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We’ve Got Some News For You About Your “Web”

, , , | Right | December 7, 2023

Client: “Here’s the link to an article the newspaper ran about my business. Can you put the link on my web, and please remove those ugly images at the bottom?”

Me: “No, I can’t edit the newspaper’s advertising on their website.”

Yes, she calls her website her “web”.

That’s A Lotto Money!

, , , , , , , , | Working | December 6, 2023

In this story, I spoke of two instances that made me dislike a certain newspaper. That story gave one instance; here’s the other. I can’t remember the exact date, only that it happened in the 1980s.

This newspaper, like many others, had a bingo-style game. The newspaper at the start of the week would contain a unique playing card. In the newspaper, they would print a few numbers, and if you had them on your card, you would cross them off. If you were lucky enough to cross them all out, you would win the jackpot prize of £10,000.

One morning, Mum came into the room, chuckling away. It was the last day of the game, and she had crossed out all the numbers, bar one. We had a bit of a giggle, too, saying it was a shame, but ah, well, never mind. 

Later that day, this particular game hit the news. Thousands of people were ringing the claim line, as they had all won. The switchboard was swamped, and everyone wanted their £10,000. A spokesperson for the newspaper said that all the claimants would get a share of the prize. Ultimately, all the claimants received one pound.

What had happened was that the newspaper had printed the wrong number. The number that should have been printed?

The one we had on our card.

I did suggest to Mum that we contact the newspaper, as it was possible that they might still give us something, but Mum declined, saying we hadn’t won, so they wouldn’t. I always thought that was a bit defeatist, but I respected her wishes. So no, we didn’t get anything, not even our fifteen minutes of fame.  Ah, well; never mind.

He Knows Words. He Has The Best Words.

, , , , , , | Learning | November 14, 2023

I worked for my college newspaper about forty years ago. I was reviewing a movie, and in mentioning a singer’s performance, I described it as “giving me cold chills”. That was perhaps not the best description, but it was how I felt about it. (And that’s what reviewers do, or are supposed to do: relate their feelings about the film, book, or other art.)

For some incomprehensible reason, my editor decided to rewrite it so that I had “hot flashes” instead.

Why he thought that a metaphor for an impressive and rather awe-inspiring performance was better served by one for menopause is still beyond me.

Spoilers That Leave You Sore(n)

, , , , , | Working | November 2, 2023

The British newspaper that my parents get has had many critics over the years. However, there are two instances that have made me dislike them, long before I learned of their more common criticisms. This story is about one of these occasions.

The year was 1994, I had graduated from University, and I was back living with my parents. I was also looking forward to the new “Star Trek” film, “Generations”. As the November release date approached, I did everything I possibly could to avoid spoilers. The Internet was around then, but as I was no longer at University, I had no access, so all those message boards were not a problem for me.

Trailers, TV, and radio promotions were a bit more tricky, so depending on the situation, I would change channels, plug my ears, or leave the room. With newspapers, if I caught a glimpse of anything at all Trekkie, I would close my eyes and turn the page. It helped that these would have big headlines, boldly showing what the article was about.

I was really pleased with myself that it was a week or so before the premiere and I knew nothing about the film other than it having cast from “The Original Series” and “Next Generation”. 

And so, that morning, I did my usual breakfast routine, munching my cereal and flicking through the paper to the puzzle section. As always, I start with their quick quiz.

Question #1: “What is the name of the actor from A Clockwork Orange who kills Captain Kirk in the new Star Trek film?”


Don’t Forget To Ask Her About Irrigation!

, , , , , , | Romantic | September 10, 2023

Way back before Internet dating sites and the Internet itself, there were newspapers and, in many, sections in the classified ads for the lovelorn.

Back in the 1970s when I was ten, we had a neighbour who had moved his family from Saskatchewan to “farm” his ten-acre spread. Staying true to his roots, he subscribed to a prairie farmers’ paper and would pass on copies to my parents because he thought they’d be interested.

They were not. But one time, my mum was reading through a copy and came upon this brief gem in the “Relationships Wanted” section of the classified ads. Paraphrased as best as memory serves, it read:

Ad: “Fifty-four-year-old farmer seeking widowed woman with farm of [some number of acres] looking for matrimony. Must have good outbuildings.”

That was it. My mum and I always had the same twisted sense of humour, and we joked about old prairie farm types looking a woman over and saying, “Well, look at the outbuildings on that one!” We figured that after a hard Saskatchewan winter, this was what passed for a romantic overture when planting season was nigh.