The Squirrel Queen is in mourning this week.
The Weekly World News is shutting down.
A staple of my life for more than two decades, my source for news about Bat Boy, Bigfoot, Alien invasions, the Loch Ness Monster and so much more will no longer ease my passage through the checkout lines in stores. It won’t be there to comfort me as my cheeks adjust to the chill of the cold porcelain. How will I go on?
My love for the rag began so long ago. Working alone late at night at a radio station, I not only read WWN, but I also perused every page of the Memphis Commercial Appeal looking for odd A.P. stories for the radio station’s morning show team to use. There, tucked away at the bottom of a column many pages deep inside the traditional Appeal, I’d find tales of dogs walking hundreds of miles back to their original owners after getting lost during a family vacation or stories of singing birds alerting their owners to a blaze within the home in time to save lives or the odd story about what was recovered from the gastric areas of humans in emergency surgeries just in time to keep them upright and on planet Earth.
Then a few weeks later, I would find many of these same stories inside the WWN acting again as filler between the brilliant Dear Dotty and Ed Anger columns. I would alert people to the veracity of many of the stories inside the grocery store tabloid and would often be scoffed at. But I kept those clippings from the Commercial Appeal and showed the doubters the A.P. evidence. It rarely did much to convince the naysayers.
I even used WWN to decorate my first apartment. It was in an old home that had been split into a duplex, thus we had a long hallway on our side that went basically nowhere. I used headlines and cover art to create a WWN wallpaper, covering the cheap wood paneling with ink about Bigfoot and Bat Boy art all the way up to the molding just below the 10-foot ceiling. It truly was a decorating masterpiece. Martha would have been very proud.
I still have a WWN cover from a few years ago when Bat Boy hunted down Osama Bin Laden. I taped that one to the wall of my office just across from my desk. Whenever I needed writing inspiration, all I had to do was glance up and make eye contact with Bat Boy and the ideas flowed from my fingertips to the keyboard. Magic.
Unlike Newscoma, I never sent in a resume, but it certainly would have been a “dream” job to dream up news of that sort.
Farewell my black-and-white-and-read-all-over friend.