Thursday, June 02, 2011

Maybe It's Time To Clip The News

Photo by Chris Metcalf

You know how I found out about the U.S. Seal Team 6 killing Osama Bin Laden? By checking my Facebook page. If I want to now if a storm is coming, I usually just check my Twitter feed.

That’s how I get my news today.

But that is not how many Americans get their news. I know many people out there who have a continuous stream of news during every waking hour. They are either tuned in to Fox News or CNN or talk radio to make sure they never miss out on a single thing that’s happening. The problem is in today’s 24-hour news cycle, news outlets sometimes have to get “creative” with the top stories.

Let me explain through one of my own top stories:

24-Hour News Station - In today’s top story award-winning columnist and bestselling author Rodney Hays has long toenails. We go now to our reporter in the field, Genevieve Avalanche.

Genevieve: Thanks, Thurston. I’m here outside the home of award-winning columnists and bestselling author Rodney Hays, whom, we have just discovered, has extremely long toenails and will almost certainly need to trim them. I have a statement from the family of Rodney Hays, which reads, “We would like to say ‘thank you’ to all the fans who have sent word that your thoughts and prayers are with us. Also a huge thank you to all who have sent toenail clippers. Those will not go unused. We would appreciate some privacy during this time of extreme manscaping.”

It appears that Mr. Hays will make some type of announcement in the next couple of days regarding his toenail situation. Back to you in the studio.

Thurston at the News Desk: Thank you, Genevieve. Now, we with more on this story, we turn to toenail length expert Sherry Amazing. Sherry, thank you for joining us.

Sherry: Thanks for having me.

Thurston: Sherry, in your book, “Toenails: To Clip or Pick,” you suggest a toenail should be clipped straight across to avoid ingrown toenails. Could you please elaborate?

Sherry: Absolutely, Tom. So many Americans today suffer from painful and ugly ingrown toenails, but they don’t have to. If Americans will buy my book, I go into detail about the proper toenail clipping procedures and give a 30-day toenail clipping guide.

Thurston: Do you think it is irresponsible for somebody of Mr. Hays’ stature to go so long in between clippings?

Sherry: Oh absolutely, I believe not only is it irresponsible—

Thurston: I’m sorry, Sherry, but we are going to have to interrupt you right there because we have a development from Washington, where the president is about to make a statement. We now go to White House reporter Geraldo Jones who is standing by.

Photo by Adrian8_8
Geraldo: Thurston, we are waiting on the President to speak about the toenail tragedy in Texas. The president is scheduled to address the nation from the Rose Garden in about 10 minutes. In his speech, he is expected to soothe Americans’ fear of getting scratched in bed by long toenails by assuring them that he will urge congress to pass stiffer legislation on toenail length and his intentions of appointing a Toenail Czar to oversee enforcement of this toenail legislation.

Thurston: Geraldo, is there any word so far from Congress about how these long toenails will affect Wall Street.

Geraldo: Thurston, the Dow is already down 47 points, lead by a decline in the sock and shoe sector. Many experts are also worried that a shortage of toenail clippers could cause mass hysteria and people will begin picking at the toenails with their own fingers or working on them with common garden implements.

Thurston: Thank you, Geraldo. Again just to remind our viewers, we are in continuos coverage of Toenail Gate, a developing story about award-winning columnist and bestselling author Rodney Hays and his disgustingly long toenails. After a short commercial break, we will find out about plans on making a movie based on the life of a Rodney Hays’ toenails.

Commercial Announcer Voice: Are your toenails long and disgusting? Can you open beer bottles with your pinky toe? Do you often cut through socks and shoes and shrubbery with nothing but naked feet? Ask your doctor if Miracle Cutter is right for you …

I could go on all day with this, but I think you get the point. Listening to news 24-hours a day can make even the most happy person want to start pulling out their own … well, toenails.

I’ve been talking about ways to get your life back. I know there are people who read this column who want to be happy and in charge of their life. One way to do that is to start getting rid of a build-up of toxic waste. I’m not talking about the toxic stuff we put into our stomachs, I’m talking about the toxic stuff we put in our minds every day from the news channels.

Maybe it’s time to take a break from watching the news. We need to stay informed about what’s going on in the world, but we don’t have to watch every minute of every “breaking” story. Take the time to read the local newspaper (especially the ones that carry “In Perspective”). Skim the headlines, read the stories that grab your attention and move on with your life.

Fill all the extra time by reading a good book, spending time with family or getting outside and taking a walk.

I stopped watching the news about a year ago or so. Now, most of my news comes from newspapers, or by watching Twitter or Facebook feeds. Even then I don’t spend a lot of time trying to figure out what the world wants me to be mad about today. There’s too much living to do to worry about what it takes to fill a 24-hour newscast.

I’ve got to go now. These toenails are not going to clip themselves.

To read more of Rodney Hays’ humor, check out his blog at him on Twitter and become a friend on Facebook.

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