Friday, December 30, 2016

A Few Parting Words


If we can’t leave 2016 with a smile, perhaps a smirk will do.

In that spirit, we leave you with a collection of oddities which crossed my desk during the year, presented here to amuse, not to enlighten nor educate.

Best Corrections

This odd advisory from the AP: “France’s deeply unpopular Socialist president Francois Hollande says he will/won’t seek reelection.”

From the New York Times:  “Because of an editing error, an article Monday about a theological battle being fought by Muslim imams and scholars in the West against the Islamic State misstated the Snapchat handle used by Suhaib Webb, one of the Muslim leaders speaking out. It is imamsuhaibwebb, not Pimpin4Paradise786.”

From the Guardian: “Margaret Ritchie is not the MP for Down South as we suggested. Nor is she the MP for Up North. Her seat is South Down.”

From the Huffington Post: “This story originally said Marr asked Corbyn about a capella group The Flying Pickets. He a actually asked about flying pickets, people who travel to attend pickets during strikes. In our defense, both are associated with the 1980s.”

From the New York Times: “In an article March 20 about wave piloting in the Marshall Islands misstated the number of paths that could be navigated without instruments among the 34 islands and atolls of the Marshall Islands. It is 561, not a trillion trillion.”

From Wired: “Due to an oversight involving a haphazardly installed Chrome extension during the editing process, the name Donald Trump was erroneously replaced with the phrase, ‘Someone with tiny hands’” when this story was originally published.

From the New York Times: “A television review Friday about the new Amazon series ‘Goliath’ included an inaccurate discussion of the show’s plot structure.  The critic mistakenly watched the first two episodes out of order.”

From the New York Times (and I’m glad I didn’t take the call on this one): “The listing of highlights about the wedding of Cassandra Ilich and Shaun Reed, featured in the Vows column last Sunday, misstated the number of stones in her engagement ring. It has nine stones, not seven.”

From the Boulder Camera:” EDITOR'S NOTE: Comments attributed to a Trump campaign spokeswoman were removed from an earlier version of this story at her request after she learned she would be identified by name.”

From the New York Times whose editors must be wondering if anything in this story was correct: “An obituary on Wednesday about the pilot Bob Hoover referred incorrectly to his escape from a prisoner of war camp in the final days of World War II. While he escaped from the camp with a friend, only Mr. Hoover then flew a German aircraft to freedom; his friend was not with him on the plane. The obituary also misstated the name of the Ohio airfield, now part of Wright-Patterson Air Force Base, where Mr. Hoover was based after the war. It was Wright Field, not Wilbur Wright Field. In addition, the obituary misidentified the Bell Aircraft X-1, which Mr. Hoover trained to fly. It was a rocket plane, not a jet. The obituary also misidentified the company with which North American Aviation, for which Mr. Hoover worked as a test pilot, merged. It was Rockwell-Standard, not Rockwell International. And the obituary referred incorrectly to the P-51 fighter. It was a propeller plane, not a jet, and Mr. Hoover did not test it at Wright Field. In addition, a picture caption with the obituary misidentified the plane shown with Mr. Hoover. It is an F-100D Super Sabre, not an F-86 Sabre. And because of an editing error, the byline for the obituary misstated the surname of the reporter in some copies. He is Craig H. Mellow, not Bellow.”

Best Restaurant Review of the Year

The Trump Grill by Tina Nguyen, Vanity Fair

Ngyuen, whose regular beat is politics, took note of everything, from the bathroom situation that she compared to lining up for essentials in Venezuela to the fact that a pig’s eyeball she once ate on a dare tasted better than the Trump Grill’s Gold Label Burger.

 She waxes especially eloquent on the faux lavish touches all around the lobby-style restaurant, such as the French-styled art décor that looks as though it were actually purchased at a Home Goods. She uses this as the occasion to cite a now-famous Fran Lebowitz quote, that Trump “is a poor person’s idea of a rich person.” Vanity Fair reportedly got 13,000 new subscribers within 24 hours of the story running after Trump tweeted angrily in response. 

Notable Dish: Filet mignon. “The steak came out overcooked and mealy, with an ugly strain of pure fat running through it, crying out for A.1. sauce (it was missing the promised demi-glace, too). The plate must have tilted during its journey from the kitchen to the table, as the steak slumped to the side over the potatoes like a dead body inside a T-boned minivan.”

Best Wordsmithery (from the Washington Post)

Coffee (n.), the person upon whom one coughs.
Flabbergasted (adj.), appalled over how much weight you’ve gained.
Abdicate (v.), to give up all hope of ever having a flat stomach.
Esplanade (v.), to attempt an explanation while drunk.
Willy-nilly (adj.), impotent.
Negligent (adj.), describes a condition in which you absentmindedly answer the door in your nightgown.
Lymph (v.), to walk with a lisp.
Gargoyle (n.), gross olive-flavored mouthwash.
Flatulance (n.), emergency vehicle that picks you up after you are run over by a steamroller.
Balderdash (n.), a rapidly receding hairline.
Rectitude (n.), the formal, dignified bearing adopted by proctologists.
Pokemon (n.), a Rastafarian proctologist.
Circumvent (n.), an opening in the front of boxer shorts worn by Jewish men.
Foreploy (n): Any misrepresentation about yourself for the purpose of getting laid.
Oyster (n.), a person who sprinkles his conversation with Yiddishisms.
Skilljoy (n.): The would-be friend who’s a bit better than you at everything.
Percycution (n.): Giving your child a name he will hate for the rest of his life.
Coughin (n.): A small enclosure designed especially for smokers.
Typochondriac (adj.): A paranoid proofreader.
Ignorial (n.): A monument that nobody visits.

And finally, the year in politics summed up by Dave Barry:

“…the American people, looking for a leader, ended up with a choice between ointment and suppository. The fall campaign was an unending national nightmare, broadcast relentlessly on cable TV. CNN told us over and over that Donald Trump was a colossally ignorant, narcissistic, out-of-control sex-predator buffoon; Fox News countered that Hillary Clinton was a greedy, corrupt, coldly calculating liar of massive ambition and minimal accomplishment. And in our hearts we knew the awful truth: They were both right.

It wasn’t just bad. It was the Worst. Election. Ever.”

Happy New Year.

Robert Rector is a veteran of 50 years in print journalism. He has worked at the San Francisco Examiner, Los Angeles Herald Examiner, Valley News, Los Angeles Times and Pasadena Star-News. His columns can be found at Robert-Rector@Blogspot.Com. Follow him on Twitter at @robertrector1.

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