|Burl Ives and his alter ego, the Talking Snowman|
Peaksville, MD – A beloved holiday tradition turned ugly in Peaksville, Maryland when local pro-Burl and anti-Burl factions clashed at the annual Tree n' Tunes event Friday evening.
The unrest started when members of the Burl Ives My Ass Coalition (BIMAC) allegedly shouted obscenities as the Burl Ives song "Snow for Johnny" played in the town square where the Tree n' Tunes event was in progress. Members of Burl's Legacy Is Treasured, Honored and Enduring (BLITHE), responded by hurling "Burl bombs"- Christmas tree ornaments with Burl's image glued onto them --- into the crowd of demonstrators.
A spokesperson for BLITHE denied that the group came armed to the event. "We brought those ornaments to hand out free to the crowd, to spread good Burly Christmas cheer to our fellow man. And woman," said Vera Clapper. Maybe a few of our members got carried away, but who can blame them? Those BIMACers have real potty-mouths. I mean, there were children present."
Dave Shivers, a member of BIMAC , denied that his group had used strong language in their protest. "Those pansy-ass Burl Lovers are *&$%* liars. And they're a bunch of Marys. Well, as far as I'm concerned, "Burl" is a curse word." Shivers said that BIMAC was still upset about the Burl Pride parade that BLITHE staged the previous year, and that hearing the tweedling strains of Burl's voice on "Snow for Johnny" had caused some individuals to cry out in a wounded manner that had been mistaken for swearing.
Authorities say that the longstanding friction between the two groups has been fueled by internet sites like Facebook and Twitter.
"It's all this younger generation and their fast social medias, their tweetin' and tumblin," said Dan Hardcovers, Peaksville Chief of Police. "Now everybody's a rabble-rouser. We never used to have this sort of trouble in Peaksville. Folks got along."
Hardcovers said that security concerns have led his department to start monitoring tweets. "It's easy to see where people fall on the Burl issue. When we see hashtags like #BurlBlowz and #Burlmakesmehurl, we know it's a BIMAC. The BLITHE people are more apt to use tags like #HollyJolly or #Burl4Ever or #JesBurl."
Hardcovers said his department is investigating other incidents that seem to be Burl-related. Area nativity scenes have been beset by vandals who have re-arranged or even stolen the manger figures, and Hardcovers said there is a clear pattern. "Members of BIMAC say someone's taking their Three Wise Men and leaving them a miniature Talking Snowman in its place. And the BLITHE folk---well....someone's swiping their baby Jesusus." Hardcover blames technology.
"There have been some sore feelings in our town over this Burl thing for some time now and people have got their pride hurt and even come to blows over it. But now... it's getting ugly. I guess we have that Jobs guy to thank for that."
For more on Burl Ives see:
Burl's Pearl's ---Burl Ives' Surprising Oeuvre
Burl Ives Event Stirs Trouble Anew in Small Maryland Town
Burl Ives Debate Erupts, Dividing Town