Vol. 2, Issue 42, December 21, 2004
A Boring Article About the President
President Bush announced a new budget plan yesterday, incorporating a new series of tax cuts and a revised budget for the Pentagon.
"I think I've proved that my uncle the editor does not read past the first paragraph of any story," said reporter Ephram Watley. "Having established that this story is about some nonexistent budgetary matter, he's passing over the rest of the article, even though it's total nonsense."
The rest of the article, according to the reporter, would consist entirely of random snatches of text intended to superficially mimic the appearance of a typical article, including paragraphs of approximately correct lengths and the appropriate number of quotes inserted.
"This is about the point where we'd be quoting from a second person, so I'll use a different name this time," said Ephram Waters. "Not that it matters, because we've already established that Uncle Zeke does not always read the entire article, particularly when it is close to a holiday."
The reporter went on to say that 40% of such articles would use statistical percentages of some sort or other, and that it was 90% likely that throwing in some random numbers would give the article the right "gestalt" for anyone glancing over the body of the text.
President Bush is mentioned again for the purpose of providing a visual "hook" that follows on the nonsensical theme raised in the first paragraph. It might raise suspicions if the president's name were not mentioned anywhere else in the article, but this second use of the name should satisfy a quick overview.
"I kind of object to Ephram's blatant abuse of the editor's trust, but I have to say it's in character," said fellow reporter Emmett Waters. "I do appreciate the chance to be cited directly in an article, even if it's one that will not be read by anyone."
The reporter has cleverly snuck this preposterous waste of space on Page Three, where it will be guaranteed a lifetime of obscurity, in order to minimize the chances that anyone would catch him or report the lapse to the editor.
"The word count is reaching an appropriate length, so I think it's time to end with the gratuitous use of the words economics, fiscal, and fiduciary," said Ephram. "That will give the final paragraph just the right flavor of authenticity. Now, if you please, let's open that bottle of 18 year old Macallan I snuck out of my uncle's office and let's begin our holiday celebration."