Sunday, February 17, 2008

On Loss

I may be a NYT addict, but my my true love, my media soulmate, is something I call the Idiotically Dinky News Outlet (IDNO, for short). I seek out IDNOs wherever I go: uber-local radio stations reporting on people's lost pet dogs, local television stations broadcasting wood-chopping demonstrations, church newsletters polling parishioners on their favorite cheese.

So I was thrilled to discover, on a table at the library the other day, something called the East Side Herald. The East Side Herald appears to operate from a closet-sized storefront next to Marsh. Advertising is entirely local and revolves around plumbing, heating, and cooling. This week's issue devotes its front page to an article entitled: "President's Day celebrates Washington, Lincoln birthdays." This is riveting stuff, people!

There are articles profiling handbell choirs, a piece on National Canine Weight Check Week, and a "sports rap" devoted to local high schools. And best of all, there are the classifieds.

I love the classifieds. I've always loved the classifieds. It's something about how huge, life-altering events (births, deaths, job changes, furniture sales) are squeezed into a couple of closely-printed lines of text. I like the dissonance between container and contained, between divorce and queen mattress set new $135 obo.

I found this one under notices:

ATTENTION KIM BXXXX. Your furniture & clothing are in storage. If you do not respond to this ad by Feb. 21, all of your household items will be sold. Contact Rob at 7XX-XXXX.

Tragedy in 25 words or less.


Ellie said...

Know what I love about you, Anne? I love your drive to seek a connection to place. I love how you dig in and appreciate the details - beautiful and banal - of wherever you are.

I think it's neat.

Allan Anderson said...

This reminds me of police blotters, like when campus security tried to take away my bass recorder, thinking it might be some sort of dope fiend device.

Or, the Maui News. I love to read that paper 'cause it's like my little small town news around the corner from where I grew up, but it's also unique due to the Hawaii thing. My best police blotter memory from there is a early morning break in to a Kihei home. Two hot dogs were missing.

Anne said...

Bass recorders are always dope fiend devices!