Inquiring minds

August 31, 2006 at 12:26 am (Uncategorized)

tabloid_elvis.jpgWe’ve all been hooked while waiting in line at the grocery store. The headlines are in huge point type and there is often an accompanying photo. The concept is outlandish. It’s too bizarre to be believed. The screaming headline is more Barnum and Bailey than news. Yet the eyes wander there and a few of us are even bold enough to pick up the rag and flip it open.

FAT WOMAN GIVES BIRTH TO FULLY GROWN MAN!

HUMAN HEAD GROWS IN PUMPKIN PATCH!

U.S. PRESIDENT IS AN EXTRATERRESTRIAL: HERE’S PROOF!

WORLD’S OLDEST WOMAN IS 543 YEARS OLD!  HAD SEX FLING WITH WILLIAM SHAKESPEARE!

GEOLOGIST’S FIND: CENTER OF THE EARTH IS INHABITED BY EIGHT FOOT TALL LESBIANS!

And so on. I love those headlines. As inane as the purported stories may be, you just know that some group of psuedo journalists spent hours rolling on the floor and clutching their sides while coming up with them. Now that’s good work, if you can get it.

I bring it up because in the past two weeks, I’ve been called a yellow journalist, a sensationalist and a tabloid hack, all due to the series of stories on MAINE’S MYSTERY CREATURE! And while I admit the story bloated into something absurd and unmanageable, I’ll defend to the death my judgement in presenting it to the reader for assessment.

Okay, maybe not to the death. I mean, we ARE talking about a dog here. And what’s with throwing around terms like “tabloid hack” as though it’s a bad thing? I’d love to get paid to invent shit like that. I’d never have to worry about correct name spellings or silly things like attribution. Beauty. But my problem is, while I’d love to tackle the stories, I suck at writing headlines. Best if someone with a flair for the concise and dramatic pounded out a flashy headline and then let me create a story about it.

My favorite, as I’ve repeated ad nauseum, has always been BOY TRAPPED IN FREEZER EATS OWN FOOT. I’m kind of a one-hit-wonder. I suspect you clever people are far more gifted at this stuff than I am. I welcome all tabloid headlines, new or recycled. Just for entertainment purposes. Not, by God, because I plan to write a column about this stuff.

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59 Comments

  1. Gil said,

    Talking Monkey Terrorizes the Allagash
    Later reports will verify that the monkey is in fact, an Aroostock native named Earl with bad grooming.

  2. LaFlamme said,

    What, are you bananas? I like it. Like it alot.

  3. Gil said,

    Beer, pizza, cigars – the key to immortality?
    Sadly, no. But man, would I buy that issue

  4. jarheaddoc said,

    “DNA proves man in post #1 fathered by BigFoot”

  5. jarheaddoc said,

    “Man born with ears capable of understanding female speech. eBay site crashes from overwhelming number of bids”

  6. K2 said,

    Magician Pulls Foreskin Over Head and Vanishes Up Ass.

    (Actually taken from Jim Croce’s cover of Robert Burns’ ‘The Ball of Kirriemuir.’)

  7. K2 said,

    Fromt he SJ ed page: However, my first observation [about the ‘beast’ story] would be that perhaps these people [LaFlamme and his readers] are contributing to the growing drug use problem to begin with.

    See? I AM a victim. Knew it all along. Now where is that bong. . . .

  8. jarheaddoc said,

    You’re a victim, awright, of your own ways.

  9. Linda said,

    Here’s a headline someone sent me in a set of funny photos:

    “17 Remain Dead In Morgue Shooting Spree”

    Re post #7 — I haven’t read the letter, but I’m having a hard time feeling the responsibility. LaFlamme, sure, I can see that. But how is it his readers’ fault? 🙂 That’s blaming it on quite a crowd of people!

    I’ll have to go to the source and try to figure it out.

  10. Linda said,

    OK I read the letter. Funny how she trashes everyone for speculating on the beast, then offers her own guess.

  11. Bobbie said,

    This is an actual headline from the Weekly World News edition of August 28, 2006:

    STAR SPANGLED PAIN

    He could face jail time for defacing the American flag if he wipes it off!

    The story supposedly comes from Remember, Maine and involves some guy (John Phillips) who fell asleep. While asleep, the guy’s friends painted a flag on his face. When he went to the store to buy some paint remover (the paint was supposedly oil based and had been sprayed on his face), Sheriff Miller stopped Phillips from buying some turpentine and informed Phillips that he could be charged with defacing the flag if he removed the art work from his face. According tot he article, Phillips is now waiting for the Board of Supervisors to vote next month on an exception to the rule and now has to live with his red, white and blue face.

    There are actually some true stories printed in the rag mags-like the group of cousins that all had their stomachs removed to prevent stomach cancer.

    FYI-American Media, Inc., prints all of the rag mags and the editorial offices are based in Boca Raton, FL. At the bottom of the first page it states that Weekly World News articles are drawn from different sources and most are fictitious. WWN uses invented names in many of the stories, except in cases where public figures are being satirized. Any other use of real names is accidental and coincidental. The reader should suspend belief for the sake of enjoyment.

    Anyone remember the office in Florida became the target of an anthrax attack? Maybe someone didn’t want to suspend their belief of a story for the sake of their enjoyment that day. Either that, or they were upset that their story of the 3 headed Martian baby pickled in a canning jar on the shelf at home had been refused.

  12. Bobbie said,

    MAN PICKS NOSE FINDS GOLD NUGGET!

  13. Mainetarr said,

    Brenda runs as Rupublican Governor of Maine.

  14. Mainetarr said,

    Keanu Reeves Finally Comes Out of the Closet

  15. curious said,

    Source: UPI

    TURNER, Maine (UPI) — A DNA test has been ordered to determine the species of a mystery beast killed in Turner, Maine, that some believe was a mythical creature called a “wendigo.”

    The Lewiston (Maine) Sun Journal shipped DNA samples from the “Turner Beast” to Dr. Irv Kornfield at the University of Maine and to HealthGene Corp. in Toronto to attempt to determine what sort of animal was killed by a car Aug. 12, the newspaper said. Results are expected back later in the week.

    Canadian researcher Michael de Sackville, who has written 23 nonfiction books on history and anthropology, said the animal could be a feral dog or a wolf-dog hybrid, “but it could also be a little monster long known to the Algonkian-speaking Aboriginal peoples of northeastern North America as the ‘wendigo.'”

    “The northeastern Indians told tales of the wendigo entering villages by night and breaking into individual long houses where it often carried off small children. This reminds one of the much more recent tales told by Turner residents about the ‘beast’ that would skulk around farmhouses at night and attack pets left outside,” de Sackville said.
    Copyright 2006 by United Press International

  16. Robert said,

    MAN BURNS HAND WHILE COOKING FOOT TO SURVIVE

    POLICE FIND WOMAN IN FREEZER AFTER 2 YEARS – HUSBAND SAYS I ALWAYS KNEW SHE WAS A COLD B***H!

    INVISIBLE MAN SODOMIZED – POLICE LOOKING FOR WITNESSES…

  17. Mainetarr said,

    Murdered Man Found Covered in Corn Flakes With Banana in Ass-Police Looking For Cereal Killer

  18. LaFlamme said,

    Wooww… You people are loons.

  19. LaFlamme said,

    The headline I’d like to write:

    DNA TESTS IN TURNER BEAST: ANIMAL WAS HALF HUMAN!

  20. Mainetarr said,

    LAFLAMME AND BEAST — SAME DNA

  21. LaFlamme said,

    I deny these allegations of beastiality with feigned outrage!

  22. Linda said,

    Speaking of beasts — it may just be an urban myth, but has anyone heard anything about somebody being attacked by a wild animal today?

  23. K2 said,

    That would be unbearable.

  24. LaFlamme said,

    Hey, I’m a reporter. I’ll need to bear out the facts on this one, ay boo boo?

  25. Gil said,

    I think they’re lion.
    Don’t make stuff up, that’s for cheetah’s

  26. LaFlamme said,

    On second thought, maybe we should get a cub reporter on this one.

  27. LaFlamme said,

    You don’t want to monkey around when you get a tip like this.

  28. AO said,

    Doggone, another beast?

  29. Linda said,

    Just me starting rumors. Beasts on the brain.

  30. Anonymous said,

    SIAMESE BLOGGERS JOINED AT THE ASS SEPERATED IN 12 HOUR OPERATION

  31. Mainetarr said,

    Breaking news—elementary school children in Westbrook find a body behind their school. Yuk yuk yuk…..that’s gotta suck for those kids.

  32. Linda said,

    Yeah, I heard that yesterday MT. One of the women in my office has a sister who teaches at that school and she sent an email about it. What a first day welcome!

  33. LaFlamme said,

    Hey, when we were kids, we used to go out looking for bodies. Very Stand By Me.

  34. K2 said,

    Easy. Cherry Pezz.

  35. K2 said,

    Anonymous Gives Birth to Anal Baby.

  36. Gil said,

    Anonymous Anal Baby Has Two Heads!!
    Mom names one Brenda, the other K2
    Kids begin talking shit immediately

  37. LaFlamme said,

    Just back from a scene at a Park Street store. Somali boy steals lolipop and is caught by clerk. Others from his group, children and adults, rally around and there’s a tense scene outside the store. Cops are called. Criminal trespass warning issued after consultation with the store owner. Now, is that racial tension or just downtown crap?

  38. K2 said,

    This coming from the Church of Painful Truthiness.

    You’re fucked, man. Really.

  39. Mandy, the obit writer said,

    How about this: “Undertaker crushed by falling cemetery monument”

  40. LaFlamme said,

    Wait, that really happened, didn’t it? I once wrote a story in which I was killed in the same fashion.

  41. AO said,

    Hmm…sounds like lots of tension right here in the Screaming Room. Who needs the downtown variety?

  42. AO said,

    I saw the “pig head roller” on the news tonight. He’s such a flucking loser. He showed up to court wearing a Harley t-shirt and cap. Talk about your douche-bags. He couldn’t even be bothered to put on a suit and tie.

  43. LaFlamme said,

    That’s another case I’m tired of hearing about. Pig’s head, mystery beast… bunch of others I can’t recall at this time.

  44. Gil said,

    Relax your sphincter there K2, it’s only a joke.

  45. Mainetarr said,

    Someone I know went to a bar called Worden’s in Lewiston. Apparently they had a collection bucket at the bar for pig roller, he hangs out there. They collected over $4000 for his lawyer’s retainer fees. Unfuckingreal.

  46. LaFlamme said,

    Yeah. And they had a pig roast. Place is called Warden’s, across the street from Hannaford on Sabattus St.

  47. AO said,

    He should have taken some of that money and bought something to wear to court.

  48. AO said,

    I also heard that the band wore pig masks. Yup, this guy is real remorseful.

  49. Linda said,

    No way! what the hell is up with that? I saw him too, put my blood pressure up 15 points at least. Couldn’t rant, here at my mother’s house, it upsets her. Ruined my evening really.

  50. Mainetarr said,

    WTF is up with that? What a bunch of douchebags. Says a lot for the crowd that hangs out there. You know, at first, I thought, is this guy really hateful or really stupid? People who know him say he is harmless, not very bright. So, ok, I go along with that and think he is playing a stupid joke that totally backfired on him, like I have been hearing. He will go to court, face the punishment and the story will be over. What pisses me off is these morons raising money for him. He did it, everyone knows he did it, yet they raise $4000 for his legal fees. Why not raise $4000 and donate it to Children’s Miracle Network and let the moron have a public defender? Makes no sense to me. I am not advocating what he did, he will be punished, but to raise money for the asshat? Stupid, really stupid.

  51. Mainetarr said,

    More headlines for you:

    * Grandmother of eight makes hole in one
    * Deaf mute gets new hearing in killing
    * Police begin campaign to run down jaywalkers
    * House passes gas tax onto senate
    * Stiff opposition expected to casketless funeral plan
    * Two convicts evade noose, jury hung
    * William Kelly was fed secretary
    * Milk drinkers are turning to powder
    * Safety experts say school bus passengers should be belted
    * Quarter of a million Chinese live on water
    * Farmer bill dies in house
    * Iraqi head seeks arms

  52. Mainetarr said,

    * Queen Mary having bottom scraped
    * Is there a ring of debris around Uranus?
    * Prostitutes appeal to Pope
    * Panda mating fails – veterinarian takes over
    * NJ judge to rule on nude beach
    * Child’s stool great for use in garden
    * Dr. Ruth to talk about sex with newspaper editors
    * Soviet virgin lands short of goal again
    * Organ festival ends in smashing climax

  53. Mainetarr (Bad Grammar) said,

    * Eye drops off shelf
    * Squad helps dog bite victim
    * Dealers will hear car talk at noon
    * Enraged cow injures farmer with ax
    * Lawmen from Mexico barbecue guests
    * Miners refuse to work after death
    * Two Soviet ships collide – one dies
    * Two sisters reunite after eighteen years at checkout counter

  54. Mainetarr said,

    * If strike isn’t settled quickly it may last a while
    * War dims hope for peace
    * Smokers are productive, but death cuts efficiency
    * Cold wave linked to temperatures
    * Child’s death ruins couple’s holiday
    * Blind woman gets new kidney from dad she hasn’t seen in years
    * Man is fatally slain
    * Something went wrong in jet crash, experts say
    * Death causes loneliness, feeling of isolation

  55. LaFlamme said,

    And let’s not forget the Sun Journal’s own: “workers want crack at egg farm.”

  56. LaFlamme said,

    I really like “eye drops off shelf”

  57. K2 said,

    Gil, the (pathological) joke is that you simply cannot admit to any fallibility whatsoever.

  58. Robert said,

    There you have it folks, the pot called the kettle black…

  59. Peter Pirone said,

    You made fantastic nice points here. I performed a search on the issue and discovered almost all peoples will agree with your blog. So if you don’t want to see your holiday dinner plans crash and burn, a great idea would be to leave the self-cleaning, until after everything is done.

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