By Carol MacPherson
Take cover, the headlines are coming down like hailstones, and snow, and rain, and sun rays, and cats and dogs:
•”Charges: Posing as fat cat, woman squatted in mini-mansions”: Due to the power of the Internet, and cats, the headline brings to mind a tremendously overweight feline, instead of a fabulously wealthy person, at least for most people who are younger than the Greatest Generation.
”Dolly Varden Trout Guts Quadruple During Yearly Gorging Session”: I beg your pardon? (I never promised you a Dolly Varden…) While a good headline contains as much information as possible, sometimes they can just wear you out before you get to the end, especially with the unneccesary and confusing capitalization of every word. Dolly Varden trout, is that a trout family name or a scientific one? (Or is it a typo, and the fish is really named “Dolly Parton trout,” found exclusively in the “Islands of the Stream”?) Turns out Dolly Varden isn’t a trout at all, according to the article, but a char, which is why they call it a trout.
The headline is trying to convey that the trout’s stomach expands greatly in size during the time of year when they feast on stirred up, unhatched salmon eggs from previous spawns. So where might the Dolly Vardens, which can travel between fresh and salt water like salmon, be found? According to the article: “In states that range from Washington to Alaska.” Gosh, that’s quite a range of states. Perhaps they mean the liquid one.
•”Team-player chimps may shed light on origins of human cooperation”: Our devolving Congress presents a good argument for establishing the Team-Player Chimp Party.
”Upscale retailers sold real fur as fake” As the Kinks succinctly noted in song decades ago, “It’s a mixed up muddled up shook up world.”
”Red Lobster tests no-waiter, no-tip service”: The struggling restaurant chain is trying to find a way to cut costs by not providing (the upcoming, mandated) health insurance for wait staff. The menu says customers shouldn’t tip, even though servers bring the food, and clear the table. Dolly Varden isn’t the only who thinks it stinks. Asking patrons to treat your poorly compensated employees even worse is very unappetizing.
”Swallows seem to be evolving to avoid cars”: They figured, hey, if squirrels can do it, so can we.
”Pa. school asks students to cut back on body spray”: The request was made after a student was taken to a hospital after being exposed to Axe Body Spray. If someone doesn’t believe in the power of advertising, behold the Axe campaign, which has consistently urged its teen customers that a head-to-toe, more-is-better approach is the key to its effectiveness. (It’s certainly better for sales.)
Apply approximately a bottle a day, and the girls won’t be able to keep their hands off you, so smelleth, er, sayeth the sexy commercials. Apparently the strategy is to get a girl to swoon from fumes. In that case, the teen boys should save their money and just use a three-day old Dolly Varden.
•”Tech stocks: BlackBerry zooms upward” and “The novel resurgence of independent bookstores”: Just two more examples of why business and economic “analysts,” the media, various prognosticators etc., would do well to simply stop declaring stuff dead all of the time.
”Demand grows for classic toys”: Because it turns out, not shockingly, like the game “Operation,” that a computer screen really is no substitute.
”Ryanair orders 175 Boeing 737s”: Cost-conscious Ryanair says the planes will be the most efficient in the air. So these must be the long-anticipated planes that Ryanair CEO Michael O’Leary asked Boeing to design with lavatory doors that have a mechanism for paying by credit card… Which will unfortunately lead to the first case of someone trying to sneak fluids off a plane, and various other budget-minded scenarios.
”Vasectomy surgeries increase during March Madness”: Apparently basketball crazy fans are looking for a way to spend a week or so in front of the couch, and enterprising people want to help them. For example, an Illinois urology clinic started a “3-Point Shot” promotion this week — one vasectomy, one free pizza, and one weekend excuse to watch college basketball. Such a deal! And next year? Get it reversed! (Not yet part of the official promotion.) Or try something crazy, like taking a vacation.
Tell people you have the Dolly Vardens going to the Final Four this year.
Carol MacPherson: 425-339-3472, email@example.com