Children, Creepy Middle-Aged Weirdos Swept Up In Harry Potter Craze

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After Birth

Report: Dad Wants To Show You Where Fuse Box Is

YOUR LOCATION—Noting that it’s important to be prepared in case of emergencies but it’s also a good thing to know in general, your dad announced today that he wants to show you where the fuse box is.

Kids Love When Mom Sad Enough To Just Order Pizza

FORT WORTH, TX—Saying they get their hopes up anytime they notice her looking particularly downhearted, siblings Paulo and Marisa Hernandez told reporters Wednesday they love it when their mother is sad enough to just order pizza.

Baby-Naming Tips For New Moms

Mothershould’s Grace Manning-Devlin breaks down some of the hottest baby names of the year, such as Cooper, Tanner, Milkman, and Serf.

Pros And Cons Of Standardized Testing

As the American education system continues to place more emphasis on standardized testing to measure academic achievement, critics have argued that it can be more harmful than helpful to students’ development in the long run. Here are some of the pros and cons of standardized testing:

Being Older Than Daughter Babysitter’s Only Qualification

UTICA, NY—Possessing no particular proficiencies or training whatsoever, local 12-year-old Jessica Radloff was reportedly hired to babysit Hayley Carden, 7, this week based solely on her qualification of being older than the child she was asked to watch.

Total Weirdo Spends Mother’s Day At Cemetery

ST. MARYS, OH—Apparently content to hang around dead people rather than celebrate like a normal person, area weirdo John Mills spent most of Mother’s Day at a local cemetery, creeped-out sources confirmed.

Child Visiting Ellis Island Sees Where Grandparents Once Toured

ELLIS ISLAND, NY—Pausing to imagine the throngs of people who must have arrived with them that day back in 1994, 12-year-old Max Bertrand reportedly spent his visit to Ellis Island this afternoon walking around the same immigrant station his grandparents once toured.

Email From Mom Sent At 5:32 A.M.

DENVER—After waking up and finding the message waiting on his computer, local man Drew Swanson confirmed to reporters Thursday that his mother had sent him an email at 5:32 a.m.

Blog Post Read By Mother To Shape Child’s Next 18 Years

PAOLI, PA—Poised to inform future parenting decisions on medical care, dietary restrictions, and everyday well-being, the blog post “Fluoride Drops For Kids—Good Idea?” which was read by local mother Laurie Miller earlier today, will reportedly shape the next 18 years of her young child’s life.

Parents Of Crying Child Must Not Be Any Good

WOODBURY, MN—Noting how the pair’s failure to promptly resolve the situation was a clear indication of their inability to raise or care for another human being, sources confirmed Friday that the parents of a crying infant must not be any good.

Little League Pitcher Just Getting Fucking Shelled

RED BANK, NJ—After watching the 11-year-old give up the fourth straight double that inning, sources confirmed Sunday afternoon that local Little League pitcher Dustin Bauer is getting absolutely fucking shelled out there.

Pros And Cons Of Screen Time For Kids

As technology becomes more of a staple in everyday family life, parents are making choices about how much screen time to allow their children—and asking questions about how computers, phones, and TVs might help or hinder a child’s development.

Oh God, Teacher Arranged Desks In Giant Circle

OVERLAND PARK, KS—Appearing stunned and unsettled as they entered her classroom Wednesday, students from Ms. Frederickson’s fourth-period social studies class were reportedly overcome with panic 

Kids Teary-Eyed After Helping Dad Move Into First Apartment

BOWLING GREEN, OH—With their father marking the start of an important new phase in his life, the children of local man Barry Hunt told reporters they got a bit teary-eyed after helping the 49-year-old move into his first apartment Thursday. Teenager...

Supreme Court Gathers To Watch Baby Justices Hatch

WASHINGTON—Crowding around a small glass incubator in their personal chambers for a better vantage point, all nine members of the U.S. Supreme Court reportedly gathered Tuesday to watch a brood of baby justices hatch from their eggs.

Allowance To Teach Child Importance Of Parental Dependence

MUNCIE, IN—Saying that they wanted to instill lifelong financial habits in their young son, the parents of 9-year-old Jeremy Lambert explained to reporters Monday that they give him a weekly $10 allowance to teach him the importance of parental depe...

Sesame Street’s 45th Anniversary: A Look Back

Sesame Street, the long-running PBS children’s television show starring a cast of Jim Henson muppets who teach children basic learning concepts and introduce them to difficult issues, turns 45 this week.

The Pros And Cons Of Freezing Your Eggs

As more women choose to pursue professional, educational, or personal goals before starting a family later in life, many consider freezing their eggs as a way of prolonging their fertility.

Homeless Child Apparently Unaware He Lives In Nanny State

NEW YORK—Considering how these days the government in this country coddles its citizens from the cradle to the grave, an 11-year-old boy currently homeless on the streets of New York must be unaware he lives in a nanny state, reports confirmed this ...

The Cost Of Raising A Child

According to a new report by the USDA, the cost of raising a child until age 18 now exceeds $245,000, after which many parents will also have to foot the bill for college.

Area Mom Raving About Phoenix Airport

AURORA, IL—Noting its impressive collection of shops, restaurants, and transit options during a phone call with her daughter, local mother Carol Wingfield expressed her admiration for Phoenix Sky Harbor International Airport in the strongest terms, ...

Hands-Off Mom Lets Kids Create Own Psychological Issues

BOLTON, VT—Saying it’s important for parents to avoid simply passing their own neuroses on to their children, area mother Tricia Eakins told reporters Monday she believes in taking a hands-off approach and letting her kids develop their own ps...

Teacher Picks Wrong Student To Believe In Every Fucking Year

ROUND ROCK, TX—Frustrated at her repeated inability to steer a struggling young person in the right direction, McClintock High School English teacher Jan Broderic said Tuesday that she picks the wrong student to believe in every fucking year. Broder...

Grasshopper Dismembered By Future Supreme Court Justice

CASTLE ROCK, CO—Nearly 45 years before he is to be appointed to the Supreme Court by the 51st president of the United States, Lucas Bevins, 8, reportedly spent Thursday afternoon ripping the legs and antennae off of a grasshopper he found in his bac...
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Children, Creepy Middle-Aged Weirdos Swept Up In Harry Potter Craze

HOLLYWOOD, CA—Harry Potter And The Sorcerer's Stone, the hit film about an orphaned boy and his pals at Hogwarts School Of Witchcraft And Wizardry, continues to break box-office records, casting its magic spell over children and creepy middle-aged weirdos alike.

Young <i>Harry Potter</i> fans at a showing of the film.

Just ask Corey Molland, a Downers Grove, IL, 11-year-old who made his own Harry Potter costume, complete with Nimbus 2000 broomstick, to wear to the film's opening night. "I've seen the movie four times already," Molland said. "And I want to go see it again tomorrow."

Or Corey's neighbor, Kurt Furmanek, an unmarried 40-year-old who has seen the film 11 times, always in a homemade Ludo Bagman costume.

"It's terrific, as good as I'd hoped," said Furmanek, munching from a bag of Bertie Botts' Every Flavor Beans while waiting in line at a local multiplex Monday. "Granted, it's not perfect: They left out a number of key scenes and characters, like the second Quidditch match and Peeves. And some of the details were off, like how they said the boa constrictor was from Burma when it was from Brazil. But all in all, it's remarkably faithful."

There are many possible explanations for Harry's broad appeal: a troubled world's need for a little bit of magic, the way the franchise taps into powerful good-versus-evil mythologies, the chance it offers overweight 47-year-olds to retreat from their dreary adult lives into an idealized fantasy childhood. But whatever it is that makes us wild about Harry, one thing is clear: The fantastical universe created by author J.K. Rowling speaks to the child in all of us, whether young or way too old.

You can see it in Lisa Werner, a Pueblo, CO, 13-year-old who has read all four Harry Potter books three times and keeps an ever-growing scrapbook of magazine articles related to the books and films.

Not-so-young <i>Harry Potter</i> fan Kurt Furmanek in his basement bedroom.

"Harry Potter books are the ultimate books ever!" Werner said. "I wish there were real chocolate frogs that jumped when you tried to eat them."

And you can see it in Denver's Lynne Ritchie, a childless, 42-year-old legal secretary who named all six of her cats after students in the Gryffindor and Hufflepuff houses.

"I had my doubts when I heard that Chris Columbus was chosen to direct, but I have to hand it to him," said Ritchie, who owns more than 150 Harry Potter toys, including the hard-to-find Powercaster Electronic Spell-Casting Playset. "He did a great job bringing Rowling's vision to the screen, particularly the Quidditch match and the living paintings at Hogwarts. I can't wait for Chamber Of Secrets."

Maybe it's Harry's underdog qualities that make him so appealing. Or maybe it's the way wondrously magical things seem to burst from every page that makes the books so compelling to the likes of San Diego's Gary Minton, 41, who appeared as "Harry Potter Geek" on a recent episode of Comedy Central's Beat The Geeks game show.

"There's never been anything like Harry—it's simply a phenomenon," said Minton, creator of the "Unofficial Hermione Granger Fan Page" and whose house neighborhood children have been warned never to enter. "And the movie is perfect, especially the casting of Emma Watson as Hermione. She's even prettier than I imagined. I hope she reads the Hermione Granger fan fiction I sent her."

Child-development experts and arrested-development experts agree that Harry Potter's impact on society has been enormous.

"What J.K. Rowling has done to foster literacy in a world where it was declining so steadily makes her a true hero," child psychologist Dr. Sandy Wexler said. "But for adults, it's a different story. Retreating into a child's fantasy world is one of the most distressing preliminary signs of becoming unhinged, even when the books are as richly imagined and engrossing as the Harry Potter series."

Added Wexler: "Incidentally, do you think Snape is a Death Eater? I know he helped Harry out in Book One, but I have this theory."

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