Bits of BONG Bull No. 473!
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From: Peter Langston <psl>
Date: Sat, 30 May 98 12:43:38 -0700
Subject: Bits of BONG Bull No. 473!
Excerpted-from: BONG Bull No. 473!
THE BURNED-OUT NEWSPAPERCREATURES GUILD'S NEWSLETTER
Copyright (c) 1998 by BONG. All rights reserved.
To subscribe: Email to email@example.com. In the text say
LOOSLEY WAS ALMOST ALWAYS HONEST. Kristine Loosley recalls, "The mention
of bar bets and other newsroom interruptions reminds me of my part-time job
while in college in the pre-Internet early 1980s. After daytime hours at
the Salt Lake Tribune, there was always someone like me to answer phones
specifically to hand out sports scores, answer homework questions, look
spelling queries, settle bar bets and to otherwise handle the questions that
might interrupt the important work going on at the city and sports desks.
"There was one guy who called every other day desperately asking what
day it was. Then there were people who wanted to know the weather forecast
in places like Jamaica or some remote city in Idaho. I diligently looked
up the spelling questions, settled the bar bets by looking up factoids in
one of the many reference books on the shelf or by querying the copy desk
(which usually resulted in a side bet among rim rats who disagreed on the
"I was almost always honest with the guy who didn't know what day it
was. But after a few weeks of crawling through miles of paper in the wire
service room to forecast the weather, I finally realized that I could simply
make up a report ('Oh, it looks like it will be partly cloudy and warm in
Dutch John') and be just about as accurate as the meteorologists on TV. But
I never fibbed about American League scores."
ALTERNATIVES TO HONEST. The Dayton Daily News of 20 or more years ago was
seldom blessed with a gofer diligent enough to use the many reference books
around the city desk, when they weren't on long-term unauthorized loan to
some reporter. So it fell to the desk journeymen to take the bar-bet calls.
And one night a young reporter, having just winnowed the archives for the
fourth World Series or Stanley Cup or Super Bowl finding of the night,
noticed that a fellow scribe never seemed to have the same kind of trouble
making the drunks happy.
"Oh," the colleague shrugged. "I always just say Baltimore."
OCCULT HANDS CRAWLING OUT YOUR COMPUTER. Greg Wood spotted Geoff Carter's
review of the movie "Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas" in the Vegas Deluxe
Congratulations on joining the Occult Hand Society, Geoff:
"... The casino succeeds as a bulk metaphor for Thompson's America. It
is ugly, it is titillating, and nobody is quite sure how it came to this
pass. 'What the whole hep world would be doing on Saturday night if the
Nazis had won the war,' surmises Depp, pitching and waving as if being
shaken by an unseen occult hand."
Possibly redundant; there are SEEN occult hands? But OK.
© 1998 Peter Langston