Have you ever come across a story in your newspaper so confounding that you decided to have just one more beer and then go out and bark at the moon?
No, same here. I mean, hardly ever.
Before you read any further, take this little test:
- Do you read a newspaper every day, week, month, year, decade, century, blue moon?
- Have you ever read a newspaper? While on death row? At a going away party? Your going away party?
- Have you ever killed a fly with a rolled up newspaper?
- Do you know what a newspaper is?
- Have you ever lined the bottom of your parakeet cage with a newspaper?
- If you have no parakeet, what’s with the parakeet cage?
- Have you ever killed a fly with a rolled up website?
If you answered “Yes” or “No” five or more times, and/or mumbled something like “I’ll take a Danish and the Fifth amendment, hold the Preamble,” please go away.
If you answered “Does killing a wasp with a rolled-up Sports Illustrated count?” you may as well continue.
And now, the real test.
I read two stories of note recently in the New York Times (considered by many to be a newspaper.)
The first story:
- “How to rake leaves in a strong wind.”
Without reading further I said to myself “Hmm. First, get a rake. Second, get going and quit whining about the wind; Third, If you need more advice on this topic: a) Answer why you went out in a strong wind to rake, you bozo? b.) Put your rake down and dial the number for Losers Anonymous–although with a problem like this you’re not likely to remain anonymous for long.”
The second story:
- “Why do we often dream we’re wearing no pants?”
Here is a textbook example of the left hand not talking to the right hand. Not even texting. As a former, lifetime newspaper reporter (aka Enemy of the Peeps) the real story here is so obvious it makes me shut my mouth wide open and weep—occasionally closing my mouth long enough to sigh one of those great end-of-the-world sighs you can buy on-line if you’re over 21.
A real newspaper such as The Awkward Point Pointer, would have looked at these two stories and assigned an investigative team to the only story worth reading:
- “How to rake leaves in a strong wind while wearing no pants.”
We’re talking Pulitzer Prize level stuff. Sadly, very few news finders in what remains of the newspaper business have the salary gene (gène de salaire) to afford both a rake and pants — with which to conduct the kind of scientific experiments almost certain to attract sirens.
Think about it, though. How many times have we all seen a pantless (pantsless?) leaf raker in a hurricane or tornado or one of those unsaddled horse latitudes like Mr. Ed or Black Scallion and just walked by without contacting an on-call, emergency pantsmith?
More to the point, have you ever found yourself walking down the street and realized you’re wearing no pants? (Or, as our Estonian friends like to say Nr Pëksid). If so, does a little voice in your head say something like “Uh oh, not again?” Or does the voice say “You’re not dreaming. You really don’t have any pants on today. I’d blame it on the guy barking at the moon.”
Other questions to ask yourself at this point: “How often have you been hearing voices while Nr Pëksid?” or “Notice how that little voice sounds just like Sister Muerte Negra in the sixth grade?” And finally, “Have you ever heard of under pants?” If not, now would be a good time to become one with your Google-fu.
©™Patrick A. McGuire and A Hint of Light 2013-2019, all rights reserved.