The three college students arrested for several Alabama church burnings have explained their behavior as a "joke that got out of hand".
This is one of those times when I am rendered speechless with incredulity.
To my mind, a "joke that gets out of hand" is a joke or prank that starts off as harmless and funny, and then mushrooms into something, well, not. But what, exactly, was the underlying "joke" here? Was it setting fire to one church? Did it become "out of hand" when it expanded to two churches?
And how exactly did it manage to "get out of hand"? At no point in time over the weeks did someone say, "Dude, this is really not funny", or were they just wrapped up in a month-long orgy of giddiness and hysteria?