If you’re a Gen Xer like me, or older, you’ll remember how America went
completely insane over Baby Jessica in 1987. The little girl in Texas who fell down a well in October was enormous news for three days that month. Hell, it was a defining childhood moment.
I remember how every single person I knew was riveted by this thing: Is she going to live? How can she survive down there? Why can’t those men in Texas just pull her out of there somehow?
Well, the kid survived, only losing a toe in the process. And America went back to its normal life after a few days, worrying about things like how many arms Reagan sold to Iran. (I love imagining how big stories would’ve been if the Internet was around when they happened. Can you imagine how ginormous the Baby Jessica story would’ve been if we had the Web back then? I think Barbara Walters’ head exploded as it is, trying to get the first exclusive.)
Why am I telling you about Baby Jessica in March of 2011? Because I just read this story in the Boston Globe, that Jessica McClure turned 25 last weekend, and now gets to spend the $800,000 trust fund set up for her after she was rescued.
Wow. Baby Jessica is 25. Makes me feel really, really old.
**So you might remember I wrote a post about my grandma recently, and the painful decision made to move her out of the apartment she’d lived in for 65 years, and into a nursing home.
Wednesday was the coda to that decision; my Mom and my Aunt Linda spent the final day they’ll ever spend in Grandma’s old apartment in Queens, as the lease expires today. I can’t imagine never going back into that apartment, but for my Mom and Aunt, it must’ve been excruciating. They’ve had that little miracle of a home in their lives for six decades; they were infants there, grew up there, came back with their own families there. And now it’s gone, forever.
Yes, it’s a part of life. And yes, Grandma seems to be doing pretty well in her new home.
But man, that had to be hard for my mother and aunt.
**Finally, this one may only be entertaining to my fellow writers. Or maybe to all of you. It’s the worst burying of a lede (which is what we journalists call the beginning of a story) you will ever see.
So here’s the deal: It’s job of a sports information department at a college to always put a positive spin on things, and to always focus on their team’s effort first. As an example, if State U loses a football game 48-7, you will usually see a lede on State U’s website saying “Despite Johnson scoring a touchdown, State lost to ….”
But sometimes, common sense has to dictate that what your team did isn’t the most important part of the story.
OK, so now you know that, I give you this. In a college baseball game this week, a University of Virginia pitcher named Will Roberts threw a perfect game against George Washington University. It’s only the 19th in Division I history, and 8th in the last half-century.
And yet, here was the lede from the game on the GW sports website:
The George Washington baseball team held No. 1 Virginia to just two runs on Tuesday evening at Davenport Field but were unable to compliment the strong pitching performance at the plate, falling 2-0.
They get around to mentioning the perfect game in the SEVENTH paragraph. In the immortal words of Monica Geller, paragraph Number SEVEN.
Utterly, utterly absurd. Hilarious in its awfulness, though.