Not too long ago, I had the opportunity to see a news clip for the annual America’s Thanksgiving Day Parade in Detroit, Michigan, one of the nation’s oldest Thanksgiving Day parades. At one point in their coverage of the parade, commentators Rhonda Walker and Evrod Cassimy announce the arrival of the “Distinguished Clown Corps,” a group of Detroit community leaders who don the motley for charitable causes. As the clowns pass by, tossing out Mardi Gras style bead “throws,” Rhonda and Evrod share very different responses:

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While Rhonda sticks to her script, extolling the virtues of the Corps, Evrod howls in pain as the clowns pelt him with throws. As the segment proceeds, one can sense Evrod’s growing frustration and annoyance—“I am not responsible for any other words that come out of my mouth! . . . Ow! They’re still throwing them!” With its...

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