Sexy onions, sewage & missed trifectas

Published 5:30 pm Tuesday, October 13, 2020

Getting your Trinity Audio player ready...

While we, as Americans, are locked in a blue-red battle over which alligator will be in control of the swamp for the next four years, I, for one, am screaming for a break from all this political insanity.

I found some measure of solitude from the wild world of politics on, believe or not, the Internet. Yes, there are other items of interest to read about on the world wide web other than Trump/Biden; Tillis/Cunningham; Cooper/Forest; and Supreme Court nominations.

Here’s a sampling of what I found:

From Fox 29 in Philadelphia there was a story about onions that apparently aroused some suspicion over their shape.

The Seed Company by E.W. Gaze posted a photo of onion seeds for sale late last month on Facebook. However, soon after publishing the seemingly innocuous post, which advertised “Onion, Walla Walla Sweet” seeds for $1.99, the company got a notification from Facebook declaring the photo of the vegetable was “overtly sexual” and had to be removed.

“So we just got notified by Facebook that the photo used for our Walla Walla Onion seed is ‘Overtly Sexual’ and therefore cannot be advertised to be sold on their platform… Can you see it?” the company cheekily wrote.

The notice informed the company that “listings may not position products or services in a sexually suggestive manner.”

Store manager Jackson McLean told BBC he felt it might have something to do with “the round shapes” of the onions that flagged Facebook.

A representative for Facebook did not immediately respond to a request for comment, but told BBC “automated technology” is used to censor images.

“We use automated technology to keep nudity off our apps, but sometimes it doesn’t know a Walla Walla onion from a, well, you know,” Facebook Canada’s head of communications, Meg Sinclair, told BBC.

McLean appealed the decision and Facebook reportedly restored the ad, but not before the story picked up traction with shares and likes on the company’s page.

And apparently for the better. McLean told BBC they’ve sold more Walla Walla onions in the “last three days than in the last five years.”

Hooray for the little guy…..can I use “little” and “guy” in the same sentence without fear of reprisal?

Here’s another odd but true story straight off the Internet, this one courtesy of the Huffington Post.

Recently, the Town Council of Danbury, Connecticut voted overwhelmingly (18-to-1) to rename its sewer plant for John Oliver.

The Huff Post story says the town council reacted to an “expletive-filled rant against the city on HBO’s “Last Week Tonight with John Oliver” in August.”

Oliver is a comedian….I had to look that up because I’d never heard of him, or his show for that matter. But, in fair play, Mr. Oliver has more than likely never heard of me or my newspaper.

Danbury Mayor Mark Boughton responded to Oliver on social media. According to the story, the mayor posted a video of himself at the sewage plant saying the city was going to name it after Oliver.

“Why?” the Republican mayor asked. “Because it’s full of crap just like you, John.”

Oliver upped the stakes on his Aug. 30 show by offering to donate $55,000 to local charities if Danbury actually followed through with renaming the plant.

Boughton said the feud has been a good distraction from the coronavirus and other troubles of the times. He also said Oliver’s promised donations have helped spur local fundraising efforts for area food banks that could end up collecting a few hundred thousand dollars to feed needy families.

The mayor added he will be offering tours of the sewer plant for $500 donations to local food pantries.

“I think it’s been a home run. It’s been a lot of fun,” Boughton said of the spat. “If I can put food on people’s table for Thanksgiving by naming a sewer plant after a very popular comedian, we’ll do it all day long.”

Oliver has offered to provide the new sign for the plant that includes his name, as well as attend the ribbon-cutting, Boughton said. A timeline has not been finalized.

Here’s one little item that the article overlooked in my opinion. If the sewage plant is going to be renamed, then in whose honor was it originally named? And who would want their name emblazoned on a sewage plant?

And, to end on a sad note that our nation’s mindset is way off-balance, Los Angeles Lakers guard Danny Green said this past weekend that he and his fiancée received death threats on social media in the aftermath of his missed three-pointer late in Game 5 of the NBA Finals on Friday, a shot, that if successful, could have allowed the Lakers to wrap up the championship.

Hey. folks…’s just a game. Win, lose or draw, the sun will rise tomorrow.

Please, everyone, for the sake of the lone glimmer of hope we have for our future, stop with all the violence or the threat of violence.

Cal Bryant is the Editor of Roanoke-Chowan Publications. Contact him at or 252-332-7207.

About Cal Bryant

Cal Bryant, a 40-year veteran of the newspaper industry, serves as the Editor at Roanoke-Chowan Publications, publishers of the Roanoke-Chowan News-Herald, Gates County Index, and Front Porch Living magazine.

email author More by Cal