What do you need to break out of your rut? You might have a business idea, or something you want to do with your life.
A Recent Story brought several questions from readers wanting to know why it referred to a Black guy and a white guy — with those specific capitalizations:
I was intrigued by this week’s Headline — each week’s stories end with one, usually with some sort of twist, from a real news source:
This is an absolutely true story: I was in the class.
Yet Another Case of a Certain Kind of Story (which I usually ignore, rather than feature in True) has led to a new This is True word:
peckertrace (pĕk′ər trās)
Be careful what you ask for, since when an organization asks the public for input on what they should name something, they’re opening a Pandora’s box.
Two Stories from Last Week brought complaints that True is politically partisan. The hilarious aspect to the two stories: neither had anything to do with politics, but the readers are so sensitive they thought they were political slams. There were a number of protest unsubscribes, including a Premium reader, which is very unusual.
Update: The Restaurant Pho Keene Won!
Sometimes, I’ll Look at the Comments on a news site’s story that I use as a source for a True story. Not very often, since most news comments are a vast wasteland, but the comments on one of the Pho Keene stories I read caught my eye. The top comment was, “Who knew that Keene lacked a sense of humor?” And there was one response: “Anyone that lives here.” Let’s start with the story, from True’s first issue of 2019:
While Driving Across southern New Mexico this morning, I rolled my eyes a bit at a warning sign: “Dust Storms May Exist”. Well yeah, so might space aliens bent on beaming someone up from the desert. Reminds me of the one I see farther north: “Icy Conditions May Exist”. Are lawyers writing road signs now? Maybe charging by the letter?
Two readers (so far) don’t “get” a tagline from this week’s issue, so I thought I would explain the joke — even though I do understand “Explaining the joke makes it not funny.” Well, they don’t think it’s funny anyway, so let’s get to it. First, the story, from the 5 November 2017 issue:
Very Often, Readers Submit Stories that are most definitely, without a doubt, weird. But sometimes I still can’t use them because despite being weird (one definition: unusual), they’re …well… not unusual.
MSgt USAF (retired) Joe Ohio inquires, “As a multi-decade reader I find readers’ comments almost as entertaining as the stories. This brings me to my question. Being an English major I would like to know what the collective is for ‘obliviot’?”
I ran a story in this week’s issue in part to provoke. Before my editorializing here’s the story, from the 19 June 2011 issue:
A friend of mine asked me for some advice last week. He’s preparing to leave the military, and thought writing might be his next career. Did I have any pearls of wisdom?
I gave him two main pieces of advice. The second one: he must understand that there’s no such thing as “writer’s block.”
Sometimes there’s a story that I “have” to publish, even though I know it just won’t make it past the spam filters, so I “can’t” put it in the email newsletter. And see below for an update.
This story is what got me started on remembering Herb Caen — it’s from True’s 17 May 2009 issue:
Important Update Below
Sundays are writing day around here: it’s the day I write This is True each week. This week, I had the usual line-up of stories about stupid people doing stupid things (or, as the case may be, smart people doing stupid things!) when I came across the story of Mark Rimkufski from the weirdest state in the union, which is of course Florida.
Episode #28: “You Think Your State is Weird?”, from True’s 14 December 2008 issue.
Episode #18: “Artificial Education”, from True’s 5 October 2008 issue.