Tuesday, January 30, 2007

Connecting the dots... closing the loop... shattering the illusion....

I regularly read Zay N. Smith's Quick Takes in the Chicago Sun-Times and -- as you can probably tell from the number of times I've cited it in these postings -- I enjoy the column thoroughly.

Mr. Smith, however, has one regular feature in his column that often bugs me: He will come up with an absurd headline and then say only, "There is probably an interesting story behind that."

Now I am a cynical person and I have wondered, from time to time, whether Mr. Smith is simply making up these headlines. This morning, for instance, he wrote:
News Headline: "Underpants rage burns down house."

There is probably an interesting story behind that.
Now I wasn't particularly interested in this item, nor did I have a burning desire to investigate to determine whether it had, in fact, been invented or whether it was an actual story reported somewhere.

But today at lunch, clicking away between bites, I came across this story on a site called Metro.co.uk. The item was indeed headlined, "Underpants rage burns down house." And the story? Through the miracle of cut and paste, it follows:
An angry husband who threw old clothes from his wardrobe in the garden and set fire to them because he could not find his clean underpants accidentally burnt his home down.

Ivo Jerbic, 55, from Prikraj close to the capital Zagreb told police he had flipped out after failing to find any clean underpants in the closet full of old clothes, and had thrown them all in the garden and set fire to them.

He told police: 'My wife never throws anything out, I just lost my temper.'
So we have established that Mr. Smith did not make up today's throwaway headline. Why he thought it might be so interesting, however, is not nearly as clear.

Although, there was another story on the same site, "Viagra-spiked wine nearly kills husband." (With apologies to Mr. Smith) there is probably an interesting story behind that one, too.


Empress Bee (of the high sea) said...

now why do i find this SOOOOO funny? i have no idea, but thanks curmy, because i do!!!

smiles, bee

sari said...

I'd love to stay and chat, but I think I need to go clean up a bit so we don't get that underpants rage going on here. I'm a bit behind on the laundry!

Lahdeedah said...


I need a job where I can blog all day.

I mean, okay I don't have a job at all, so technically, could blog all day, but I think I'd just be more inspired if someone tossed money at me to blog.

Or alternately, paid me money to work at a really boring job where no one cared if I blogged all day. (I did hold a job like that, btw, they do exist)

I mean, I'd blog about interesting things, like holy underpants and blessed socks and which saint to pray to in case you can't find your holy or blessed articles of clothing.

Pageant Mom said...

I have been on a vendetta to get rid of all our excess "stuff" since about April. I've done yard sales, given bags to goodwill, consigned clothes, ebayed, thrown out... all to know avail. I even set a rule - for every bag of stuff that comes in TWO must go OUT!!! I'm pretty sure the mommy laundry and the daddy laundry are down in the basement breeding as we speak.
It's probably even a contributor to the nervous breakdown I suffered recently >o(
Maybe I could just burn it all down and start over....??? Hmmm now I have an idea...

Lawfrog said...

LOL! I was a journalist before becoming a lawyer and headlines were always fun.

One headline that I caught before the paper went to press (and thus it was changed):

"Quadriplegic Caretaker Arrested."

Hmmm...you think they have to use the handcuffs for that one? (forgive the bad joke).

It should have been "Quadriplegic's Caretaker Arrested."

Amazing Gracie said...

Shepard Smith on Fox News choked and smirked his way through this one today. It is hard to believe what some people will do while stressed out! The underpants guy, not Shep!

the awkward epiphany said...

hey curmudgeon, i wanted to spread the news of a new site you'd probably have some fun with.

basically it's a digg for writers. just copy and paste your blog entries (or any writing that you have) into the site...and readers view and vote on it. the more you get voted the higher you move up.

unlike digg however you earn a cut of the ad revenues depending on how high your writing is posted.

check it out if you'd like:


that's my referal link. feel free to register on your own (www.thisisby.us) or through my link.

the awkward epiphany said...

mr. smith sounds like my kind of guy

cmhl said...

wow, I am still mulling the underwear story.

if he was mad about not having any clean undies, how did he think that torching the dirty ones would help the situation any?