Sunday, August 30, 2009

Sticker Situation

My local paper has taken to sticking advertising stickers at the top of the paper, probably hoping the difference in color and texture will draw eyes to the commercial message. Sometimes these stickers obscure part of the main headline. Thus, when I picked up my paper the other day, the headline I saw was "Evans [obscured] Found Alive, 2 Arrested." This happened soon after the Jaycee Dugard kidnapping story had broken, so I wondered with alarm if there had been a local connection or if something similar had happened nearby.

Removing the sticker, I found the headline read "Evans Gator Found Alive, 2 Arrested." The real story, which I had missed entirely, had to do with the presumed killing of a revered local alligator who lived near a feed and seed store. Needless to say, the paper was happy to announce, on its front page, that said gator had not been the victim of the heinous crime, but that the mutilated gator carcass found near the store actually belonged to another unlucky member of the species. The only humans involved in the story were two folks arrested for hunting alligator out of season and possession of illegally obtained wildlife.

If I were prone to conspiracy theories, I'd think that the sticker was placed where it was to increase newspaper sales. But the following day's headline disabused me of that notion. The headline, obscured by sticker, read "Flu [obscured] Inside." I think I'll pass.

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