Sunday, October 17, 2004

Visit the News Gorilla store at <>.
There you will find even more Mars-message monogrammed items, the better to wow your cubicle mates! We've also added two new single-sheet 2005 calendars on the Texas Postage theme for tight cubicle spaces.
For those with a little more wall room, a more elaborate 12-page 2005 calendar with a hilarious Texas stamp for each month (check out the Daughters of the Texas Revolution postmark from basic training at Camp Nieman Marcus!) is over at

For October 16, 2004. Good work, Sinclair Broadcasting, let's see that nasty-war-protester flick in prime time! Not only will it be a relief from your sitcom-rerun menu, it's an excuse for nostalgic family gatherings to watch granny toss her 32-B into the crowd as she splashes in the reflecting pool in the March on Washington! And John Mitchell's fat false-arrest payoffs were better than Pell grants for thousands of war protesters!
The sad thing for us nattering nabobs of negativism is you can't rouse that other guardian of patriotism and payoff, Vice President Spiro Agnew, to do intermission quips! Hundreds of thousands, and now their descendants, and they'll get to protest silly wars again!
With this kind of news content, Sinclair Broadcasting, soon you'll be as major a player as the Daily Oklahoman, says the Burned-Out Newspapercreatures Guild, and this is BONG Bull No. 657!

ASSIGNMENT DESK. No federal money for faith-based social services by Jewish or Muslim organizations? Voter registration purges? Black boxes that make electronic votes easy to screen out? These are among issues for reporters who don't want to stay stenographers for the U.S. parties' flacks. Go to .

FOX YOU. Oh boy, Bill O'Reilly is the next big conservative talking head to make news offstage. Hey Bill, does that vibrator puppet help lend credibility to your, um, dictates? Will your audience join with Rev. Jimmy Swaggart's with all the "Yeah, but –" prefaces? When they say, "But Rush Limbaugh was on drugs when he said that!" will they hop over to O'Reilly and say "Hands above the table, Bill!" or not? Stay tuned.

DOOFUS MARKETING. Terry Murray <> reports a Canadian beer commercial that opens with a fellow on the cottage dock, watching some skinny-dipping females in the lake until, just as they emerge from the water, some buddies step in front of the lenses and say, "Hey, whatcha lookin' at?" Then the three chicks, now dressed, bound down the dock and ask, "Hey, whatcha lookin' at?"
Cue announcer: "Doesn't it suck when you miss the best part?"

LOCAL OPTIONS. Travis Williams in wooly Los Angeles speculates that, despite Web site technology making every local sheet a worldwide medium, still headlines are written in local codes. Consider a recent Long Beach Press Telegram screamer, "American returns 2 L.B. slots." It was about an airline. It also reminded him of a grabber of four decades ago in the San Bernardino Sun-Telegram, "MRS. MILLER PREGNANT."
Do we recall headlinese abbreviations? Well sure. In youth in Arizona, there was CAP to mean Central Arizona Project, Community Action Program and two or three other newsworthy outfits; sometimes the text never explained which was to irrigate the arid outback and which faced another federal audit.
Even now the reverse of the coin, yokelizing (er, localizing) of stories makes for amusing stretches, as with "NYSE messenger has kin here."
What say, BONGers? Examples?

COMPULSIVE HEADLINES. Lee Hickling" <> appends, "Chuck Keefer's Sasquatch head line was funny. It reminded me of games we used to play at the old Evening Press of Binghamton, NY. One was to make up ridiculous headlines. The winner of that one was 'Pop Slays Mom, Tot, By Defenestration.'
We also competed to write a punning head for the weather ear at the top right corner of A-1. One that never made the paper was for when the weather warmed up in time for Easter: 'Christ, It's Risen.'
"One that did get used was when an Upstate cold spell was moderating: 'Zero? That's Nothing.' "
We too have admired the wonderfully polyglot English language, Lee, especially when working the Chief Copyboy's old dayside career of court-certified English-Spanish interpreter (254 cases in the year 2000, from Indianapolis to Cleveland, Detroit to Cincinnati, and still kept my Dayton Daily News pension valid.) English has a single word for throwing someone out a window, and yet Spanish often requires four- and five-word phrases to describe things like mechanical parts; what a lingo!

COMIX SECTION. The Further Adventures of Herman "Speed" Graphic, ace photographer, and his Faithful Companion, Typo the Wonder Pig.
PANEL ONE: Speed and Typo lurk in the newsrack storeroom and review the results of the editorial board meeting.
Typo reports, "I told them you were on deadline and couldn't help quiz the candidate, Boss! That made them even more cordial and they liked the cocoa and macaroons I brought along!"
PANEL TWO: Speed enquires, "Yes? Yes? And then what?"
Typo elucidates, "And of course I sweetened the drinks with a little Do-Good Powder from the secret compartment in your trenchcoat, the deathbed gift from the ancient mystic wire service executive editor on the fog-shrouded eastern island."
Speed gasps, "Oh, my stars and garters!"
PANEL THREE: Typo explains, "Oh, they took it quite well, Boss! The editorial writers remained upright in their seats and the candidates loosened up to near truthfulness!"
Speed queries, "Yes? Yes? And so -- ?"
PANEL FOUR: Typo declares, "And so I said that you had asked me to find out which one of them was the undercover tango-contest partner of Publisher Gimlet Peen and why he has been missing since the night of the thing with the Bulgarian tourists and the dancing bear."
Speed agonizes, "Oh dear Aunt Tilly and her dancing teacart! So what happened then?"
PANEL FIVE: Typo exclaims, "Three of the editorial writers and two of the candidates confessed, Boss! I'd say we got a good batch this time, the guy with the tropical-fruit headdress will make a fine governor, and we're well on our way to finding Mr. Peen in time for year-end bonuses! And when we do, we can go back in the newsroom safely!"
A production of BONG Chief Copyboy Charley Stough. E-mail the News Gorilla store at <>. Still plenty of those Elite Media T-shirts ready to ship!