Life As We Know It: August 26, 2013

     Our commentary a while back about newspaper headlines with unintended interpretations had the desire reaction. Several people sent along their own so-called “crash blossoms.”
Here’s a sample:

    “Bernstein Eyeing AG Post.” The headline from the student newspaper at Wayne State University seems harmless enough. Trouble is, Mr. Bernstein has been blind since birth. This gem came from Jack Lessenberry, our Blade ombudsman.

    Gerald Bazer, retired dean at Owens Community College, related a personal experience when he was editor of the school newspaper. The school administration was seeking a handyman to work in a women’s dormitory in exchange for room and board. Mr. Bazer’s headline read: “Man needed to live in women’s dorm.”

    The dean of women was not amused and confiscated all the papers she could track down.

    Another reader, Wade, sent this headline from a story about a recall of eye medicine: “Eye Drops Off Shelf.” Sounds like something out of “Young Frankenstein.”

    Or how about this one submitted by George: “Panda Mating Fails, Veterinarian Takes Over.”

    Here’s an instant classic, right out of The Blade: “Man With Cleaver In Temple Killed By Police.” A clear case of overkill, I say. On the other hand, shooting him may have been the humane thing to do.

    Finally, there is this one from Kate. Here is how the headline writer intended for it to appear: “Pen is Mightier Than the Sword.” You’ll have to figure out for yourself what went wrong.

    Write it down, and you’ll get it.

    *****

    We were at a wedding reception not long ago, and we were getting acquainted with the people at our dinner table when the food arrived. The pleasant aroma was unmistakable.

    “Hmmmmm,” my wife said, “I smell rosemary.”

    Turns out that was also the name of woman next to her. Fortunately Rosemay had a sense of humor.

    *****

    One more sign we’re all doomed: Police in Fairfield, Connecticut apprehended two would-be bank robbers before the bad guys even reached the front door of the bank. Seems the pair had called the bank ahead of time, announced they were coming by to rob the place, and asked the teller to get a bag of cash ready.

    I fear we’re regressing as a species.

    *****

    Child abuse, spousal abuse, animal abuse -- all are terrible things but all have organizations devoted to fighting them. What about language abuse? Am I the only one worried about it?

    The Rev. Jeremiah Wright, once President Obama’s minister, lamenting the shoddy treatment he said he got from the President, said: “When Obama threw me under the bus, he threw me under the bus literally.”

    Really? I’m happy the good reverend survived such a horrifying act, but where’s the public outcry calling for the President’s criminal indictment?

    *****

    Here’s an actual quote from a professional baseball player reacting to the trade of a teammate:

    “I got a text from Joe and he was like, ‘What are we doing?’ And I was like, ‘Didn’t we get Halliday?’ And he was like, ‘Yeah, but we traded Lee.’ And my mouth dropped, like, ‘that wasn’t part of the deal.’”

    Wow. My mouth is, like, dropping too. And I don’t like, like it.

    *****

    Finally, you would expect men’s colognes to bear names that convey manliness. English Leather. Cool Water. Stetson. Boss. Phantom. But I just saw an ad for one called Diesel Fuel For Life Eau de Toilette.

    I think I’ll pass.

twalton@theblade.com

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