Some ‘news’ to lighten your day

Published 2:39 pm Thursday, July 23, 2009

As a writer and journalist (I assure you I use that term loosely), I have always been and continue to be an advocate of the news, particularly when gathered in your local newspaper.

While the intent of a newspaper or any other media outlet is to inform the public, it has been my experience over the years that the news can only educate and inform you, it can also be therapeutic. Sometimes looking at the news can not only make you laugh, it can make you feel a lot better about yourself.

I’ll give you a perfect example. I was having a rough morning at the work today so during my afternoon break I took the opportunity to check the news and catch up with what’s happening.

Sure I found articles regarding Gov. Sarah Palin being implicated in an ethics probe and news concerning the Democrats being divided on health care overhaul. Pretty boring stuff if you ask me and reading about it, while informative, did nothing to help my mood.

Then I ran across a news release from the associated press about a Colorado man who used a chain saw to fight off an apparently starving mountain lion that attacked him during a camping trip in northwestern Wyoming with his wife and two toddlers.

Think your having a bad day at the office? Guess what, it could be worse. The next time the printer jams and you get frustrated, simply keep in mind how difficult it would be to finish that presentation if you were also fighting off starving squirrels with nothing but your stapler.

Maybe you’re getting frustrated with all the things on your honey do list left for you to finish around the house. I know I am, or shall I say was. I was feeling frustrated about all the painting I still have to do until I read about the southern Wisconsin family that came home and discovered an Oscar Mayer Wienermobile had crashed through their deck and garage.

While my upstairs bedroom may still need a new coat of paint and I might still have some unpacked items from the move last month, at least there isn’t a 32-foot hotdog on wheels sticking out of my living room.

Because of my frustrating morning at work and my lack of enthusiasm for the tasks that await me at home, I decided to swing by the store and grab a pack of smokes. While the price of gas is going down the price of cigarettes are still climbing and I began to vent to my coworkers about having to shell out almost five bucks a pack.

I assure you that I quit my complaining when I read about the New Hampshire man who was charged $23,148,855,308,184,500 for a pack of cigarettes he used his credit card to buy at a gas station.

Yep, you read it right. That’s twenty-three quadrillion, one hundred forty-eight trillion, eight hundred fifty-five billion, three hundred eight million, one hundred eighty-four thousand, five hundred dollars. I knew cigarettes were more expensive up north but prices like that give new meaning to the expression wholly smokes!

I don’t know what kind of day you were having when you read this. Regardless, I’m certain that at least one of the above mentioned stories either put a smile on your face or made your troubles seem a little more manageable. It certainly did for me.

David Friedman is a long-time contributor to the Roanoke-Chowan News Herald. A Bertie High School

graduate, he and his wife currently reside in Wilmington. David can be reached via e-mail at