Thursday, September 06, 2007

COLUMN: Weekly World News

I love our newspapers, I really do -- and in more than an it-puts-food-on-the-table kind of way. It consistently blows my mind that I'm allowed to write about pretty much whatever suits my fancy every week -- and equally mind-blowing that occasionally you folks care enough to read it. Over the years, you've come to trust our company to provide you with the best daily news that our rag-tag team can muster, and I, for one, am humbled beyond words at the opportunity.

Too bad, then, that it's all a load of hooey.

As hard as we try, we're obviously lacking when it comes to the big picture. Sure, we bring you news, but it's usually just filler gobbeldygook. You know, insignifigant stuff like floods and murders and government and hog plants, yada yada. As well-intentioned as our newspapers may be, we just don't have the backbone to bring you the information that REALLY matters. Is it a conspiracy? Perhaps. After all, the Quad Cities DOES have its share of grassy knolls. But perhaps not -- because the same yellow-bellied fate befalls nearly every newspaper in the country.

Every newspaper, that is, except one. One publication out there with the guts to bring you the REAL news. The news that affects our lives on a cosmic scale. The news that no other paper has the guts to print. The news that could save your very life, especially if you're planning a vacation to the yeti-infested mountains of Nepal.

What, you ask, is this paper that puts us to shame? This bastion of knowledge, defender of truth, hope for the masses, and all-encompassing guide to the REAL whereabouts of Elvis? (Answer: Pluto.)

I speak, of course, of the heroic pinnacle of journalism known as The Weekly World News.

And, dear readers, it is with profound soundness and regret that I must inform you of its passing. Yes, last week marked the very last issue of the Weekly World News that you'll ever find in newsstands, bookstores, and -- most importantly -- next to the Wint-O-Green gum in checkout aisle #11.

I know what you're thinking. Some of you are probably convinced that The Weekly World News is nothing but a supermarket tabloid full of bogus stories and Photoshopped images dreamt up by a pack of punks that excelled in their college Creative Writing courses.

Well, THAT'S EXACTLY WHAT THE GOVERNMENT WANTS YOU TO BELIEVE. If you were a true reader of the Weekly World News, you would realize that, were EVERYONE to know that a race of alien vampire ninjas was thiiiis close to launching an attack, society would be crippled in fear. If you were to understand that the government was REALLY being run by a very-much-alive-thank-you John F. Kennedy and his close advisor, "slain" rapper Tupac Shakur, your faith in our nation would crumble.

And now, somehow, Someone (with a capital s) has seen to it that The Weekly World News is silenced forever.

My only advice to you brave souls? RUN. Run like the wind and be very, very afriad of EVERYTHING. The true horror is that -- without the trusty reporting of the Weekly World News -- by now, Bat-Boy could be anywhere.

It was in 1992 that the Weekly World News first discovered the half-human, half-bat hybrid living in an underground lair in Virginia. Despite the hubbub that must go hand-in-hand with Bat-Boy leading the police on a three-state car chase, the WWN was the ONLY press on top of the situation, as well as their crack team of investigative reporters who found out that Bat-Boy had enrolled in a small liberal arts college in upstate New York under the pseudonym Guy Fledermaus. In October of 2006, Bat-Boy was captured on film (by the Weekly World News reporters, natch) riding atop a New York City subway car.

Today? Without the keen reporting of the WWN, Bat-Boy could be anywhere. He could be right here in the Quad Cities. Wait -- what was that? Odd, I could swear I just heard flapping outside my window. Ah well, it's probably... nothing. OR WAS IT?

When I was a kid, my mom used to snag the WWN from my grandmother's coffeetable every week. And then like clockwork, I'd go in and snag it off my mom's nightstand a few days later. Why Mom didn't grab it off the rack and proudly present it to the supermarket cashier is beyond me. Well, she probably didn't want to tip off the government (or at least Tupac and JFK) that she was an Informed Reader. Too much knowledge can be dangerous. That's why she faked that she was embarassed to be seen with the WWN in her house every week - it was for MY SAFETY! Thanks, Mom!

And now, with the demise of the WWN -- officially attributed to a decline in circulation but we all who's really responsible (Bigfoot, and maybe Elvis) -- we now live in an uncertain time. Bat-Boys and yetis could be running around willy-nilly without a trace of documentation.

So, dear friends, I vow that at least one humor-columnist-who-likes-to-pretend-he's-a-reporter will remain vigilant. Sleep easy, Quad Cities, for I will maintain a constant journalistic lookout for Bat-Boys and assorted Elvi aplenty. The Weekly World News may be gone, but true journalism remains. Well, at least until the vampire alien ninja uprising begins.

No comments: