THE BURNED-OUT NEWSPAPERCREATURES GUILD'S NEWSLETTER
Copyright (c) 1997 by BONG. All rights reserved.
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HEADS WILL ROLL III: NOW IT'S A FETISH. "The second-best tabloid
headline of all time (after 'Headless Body in Topless Bar,' of
course) ran in the Chicago Sun-Times a few years back," reports
Adam Lisberg of the Burlington (Vt.) Free Press. "The story was
about turncoat members of the El Rukn street gang who, in exchange
for testifying against their pals, were allowed to smoke pot and
get physical with their girlfriends while in federal custody --
thus tainting their testimony.
"The Sun-Times hed: 'Sex, Drugs and Rukn Role.'"
-- From Brian M. Trotta: "There was a hockey game between my
alma mater UConn and the Danish National Team that was rather ugly
and ended up getting called with less than a minute to go when a
bench-clearing fight broke out. UConn lost the game, leading me to
write: 'Huskies Iced by Steamed Danish.'
"And, in The Hartford (Conn.) Courant, there was a story
about a pair of women who opened a grooming salon for animals.
Both had years of experience and had previously won awards for
their work. The copy editor could't resist writing 'Women Experts
at Doggie Style.' The writer of that headline got a good scolding,
CALL FOR YOU. The fascination with broadcast call letters that
has afflicted BONG for these several weeks woke a nerve. In
undergrad days at Arizona State University (only 125 miles from
the NCAA basketball champs!) for a radio programming class, the
Chief Copyboy designed a station pitched to the tourists and
snowbirds who make Arizona parking spaces so rare. Its call
letters were to be KVAC, a nicely onomatopoeic phrase suggesting
"vacation" but, the news majors pointed out, perhaps also
"vacuous." Which fits the way the tourists drive on their ways to
the next freeway pileup. Got a B.
-- WPLM in Plymouth, Mass. told its listeners for years that
the letters stood not only for Plymouth but for We Play Lovely
Music. "When I worked in the area two years ago," avers Kurt
Bluemenau, "WPLM had just switched to a lite-jazz fuzak format,
heavy on the sultry saxophones, etc., leading a co-worker of mine
to dub it Wet Porno Love Music."
-- WLPM in Suffolk, Va., (hey wow, look at the previous
mentioned station's callers; ooeeoo, spooky!) is a metaphor for
World's Largest Peanut Market. Suffolk is the home of Planter's
Peanuts, advises Mark Schleifstein of The (New Orleans, La.)
-- Tom Spisak advises that the famous WGBH, Boston's public
broadcasting powerhouse, was named for Great Blue Hill, the site
of the transmitters.
-- KTHS stood for Kum To Hot Springs (Ark.), reports ancient
Unipresser Louis Milliner.
-- "I have been told that the origin for our local AM station
here in Danville, Va., WBTM, stands for World's Best Tobacco
Market," sayeth Bob McFadden of the Danville (Va.) Register & Bee.
"I have also heard a second story that the original owners
immortalized their broadcast deal with We Borrowed the Money."
QUICK BEFORE THEY GET FIRED. Ken Layne of the 415 area code has
united with "a couple of other ex-newspaper bums" to create what
he calls the hateful news service called Tabloid.
"We put out a fresh issue about 2 every morning, after the
liquor stores close, and update the stuff several times per day.
It's on the horrible Internet at <www.sirius.com/~tabloid> and
it's free. While some people find it funny, we don't. We are
outraged every day, by everything. And none of us will ever be
allowed to work at a regular newspaper again, which is fine with
me. And if you give Tabloid a plug, I may even scan my yellowed,
blood-stained, coffee-cup-ringed BONG certificate and post it on
the site as evidence of something."
Evidence a jury may find interesting, Ken, but once BONG got
sent to the night shift copy desk there was nothing left to fear,
so scan away.
Aside from twisted news, Tabloid also offers a valuable free
service to the put-upon everywhere. Send a face shot of someone
you hate, preferably looking surprised, to Tabloid News Services,
591 Haight St., San Francisco, Calif. 94117. They'll scan and
morph it onto the body of some awful clip-art monster and send it
to the honoree himself or herself, anonymously. That's as good as
Right Guard deodorant's 1968 offer (a can sent in plain brown
wrapper for $1, remember the screams? Ad agent's probably still
looking for work.). And Tabloid, those rascals, also works
Layne: (415) 863-3989, or firstname.lastname@example.org