HAMMERTOWN (AP) – With equal parts revulsion and bewilderment, the city of Hammertown was left scratching its collective head Thursday after a public tirade by a disillusioned local man left parts of the downtown core looking like a war zone.
Shiftless layabout Ryan Lawson, 30, managed to stop traffic and both horrify and delight a burgeoning crowd with a verbal assault that, according to witness Fabio Braun, "was like being kicked directly in the crack of my ass by a lightning-bolt."
Lawson managed to take over the intersection of Main and Locke during his tantrum, stomping, kicking and screaming traffic off the road, forcing one SUV in particular to veer onto the sidewalk and into a dilapidated eatery as if it was "propelled by the ferocity of his blinding rage", according to grad-student Katie-Sue Lewis, 27.
"It was like watching Criss Angel, or something," said Lewis, noting that she didn’t have first-hand knowledge of what prompted the tirade, but that it was "spectacular" nonetheless.
Steel-worker Bob Brundleson witnessed what he believes to be the impetus of the meltdown: a convenience-store door being closed on Lawson’s hand by a careless patron.
"That’s when the windows of [the convenience-store] blew out onto the sidewalk," said Brundleson.
"I still don’t know how he managed that."
Onlookers found Lawson bellowing from the under-carriage of an enflamed, over-turned Honda Civic, making various profane references to a "Me-First society" and an overall "nauseating" lack of compassion.
"I remember him yelling something about civility, and then the ground underneath him opening up and shooting raw sewage into the air," said Garko Evaneshavic, a local fast-food empresario.
The sewage completely engulfed a mini-van in which the McArthurs, a family of four on vacation, were eating cheeseburgers and, according to witnesses, heckling Lawson.
Despite that, the gesture "kind of defeat[ed] his own argument, if you ask me," said Evaneshavic.
At one point, a mulleted-man carrying a box of donuts walked by the scene, yelled out "relax", and seemingly spontaneously-combusted.
"It was like someone had set-off a stick of dynamite in a strawberry Pop-Tart," according to Simon Wetherwanks, CEO of Shut That Mouth baby-care equipment.
"[Lawson] looked at him funny, and he exploded."
By the time authorities reached the intersection, the tirade itself was not evident, though the damage to the city, estimated to be in the millions of dollars, was.
Psychoanalyst Susan Pewter attempted to offer the disturbed man some advice, and came away from the encounter with some first-degree burns on her arms, seemingly from the "torrent of abject fury that was emanating off him like he was his own sun."
"I told him that he needed to find his own happy-place, and he responded that what he needed was for people to see others as the same, and not as physical impediments to be avoided."
"That’s actually a pretty reasoned argument from someone who just laid waste to a busy-intersection on anger alone," continued Pewter, applying an aloe-cream to her burns.
This reporter found Lawson sitting on a curb and staring into the distance.
"I’m going to save my explanations for 'Larry King Live'", said Lawson with a smile before he evaporated into a mist of disgust.
Larry King could not be reached for comment as of press-time.