Saturday, October 28, 2006

BONG Bull 683

The Burned-Out Newspapercreatures Guild's World-Famous Encyclical
No. 683
Copyright © 2006 by BONG
Reprinted by permission for those needing an RSS feed.

For Oct. 16, 2006. Let's get this straight, shall we? Newspapers everywhere wonder how to boost circulation, and a whole press run of the University of Southern Indiana's Shield disappears after it publishes a photo of two naked coeds kissing? Everybody into committee, quick! demands the Burned-Out Newspapercreatures Guild, and this is BONG Bull No. 683!

WHAT THEY'RE SAYING. According to, here are only a few slang terms one is not likely to get past a copy desk these days:
@.@ -- Sock (cq) and awe; wow; "I am speechless."
Zidaned -- Completely destroyed, as after a swift headbutt to the chest by a French soccer star; "Man, that biology exam just got zidaned."
ZZ Top effect -- Pubic hair protruding from a woman's swimsuit.
Z -- I win; the way it should be.
Compunicate -- To chat with someone in the same room via instant message instead of in person.
Business provocative -- Attire used to provoke sexual attention in the workplace.
Dandruff -- A person who flakes out and ditches friends.
Ringtone DJ -- An annoying person who shuffles through all of his ringtones incessantly.
See The Editorial Standards and Martini Formulae Committee was a little troubled that the Urban Dictionary accepts nominations from the world and votes on them, whereas Webster prefers erudite if musty lexicographers using quill pens on foolscap. Only Time magazine should be allowed to create its own vocabulary.

REMEMBER WHEN PAGINATION WAS RADICAL? Richard Mateosian ( posts, "Everybody gets the Page-a-Day calendar jokes, but it took a tech writer to notice that Foley was guilty of improper pagination." All right, that's all for the Foley jokes.

NO JOKING. Hey, Fox News, if you're ticked that Rep. Gerry Studds came back from scandal in 1983 to win a standing ovation and re-election and yet Rep. Mark Foley gets the door, quityerbitchin. Just have Mr. Hannity and Mr. Coulter, and maybe that other poster boy for sexual probity Mr. O'Reilly, stand up and cheer for Foley. It's time for news.

IN MEMORIAM. The Old Farts Times (enquire at laments the passing of a pal. Quoting a 1999 Los Angeles Times Magazine obit by Miles Corwin about the late LAT reporter Nieson Himmel, OFS (if not timely at least sincerely) recalled:
-- Himmel, 77, rented Pontiac Grand Ams, and when their back seats became stinking pest holes of old newspapers and uneaten lunches, he turned them in for clean ones.
-- At his Echo Park apartment, where he lived since the 1950s, Himmel bought about a half-dozen newspapers every day, subscribed to 56 magazines, and apparently never threw one away.
-- He dressed comfortably and when he found something he liked, he bought in bulk. He had dozens of colorful Hawaiian shirts and guayaberas. He complied with a necktie dress code for reporters by borrowing scarves from girlfriends. A shocked publisher who saw him one day rescinded the necktie order immediately.
-- Though other reporters scorned rivals who arrived late at crime scenes, Himmel often shared his notes. He was even known to phone in a story to a competing rewrite desk if their reporter was too drunk.
He was buried with a copy of the Los Angeles Times in his casket.

PAPA AS PROMOTER. Paul Devlin reviews for Slate, and recently covered the 2005 book "Hemingway And the Mechanism of Fame: Statements, Public Letters, Introductions, Forewords, Prefaces, Blurbs, Reviews, And Endorsements" (University of South Carolina Press; geez, only a college press would burden a book with a circus poster for a title). It's edited by Judith S. Baughman.
Ernest Hemingway won fame as war correspondent and novelist, with an emphasis on the fame. Spanish civil war veterans grumble about his arrival at a quiet battlefield, where he grabbed a machine gun and wailed off a few rounds to restart the battle, for which he did not stay. World War II correspondents noticed how often he appeared in press photos, including one purporting to show him liberating Paris.
Readers didn't have to know that he had obviously come in second to the photographer, and less obviously to several divisions of mechanized infantry.
In those heady "For Whom the Bell Tolls" times he let his photo grace magazine ads for such paying customers as Ballantine Ale, Parker pens and Pan American Airlines, for whom he extolled, "We started flying commercially about the same time. They did the flying. I was the passenger."
Yeah, well, before modern reporters cry shame and alas about Hemingway's sidelines, Devlin cautions, "Let's not belittle a writer who was able to (and could probably still) sell beer, when many cannot even sell books."

ONCE AGAIN, BONG SENDS ETHICS TO THE CANVAS. News guys get fired for messing with photos. But when they retire and call themselves art guys, they become famous and rich. Go to here to see what started as a 1946 Ford at a car show. It got remodeled through PC magic to "Sort of a Ford" by Chief Copyboy Charley Stough. This is the fame part: You can download it free for use as a screensaver or small cubicle hanging. Now here's the rich part: For a larger high-res print @ $35, contact

COMIX SECTION. The Further Adventures of Herman "Speed" Graphic, ace photographer for the Chagrin Falls Commercial Scimitar, and his Faithful Companion, Typo the Wonder Pig.
PANEL ONE: Speed wakes to see Typo arrive in the photo lab with two roast beef sandwiches, a dozen Ferragamo suits for each of them, a magnum of Dom Perignon and the keys to a new Lamborghini, and says to his porcine pal, "Oh dear, I must have dozed off reading that biz story about Hewlett-Packard's spying on reporters, Typo! Oh, you brought lunch!"
PANEL TWO: Laying out a pound of caviar and two shrimp cocktails, Typo responds, "No problem, Boss! I had an errand to run!"
Munching his sandwich, Speed reflects, "But anyway, Typo, as I was saying, if HP wanted to know what reporters were doing, I wonder why they haven't thought of planting little spy chips in all their printers, scanners and modems, transmitting every keystroke and baud through spy satellites directly to corporate headquarters?"
PANEL THREE: Speed continues, "Or for that matter, what if newspaper companies put miniature creepie-peepies in that wall calendar or this pizza cutter, sending journalists' private secrets to nefarious corporate stooges amassing dossiers on everyone? I wonder if they've thought of that!"
PANEL FOUR: Brushing foie gras off his trenchcoat, a deathbed gift from an ancient mystic wire service executive editor on a fog-shrouded eastern island, Speed opines, "Why, I bet there are weasely boardroom quislings who would pay richly for the idea of bugging every stapler and letter opener with paper-thin transponder microphones, Typo! I bet somebody could get a million-dollar bonus for suggesting it to -- !"
INTERPANEL SILHOUETTE: Fixing his pal with a matte-eyed stare and his best clairvoyant vibrations, Typo intones, "Forget it, Boss!"
PANEL FIVE: Speed continues, " -- Well, yes, Typo, how 'bout them Detroit Tigers, huh?"
Clipping the tip of a Beso de Suegra No. 2 Robusto with a diamond-studded cigar cutter, Typo leers, "Indeed, Boss! Who could have imagined it?"

BONG Bull is the product of Chief Copyboy Charley Stough in Dayton, Ohio. E-mail for any reason. Or what the hell, for no reason.


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