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) Joseph in 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 — and even though I didn’t post it here, there was a lot of thoughtful comment. So OK, I’ll post it here to help facilitate the discourse. First, 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.
Or, Was I Offensive to Little Girls?
There was a phrase in the previous blog entry on the 6-year-old kid, where I imagined the school staff: “Run in circles! Pull out your hair! Scream like a little girl!”
Today Nancy in Illinois complained that was “sexist language.” She writes:
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: “Testing — Testing 1-2-3”. From True’s 5 October 2008 issue.
Episode #14: The Clbuttic Mistake. From True’s 7 August 2008 issue.
There’s a group of friends I hang out with online, all of us online entrepreneurs. One sent a URL around urging us all to “take 8 minutes to watch the video,” adding “if you care about such things, please consider blogging about it and/or passing it on.” What things? Our kids. Or, more accurately, the education of our kids. The world is a very, very different place than it was when we were kids.
Do the ! and ? in the title above, in relation to the quotation marks, bother you? Vindicate you? Make you wonder? Maybe you’ll enjoy this little debate, which opened in the 22 January 2006 issue.
aka, Ya’ll Grow Up Now, Hear?
I Became Aware of the Beaver Problem when researching the 18 June 2000 issue. People really enjoyed the resulting story. Pay particular attention to the second half:
See 2006 Update, Below
Many readers enjoyed these two stories that appeared in the 16 February 2003 issue, as they showed how different — and how similar — Australians and Americans are: