. But, the minute they say women can be Shriners, I’ll be signing up and starting my diet (so I can fit into the cars).

    Peter Carlson did a wonderful article on Shriners in the Washington Post magazine on November 25, 2001. Well worth reading but it’s in the archives. The average age of a Shriner is pretty high and they are trying to recruit new members all the time.

    It’s too bad that someone got hurt; at least their organization took responsibility and is taking care of the medical bills.

  • The 2001 Dogwood Parade was the first time I’d ever seen such a spectacle.

    They’ve been doing the same routine (but perhaps with ever-snazzier driving?) at the Dogwood for thirty years, I’d say.

    I’m not sure what the point of the absurd spectacle is. To make Shriners’ Hospitals seem friendly to kids that one day might find themselves a patient? Or to raise money (the spectacle is nothing if not memorable, even if you leave uninjured)? Or to recruit new members (my beau-frère, a native of C’ville, long aspired to become a Shriner just so that he could drive one of the little cars — but, luckily, he grew out of this silly aspiration)?

    I’ll just echo BurntHombre’s query: does anyone know what the origin and/or purpose of the silly driving spectacle is?

  • Ridiculing the religious or quasi-religious (“zoom zoom men”, “goofy hats”, “go zoom zoom”, “absurd spectacle”, “silly”). They’re so goofy, especially when things take a surprising and seemingly ironic (I mean this in the least literary sense) twist.

    Munk, BurntHombre, Belle — is it safe to presume you’ll be with me when we egg the jewish holidays on our way to preparing our plans for steaking Christmas mass!

    I suppose I shouldn’t fault you all your child-like curiosity (especially Belle). But this story really shouldn’t be “Shriners are freaks” for the same reason that I’d prefer not to read “Jews like to eat babies” or “Catholic men prefer inchoate catholic men”. This story should be about an unfortunate accident, generally not all that newsworthy unless you know those involved or you’d like to talk about parade management generally. Or, I suppose, you could actually have some sort of sophisticated inquiry beyond “They’re pretty ha ha funny! I wonder what makes them so crazy! They’re freakin’ nuts!”

    That said, what’s the difference between catholic priests and acne? JizzMasterZero, finish this one off for me…

    Belle, feel free to direct irrelevant grammatical critiques to CantStandBelle@hotmail.com.

  • Except Belle. You, I suppose, can read “affinity for is a real phrase understood by many and recognized by dictionaries, yet one still rejected by the slow to adapt”.

  • Must stop drinking and posting…

  • But this story really shouldn’t be “Shriners are freaks” for the same reason that I’d prefer not to read “Jews like to eat babies” or “Catholic men prefer inchoate catholic men”.

    Um…yeah, see, the Shriners aren’t a religion. Nowhere in their mission statement or theiry history is a reglious affiliation even mentioned. They’re not religious, and they’re not even quasi-religious.

    And even if they were — they drive tiny little cars in formation in parades while wearing fezzes. Surely this isn’t to be considered a part of a sacred and holy tradition, dating back to when Moses and company rode tiny little camels in formation in parades while wearing fezzes?

  • The “cantstandbelle” contingent is cracking me up, but not in the ways I think he/she intends.

    Explain how the Shriners is a religious or quasi religious organization?

  • The Shrine organization is a fraternal order–related to the Masons, somehow (it’s all too mysterious and complicated for me to figure out this morning). Their burn hospitals and the fundraising activities they do for the hospitals are the charitable outreach part of the organization.

  • If the religious are organizations which provide both an ethic for living and a history of origination, the quasi-religious are those who provide just one. The shriners, especially if you read more deeply than that little web-page (which is obviously meant for the public) provide the bulk of an ethic for living.

    My bigger point, as both you and Cecil seem to have missed it, is not that the Shriners should be evaluated as a religion, but that this discussion really made the ignorance and self-centeredness of some of the members of this forum shine through. When some of these people, like *ugh* Belle, read anything involving Shriners, they immediately giggle. Those people are different, hence funny. I don’t understand, hence funny. It doesn’t even matter if they are intending to be funny — it is not obviously so (read the three posts, that should be clear), so these three in particular are just making fun of someone for being different.

    There is nothing that I, Belle, BurntHombre and Munk like to highlight and ridicule more than difference. The four of us are certified bigots, and proud of it!

  • I didn’t even have to look very far to find something more. As I suggested before, the Shriners are much more than their public web-site reveals, so to judge them on that limited information seems premature. But, even there, in their Creed, they highlight their quasi-religious nature. The very first line of the creed:

    “Shriners believe in God and that He created man to serve His purposes, among which is service to others in His name.”

    So, we have the rudiments of a story of existance and of an ethic for living. Seems like the basis for religion to me.

    Cecil, I hope I’ve continued to entertain in unanticipated ways — I’ve an affinity for that, you know.

  • When some of these people, like *ugh* Belle, read anything involving Shriners, they immediately giggle. Those people are different, hence funny. I don’t understand, hence funny. It doesn’t even matter if they are intending to be funny — it is not obviously so (read the three posts, that should be clear), so these three in particular are just making fun of someone for being different.

    I can’t make this any clearer: they wear fezzes and ride around in tiny little racecars, some of which are toting farm scenes and/or tiny little oil tankers. They are not doing this as a part of a sacred religious process. They are doing this because it is funny. Because kids like it. Because it’s entertaining. Because, as they say on their site, “Shriners are men who enjoy life, fun is a large part of the Shrine.”

    God help us if clowns ever march in the parade.

    “These Clowns believe in God! You’re laughing at them! Stop laughing! You’re not even laughing at them because they’re funny, or because of their soda-water squirting antics, or their tiny little cars. You’re laughing because they’re different!”

    Are we writing a rough draft for an Onion article here, or what?

  • These three know that clowns are intending to entertain. They don’t know that Shriners are intending to entertain. As I said before:

    “It doesn’t even matter if they are intending to be funny — it is not obviously so (read the three posts, that should be clear), so these three in particular are just making fun of someone for being different.”

    If you knew that they were intending to amuse, there is no problem as far as I see it. If you don’t, if you think it is just some bizarre, inexplicable ritual (as Belle, BurntHombre and Munk implied), then you are treating something you don’t understand as hilarity. That is what I am accusing them (and I suppose now, you) of.

  • they wear fezzes and ride around in tiny little racecars, some of which are toting farm scenes and/or tiny little oil tankers.

    I have an uncle who thinks those A-rab towelheads are hil-LAR-ious. Riding around on camels and all. Speaking of oil tankers …

  • This reminds me of my favorite past-time.

    Masturbation? Me too.

    Nice use of the archaic hyphenation to satirize the whole language debate from the other thread, by the way.

  • By your (lack of) logic, the KKK is a quasi-religious organization for whom we should have the ultimate respect.

  • You know what, JizzMonkeyZero? The subject line, “Re: This reminds me of my favorite past-time,” was not my invention. That explains why the “re” preceded the line. So I don’t know why you’re commending me on the nice use of the archaic hyphenation–I don’t get the credit for that.

  • Let the record reflect that I said: Sorry, man.

  • I think the Shriners are strategically using humor and – yes – silliness to attract attention. So I don’t think a Shriner would take offense to our discussion here.

    By the way, here is a funny website for anyone looking for a fez (without an ID or secret handshake). Can anyone identify the tune?

    And can anyone name, or confess to be, a prominent local Shriner?

    (To my mind, the late Darden Towe had the right sense of humor and the overflowing community spirit, but I never once saw him with/in Shriner paraphernalia whilst I was briefly in his employ.)

  • You are pretty desperately and frantically trying to salvage your dignity on this thread. Keep going–I’m still entertained.

    Shriners = men who act like clowns to entertain crowds, sometimes with the intention of raising funds for their charitable projects (the burn hospitals).

    Shriners do not equal a religious organization, as you suggested they do when you set Shriners, Jews, and Catholics in parallel lines in the following passage:

    “But this story really shouldn’t be “Shriners are freaks” for the same reason that I’d prefer not to

    read “Jews like to eat babies” or “Catholic men prefer inchoate catholic men”.”

    Even you seem to realize how stupid that was, so now you’re trying to bail by creating your own definition of a “quasi-religious” organization as one that (a) the Shriners meet and (b) that deserves as much reverence as a religious organization, all for the purpose of pretending that posters to this thread have shown disrespect for a…quasi-religion.

  • You know what, JizzMonkeyZero?

    Speaking of unintended amusement, I’ve got to say that there’s something resoundingly hilarious about seeing people try to make fun of a guy’s name when that particular guy is already named “JizzMasterZero.”

    It’s like: “Oooh, Damn. That hurts. People will never take ‘JizzMasterZero’ seriously again, now that someone has thought to change ‘Master’ to ‘Monkey’! All of his gravitas has fallen away! I can’t even see his name now without thinking of monkeys and laughing!”

  • The thing I’ve never understood is this: what’s the deal with modern freemasonry? Historically, at least in the U.S., freemasons have a troubled past–they’ve been feared, loathed, banned. Many thought (still think?) that they secretly run the world. Yet they present themselves as a harmless fraternal order, like Kiwanis?

    Does anyone know any Masons?

  • Here’s a history of the Shrine.

  • If you have ideas about why the Shriners act like that, why say:

    I’m not sure what the point of the absurd spectacle is. To make Shriners’ Hospitals seem friendly to kids that one day might find themselves a patient? Or to raise money (the spectacle is nothing if not memorable, even if you leave uninjured)? Or to recruit new members (my beau-frère, a native of C’ville, long aspired to become a Shriner just so that he could drive one of the little cars — but, luckily, he grew out of this silly aspiration)?

    I’ll just echo BurntHombre’s query: does anyone know what the origin and/or purpose of the silly driving spectacle is?

    I suppose my flaw lies in expecting too much of you and Cecil.

  • Belle, BurntHombre and Munk all acted as if the behavior of the Shriners befuddled them (read the posts, for crying out loud). They did not act as if they knew the behavior to be aimed at entertainment. They, then, were ridiculing something because they did not understand or associate with it.

    Finally, I did not say that the Shriners were a religious organization in the same way that Catholics and Jews were. I’ve said since the beginning that they were quasi-religious. I don’t know where you got this “trying to bail” crap. I do really appreciate you trying to put arguments in my mouth. “For the same reason” is not the same as either “for all intents and purposes” or “to the same exact degree”.

  • By my logic, the KKK is a quasi-religious organization not to be made fun of because it is different. In fact, I’d even say that the KKK should not even be judged until it is understood. Again, that is my point: you all are getting too much enjoyment out of your ignorance.

  • “Belle, BurntHombre and Munk all acted as if the behavior of the Shriners befuddled them (read the posts, for crying out loud). They did not act as if they knew the behavior to be aimed at entertainment. They, then, were ridiculing something because they did not understand or associate with it.”

    I do understand it to be entertainment. While I’m sometimes slow on the uptake, I managed to infer that a parade + old men + fezzes + zoom zoom go-carts = entertainment. However, I’m still befuddled by the origins of the practice, and a search on the Shriners’ web site has turned up nil.

    Rock on!

  • I apologize for lumping you in with Belle — I know that I’d be offended.

  • Can you help me understand this: why do your posts focus entirely on criticizing or attacking other people’s arguments instead of making your own? Everything I’ve seen from you recently (not including anything posted under “anonymous”) is just lunging at things other people have said rather than talking about the topic. Take this thread, for example. It started off with a question about the Shriners. I added a link to some historical information about the group. You arrive and lay into Belle in this snarky little tone, “if you have ideas about why the Shriners act like that, why say…” as if you’re this ace rhetorician making an earth-shattering exposé of faulty logic.

    Though I’m mostly entertained by your spittle-spewing hysteria in various posts, I am also puzzled. I don’t understand why you don’t seem to have anything substantive to say about any of these topics. You’d rather talk about Belle. I don’t get it.

  • Besides, can’t you see from my name that I have one drive in life?

    Please note, however, that I’ve “started” two discussions: this one, critiquing Belle and friends, and another in response to an article in the CHE (posted below).

  • However, I’m still befuddled by the origins of the practice, and a search on the Shriners’ web site has turned up nil.

    Yeah, I’m with you — I can’t find a thing.

    But ya’ know what? Those little cars make me want to be a Shriner. So it’s a really effective method of recruitment. :)

  • critiquing belle and friends is not discussion of news, something that another anonymous on this site has gone off on (interminably) as some huge problem with the discussions here. instead, critiquing belle and friends is, duh, exactly what i’m saying you do all the fricking time, instead of discuss an issue. it’s only a “discussion” to you and your alter-egos.

    your response to the article in the Chronicle was more pot-shotting–apologies to Mr. Hoover but this author sucks, ha ha, this article is so poorly written, yadda yadda.

    in short, you’re more interested in criticizing other people’s arguments than crafting your own.

  • I have an uncle who thinks those A-rab towelheads are hil-LAR-ious. Riding around on camels and all. Speaking of oil tankers …

    Though Arabs on camels aren’t riding camels because it’s funny. (Though people riding camels do look funny. :) Shriners ride in little cars because they look really funny.

    Now if we could just somehow combine the two…

  • If it is only discussion to me and my alter-egos, why are these threads so damn long? You all eat it up.

    I suppose that I apologize for the critiques. I didn’t realize that critiques of arguments weren’t ever crafted arguments. I apologize for responding to what other people are saying.

    Finally, good god, you’ve spent all day trying to get up my butt. I suppose “takes one to know one” is too easy here? Oh, but, you are right — from time to time to you make posts hinting at critiques of non-posters (your most recent effort two threads up).

  • I disagree with Cecil about the merits of CantStandBelle’s postings. They’ve spawned tons of discussion, far more than this rather minor news story would have had if discussed purely on its own merits. And I certainly don’t think people’s diverse reactions to Shriners are off-topic: Really, the sense of amusement/haughtiness that these people apparently inspire in people is what got the article posted in the first place.

  • Okay, I know it’s way off-topic, but I can’t read about funny monkeys without presenting:

    TOP 10 REASONS WE LIKE MONKEYS

    10. Tasty, when sautéed with butter and shallots

    9. Mutual grooming

    8. The only ones who really understand me

    7. Curious antics

    6. They’re too busy singing to put anybody down

    5. Free passes to Planet of the Apes sequel

    4. Turn a drama into a comedy – add a monkey

    3. Cheap labor

    2. They see. They do.

    1. Look real sharp in a blue suit and crisp white shirt

    Harry Landers

  • How about “Overly sensitive ignorant people are just as stupid?”. Ya know, I wish I could find a discussion in Virginia where some fool didn’t feel the need to bring some god into it. If Jesus were around today, I think he’d be shocked and ashamed of what folks have done with his ideals. And acne goes away.

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