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Top five freakouts

In honor of the video of would-be Stark County treasurer Phil Davison that's been making the rounds of the tubes lately, here are the top five political freakouts of the past several months, which should provide some context.

5. Phil Davison

Phil Davison wants to be your county treasurer, Stark County, Ohio. Failing that, he will eat your house.

It's been said of the Incredible Hulk that you wouldn't like him when he's angry. The same could be said of Phil. After watching this, I have PTSD: Post-Traumatic Speech Disorder. I can't go into small boardrooms now because I keep thinking that another Phil is going to pop out from behind a potted plant and start inveighing against me.

What startles me most about this is how little the tone matches the content of the words. Why is he so angry about his name? Why does the mention that he has a master's degree cause him to glower angrily at someone across the room and then stalk slowly away? Why does he yell "county ballots!" and then have to consult his page to see what about county ballots he wanted to say?

The only other piece of advice about speechmaking he seems to have received is that, whenever you say a number, you should indicate it on your hands. This is challenging when the number is 13, but Davison does a better job than I would.

My other theory about the video is that there is someone behind him and slightly to the right who is threatening him at gunpoint. "Say your name!" the person indicates, holding up a sign. "Say it with passion!"

This would explain a lot, both about why Davison keeps looking to his right as though he is terrified of something, why he seems distantly acquainted at best with the text of his speech, and also why he is screaming so much.

4. Chris Young

He isn't really freaking out, but "Are You Lost," ranks right behind the Antoine Dodson Bed Intruder Song as the breakout topical hit of the summer.

Some good people even covered it!

3. Rep. Bob Etheridge (D-N.C.) goes wild!

In the representative's defense, the cameraman never introduces himself. If I asked for someone's identity and he responded, "I'm a student!" I'd assume he was some sort of weirdo. What's funny, too, is that his impulse seems right. "A citizen with a camera!" I picture him thinking. "He wants me to do something foolish that he can put on YouTube. I've got to stop him!"

2. Helen Thomas

This tirade lost her the best seat in the White House correspondents room!

1. Rep. Anthony Weiner (D-N.Y.)

"The gentleman will SIT! The gentleman is correct in sitting!"

This is the techno remix.

By Alexandra Petri  | September 13, 2010; 2:44 PM ET
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