Wednesday, February 12, 2003

Further evidence that blogging has a future. Within 10 minutes of BONG Bull 613 going out, we heard from Dave Lieber with news that Molly Ivins is now syndicated full-time and not a Startlegram employee. Ooh, they left her to be lured away by the Washington Times!
Also came word that Sean Scully is the source of the item on Charlottesville Progress' headline explorations.
Not only is this Mass Communications, it's Fast Communications!

THAT'S ENOUGH FOR THE PRACTICE COURSE PLEASE, MRS. HARRIS. No heart-shaped chocolate box for you, Clara Harris, but there's a nice card from the guys in the body shop down at the Houston Mercedes store, says the Burned-Out Newspapercreatures Guild. BONG Bull No. 613 has been sent to subscribers worldwide.

INTRODUCING NEWS GORILLA. News Gorilla has a logo; yeah, well, we had this gorilla painting lying around, so what the hell. It's on cups and other stuff at the News Gorilla store, which happily will see to dinging your plastic, wrapping your goodies and fast delivery by uniformed government courier.
Merchandise available includes cups, tote bags, T-shirts, nightshirts, baseball caps and our own beautiful gorillapad (Mousepad? We don't need no steenking mousepad!). The monogrammed thong, boxers and ladies' teddy are in beta and may be added later.
BONGers in Oz and Blighty who can recommend same-landmass design-upload-enabled monogrammed-merchandise suppliers, email particulars to BONG soonest and we'll try to save time and shipping costs for you.

GOTTA LOVE MOLLY. The Fort Worth Star-Telegram columnist said recently:
"I tune in regularly to listen to William F. Buckley, Mona Charen, George Will, Rush Limbaugh, John Sununu, John McLaughlin, Pat Buchanan, Gordon Liddy, James Kilpatrick, Robert Novak, Pat Robertson, Paul Harvey, and Phyllis Schlaffly talk about how more conservative voices are needed because of the liberal slant of the media."

TAKING A HEADER. We lost the source of this one; will he or she please volunteer it by return mail:
"My favorite former employer, the Daily Progress of Charlottesville, Va., used to be renowned for its clever headlines (when the U.S. national soccer team unexpectedly found itself facing the best soccer team in the world in international competition, the Progress itself grabbed national news by observing in a headline 'U.S. Faces Brazilian to One Odds').
"So it was with mixed feelings that I saw this howler from the greatly diminished Progress this month: 'Teen says he struck boy found dead in stomach.'
Of course, it beats the headline once offered by my least favorite former employer, the Montgomery Journal in Maryland: 'Viability Questions Dog Plan.' You figure out what THAT story is about."

THE REAL JO-101. Jay Brodell, smokesignalling in from San Jose, Costa Rica, remarks on the demise of a newspaper bar in Dayton, Ohio:
"My own Denver Press Club seems to have suffered a similar reduction since the yuppies take to bottled water and jogging. Thank goodness that a few good newsmen survive to enjoy a news bar that has a million stories.
"In order to continue the tradition, I have worked beer drinking into the study program for my North American interns. I remember learning my journalism at the Binghamton, N.Y. press club, really an old office set up by reporter Charles Terboss in the 1960s. The location was close by the police station, convenient for beat patrolmen on cold winter nights where a stiff shot would go a long way toward seeing them to sunrise. As our paper was an a.m., we would go there after work and after the bars closed.
"Here I do not have to go to that trouble as several places are open
24 hours a day. So my staff works quickly Thursdays to get the paper
posted to the Internet and then about midnight we adjourn to perhaps
your old haunt, the Del Rey Hotel, in downtown San José.
"But my guys are true newsman. Beer is much more important than other vices, except perhaps gambling, and the Del Rey has an adjacent 24-hour casino. So we are living a bit of a Damon Runyon kind of existence similar to his low-life New York at the turn of the 20th century, He was a Denver Press Club member, by the way.
"Maybe we will have the makings of a Broadway show, like Runyon. Instead of 'Guys and Dolls,' our show will be 'Tipos y Chicas.'"
Yes, well, if the Chief Copyboy was ever in San Jose, Costa Rica, there is no evidence he ever attended the Del Rey Hotel's crowded social saloon nor spilled that 60-cent rum-and-Coke on the roulette table nor said those things to the provincial governor's frowzy chip-clipping mistress. And besides, the drink was watery.

HOW TO ENJOY A HOLIDAY BONUS. Veronica Sind-Flors celebrates the memory of Christmas bonuses handed out at the West Bank Guide, the flagship of Cox's brief and abortive attempt to go head-to-head with the Times-Picayune in New Orleans in the early 1980s.
"Bonuses were handed out at the Christmas party held at a local wedding palace. We all got the same amount, a measly $5. And, if this wasn't insult enough, the company had taken out withholding tax. So, if I remember correctly, we were handed checks for something like $3.78.
"We had an open bar at the Christmas party, something management no doubt later regretted in light of the general disgruntlement over the size of the bonuses. I think the pressmen led the charge, but by the time the part was over, all hands had decided to hit the bar and drink up the equivalent of what they thought their Christmas bonuses should have been.
"Amazingly, everyone made it home in one piece, and there were no DUI arrests."