CLARKE, AL – A case of the classic mix-up occurred in rural Alabama when the Barnum family noticed daughter Alice continually bolting upright in bed at 3 a.m., screaming hysterically and intermittently reciting incantations in an unidentifiable tongue. Upon being woken up, however, Alice had no recollection of the frightening events from the past hour. The family had figured it was only a matter of time until their beloved daughter was possessed since the amount of hip hop played on the radio was increasing and society had become so morally bankrupt. It appeared that time was now.
Understandably shaken, they summoned the famed exorcist Father John Dempsey who promptly arrived the following evening with crucifix stakes, holy water grenades, and his trusty war horse, Theophilus, whose ancestors carried the Knights Templar during the Crusades.
Although he was eager to vanquish his 600th demon and get the shower clock-radio from the Vatican’s exorcism catalog, Fr. Dempsey was able to diagnose the situation and determine Alice was really just sleep talking most of the time and her other erratic behavior was symptomatic of a night terror. In a rare interview he told Orange Stripe all credit is due to his extensive training in spiritual warfare. “I’ve spent years studying exorcisms and it’s not until we’ve exhausted every other possibility: psychological, neurological, social, etcetera; that we’d go forward with an exorcism. That and if there were any demonic presence nearby my tattoo of St. Michael would glow red.”
Fr. Dempsey has since departed to stand ominously on a hill somewhere looking for danger.
Meanwhile, the Barnums have decided to take no chances with their children’s spiritual future. To protect them from the influence of darkness they have since withdrawn their family from public school and begun homeschooling them, teaching them useful facts such as “If you capitalize the ‘S’ in satan you will go to hell”, “Avoid people named Stan because Stan is short for satan”, and “If you think about the devil you will go to hell.”