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In recent months there’s been a rash of stories about animals getting their heads stuck in things.

Admittedly, these stories have surfaced only on slow news days, like, say, while we’re waiting for Obama to clue us in on Afghanistan. A reporter’s gotta come up with something while Barry keeps us hanging about troop numbers. I think that’s why we got the news about the raccoon with his head stuck in a peanut butter jar.

Then I heard about a hedgehog who got a yogurt container stuck on her head. That story slipped into headline position when people needed a break from the health care debate for a couple days. In a related story, a squirrel was caught on video, also wearing a yogurt container. Either he was bored with acorns and sampling dairy, or maybe, after he’d got his head un-stuck from a vodka botle,  he was wearing the squirrel equivalent of a lampshade. (You decide: click here.)

One week, when there was no tasty news about some governor having an affair, reporters seized on the story of that elk wearing a bar stool. This story has juice: how did that happen? Was he the loser in a bar fight? The elk story stirred almost as much discussion as Tiger Woods.

But maybe the most intriguing was the news about the cow who somehow got her head stuck in a washing machine. For a brief time, when Sarah Palin was neither resigning nor promoting a book, reporters loved this. It was such a refreshing change from covering the antics of humans.

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