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Wednesday, June 25, 2003

Easier to read, harder to understand

Why I felt the need to work in 10-point font for nearly two years, I don't know. However, I'm feeling closer and closer to admitting that maybe I was afraid you'd actually read every word here. So, as I fight minor epiphanies at 1:30am, you might be able to read what I'm thinking (By the way...if it's too big for you, let me know).

It's a lot like home improvement projects I avoid at home. I let them go and let them go and eventually when I get around to doing them I discover the project will only take five minutes.

The font endeavor was actually an attempt to avoid writing about the real reason I'm still awake.

You might have heard it called "breaking news." It's an overused phrase that in its purest form means news of import that is happening as we speak, without time for planning, without regard for schedules. In the business, we also refer to it as spot news.

This afternoon I had two routine feature stories under my belt, too much time on my hands, and too much boredom to care about my job very much. The combination made me say something stupid.

"I'd kill for some spot news right now."

Zippy pointed out that if I killed I'd be creating spot news. We shared a small laugh and killed a few more minutes. Shortly, Zip informed me a 17 year old girl from around town had gone missing. Probably just a runaway, I figured. We sent out a nightside reporter. We sat. We speculated.

A while later the reporter walked back in and mentioned (in passing, mind you) that deputies thught they had found the girl's car...but no girl.

Zip and I share an understanding and a bit of a knack when it comes to covering breaking crime news. When bad things happen, he's the guy I need in my corner. In short order, we had joined the story and in essence taken it over.

The events that followed are none I care to recount in great detail. Suffice it to say, it wasn't long before I was looking at a semi-closed circuit video feed of a dead girl's body. We don't know for sure if it is the missing girl, but we...well, we know.

It wasn't until much later that I remembered my little quip about killing for spot news. Even now as I sit here, listlessly playing online poker and trying to dilute the caffeine in my bloodstream, I know that the girl was dead long before I made an appeal to the news fates for something to do. Still, it makes me queasy.

There was a time where I would chide the old lady about being afraid to walk to walk the dog by herself after dark. There was a time I would snicker at her for locking the door behind me when I left in the middle of the day. As Uncle Tupelo once sang..."there was a time you could put it out of your mind, leave it all behind. That time is gone."

I drove home tonight with the windows down. I wave at both of the hookers I passed on the way out. I half-wanted to pull ver and warn them about sexual predators, then thought better of it. They know about sexual predators and I don't need to get caught talking to hookers.

So, my font is now bigger. My faith in the world is smaller. I've never bought a whore.

That's pretty much my night in a nutshell.


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