Saturday, November 1, 2008

At The End Of The Article Armaggeddon


Sometimes at the end of news articles that you read at various online news reporting outlets (or attempting to report what may or may not be news) have a box on the side or the bottom with a bunch of links to other stories that are either related to the one that you just read or that other people who had read the same article had also read. Sometimes these other stories are related your current story. Other times, not so much. But over yonder at Fox News, they seem to think that you need a wide and far reaching variety of news stories, either so you don't miss a thing or so that your selections aren't within too narrow of a category. And for some reason, at the bottom of a story about a bunch of drunken Russian cops beating and burning (yes, burning. As in with fire.) a man to death, there was what could be described as a "melange of whack-a-doodle". It could probably also be described as several other things, but it's not often I can work "melange" into things, as I do not often write about paella.

First, I'll address the crazy Commies. No, actually, first I'll address the horrible job someone did with writing that blurb. It really doesn't tell you much more than the title which says "Officials: Drunk Russian Police Beat, Burned Man To Death." No word on why the three officers were drunk, how they figured out that they were responsible, whether or not it's common for Russian law enforcement to tie one on during their shift, or even who found the body. It was described as being found "in a nearby forest Wednesday with massive burns." Huh. Massive burns. From being set on fire, you say? Interesting. (Note to self: Even though international stories tend to be short, do not let busboy write them, even if he does claim to have "a real way with words.")



Now what other stories could be related to that you ask? Here we go....People who read about the Perestroika Police also read about these intriguing tales:

  • Texas Mom Throws 4-Year Old Daughter Into Traffic

  • Police: Husband of Long Island Teacher Choked Her To Death; Staged Broken Down Car Scene

  • Giant Spider Caught On Film Eating Bird In Australian Backyard

  • Pakistani Police Arrest Cleric Who Presided Over Kids' Wedding

  • Cheetah Runs Loose On Plane, Bites Baggage Worker

Seriously, what the heck is that? I'm pretty sure that at least one of those is a sign of Armageddon. Giant spiders eating birds?! I don't think of that when I think of Australia. I think of koalas, kangaroos, that Crocodile Dundee mate, things like that. Not giant spiders eating birds, for cryin' out loud! And how did that cheetah get loose? Never mind that, how did it get on the plane to begin with?! Now I have to worry about loose and livid flying cheetahs?

I'm sure there was a brilliant mind at work in the choking husband story there. I'll bet The Choker is right at this very minute thinking to himself, "I can't believe the broken down car scene that I staged didn't throw them off of my trail! Dammit! I'm so unlucky!" And of course, that a-hole is one of the guys who (allegedly) kills his wife and then reports her as missing and does a bunch of TV interviews about how much he loves his wife and makes tearful public pleas for her to be returned. When, exactly, did that method start gaining popularity? Was it when Scott Peterson was trying to convince everyone that he was so upset that his wife, Laci, was missing? I think that might have been it. Hey, guys out there thinking about offing your wife and trying the Peterson method, listen up. Before you start choking the Missus, perhaps take a moment to recall how all of that turned out for Scotty-boy there and don't strangle the little lady, OK champ? Grand.

Now, The Choker, also known as William Walsh, has allegedly confessed to killing his wife, Leah. The Choker has an attorney who stated to the media, "If we know anything from recent events, confessions are inherently unreliable, especially when trickery is involved." What recent events would those be sir? And, I'm sorry, did you say trickery? He did indeed say trickery, and when he was asked by the media to clarify what he meant by said trickery, he said, "I am saying unquestionably any confession that they obtain is done by tricks." That still doesn't answer the question. What kind of tricks? Juggling? Cards? Magic? The shell game? Tell us the tricks! I really think someone should have some pretty specific examples if they're going to go throwing words like "trickery" around these days.

What's up with the spider and the bird? Apparently, there is a photo of a lifeless bird trapped in a web near Cairns, Australia, which shows the spider clenching its legs around said lifeless bird. A one Joel Shakespeare, who is "the head spider keeper at NSW's Australian Reptile Park, said the spider was a golden orb weaver." In other news the Australian Reptile Park has a head spider keeper. Now, I don't know if my knowing the particular species of spider is supposed to make this better for me or what. And it really doesn't. Regardless of the fact that most people will respond to such a story by shouting, "Holy crap!" and not "Tell me more about the golden orb weaver and it's day to day existence.", Joel continued by explaining, "Normally they prey on large insects, it's unusual to see one eating a bird." Now is that because a bird is not a large insect or because spider don't eat birds?! He then made everyone reading this story feel tons better by mentioning that "...he had seen golden orb weaver spiders as big as a human hand but the northern species in tropical areas were known to grow larger."

But if you were wondering, Joel said the bird was "a chestnut-breasted mannikin" (was being the key word in that phrase) and that it "appears frozen in an angel-like pose in the pictures." (A chesty breast frozen angel? What is going on down there in Australia?) Then, with his keen deductive abilities he stated that the bird "is likely to have flown into the web and got caught." Do you think, Joel? Huh. So, it's a bird and it just flapped its wings and flew into the web, you say? It didn't just walk in on its own? Are you sure the spider didn't try any of that "Step into my parlor" trickery that I've heard so much about? Joel then added (as if it is supposed to make us feel better), "It wouldn't eat the whole bird." Oh, no, of course not. Because that would be weird. (Not as weird as a goat named Red that wasn't de-horned, but weird just the same.)

The folks over there at news.com.au have the photo of the bird-eating spider (along with a bunch of other stories that should keep me busy for at least a week!). Now, if you're expecting some of that breast-y stuff that was mentioned earlier, you're going to be sorely disappointed. Probably not as disappointed as you're going to be if you are expecting some of that angel-y stuff that was mentioned earlier, but disappointed none the less. And it's really not as bad as you'd think. Then again, we're not the bird. Behold!

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