Scott D. Clark Geeks Out

From the Associated Press story this morning about Scott D. Clark, a 26-year old Denver man accused of ripping the head off a duck at an Embassy Suites Hotel in St. Paul, Minnesota: "Clark then turned to onlookers and said, 'I'm hungry. I'm gonna eat it,' said St. Paul police Sgt. John Wuorinen, citing the police report.

"'He was allegedly drunk,' Wuorinen said."

From the classic 1946 noir-novel Nightmare Alley by William Lindsay Gresham:

"How do you ever get a guy to geek? Or is this the only one? I mean, is a guy born that way—liking to bite the heads off chickens?"

Stan grinned, his cool, bright blue eyes never leaving the older man's face. Suddenly Hoately dropped his voice.

"Just because I'm your pal I ain't going to crap you up. You want to know where geeks come from. Well, listen—you don't find 'em. You make 'em."

He let this sink in, but Stanton Carlisle never moved a muscle. 'Okay. But how?' Hoately grabbed the youth by the shirt front and drew him nearer. "Listen, kid. Do I have to draw you a damn blueprint? You pick up a guy and he ain't a geek—he's a drunk. A bottle-a-day booze fool. So you tell him like this: 'I got a little job for you. It's a temporary job. We got to get a new geek. So until we do you'll put on the geek outfit and fake it.' You tell him, 'You don't have to do nothing. You'll have a razor blade in your hand and when you pick up the chicken you give it a nick with the blade and then make like you're drinking the blood. Same with rats. The marks don't know no different…You give him time to think it over, while you're talking. Then throw in the chicken. He'll geek." – Alan Prendergast


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Sean Cronin