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Tuesday, May 3, 2016

Flossie writes yellow press

Friday, December 14, 2012

Hi neighbors. I was in a waiting room the other day. It seems as a senior with a few medical problems I spend an inordinate amount of time in waiting rooms these days. Either waiting for lab draws, X-rays, scans, medications, or to hear results from X-rays, scans, lab draws, etc. You get the idea.

Anyway, I glanced at the magazine covers to check out the headlines. For the last 45 years or so, I've noticed very few changes in the headlines of magazines. The stories are always about losing weight, getting a man (or woman-depending on the magazine) to fall madly in love with you, making a perfect impression in certain lustful exercises I'll not explain here; exercising (in the more traditional sense) for a perfect body, eating thin for a skinny body, eating healthy for a healthy body, jogging for a faster body (in case those lust inspiring articles have a pack of amorous suitors chasing you), how to apply makeup; how to take makeup off; how to look like you don't wear makeup; how to look like you are wearing makeup when you are not; how to have a brighter smile or how to make your children mind -- these articles are usually short and humorous instead of factual.

It all gets repetitive after a while; but they keep printing the same things.

Flossie came by and we were discussing magazines and their perpetual loops of headlines. Flossie had an inspiration.

"I think I'll write an article about a woman who was an abused, fat, foster child who ran away to Hollywood and became an abused child star. She became skinny, and then famous, married young, got hooked on drugs, became a battered wife, and killed her husband in self defense by stabbing him 132 times. Then she went into rehab instead of jail. While in rehab she became inspired to write about her life. She became an avid defender of abused children, battered women and innocent child-like women and became a great inspirational and motivational speaker. She then made 26 movies in which she played an action hero who fought overwhelming odds against tyranny, aliens and oppression and overweight." She took a breath.

"Yeah, I'll write that article."

"Wow, Flossie! Who is that woman?"

"Oh, she doesn't really exist, I'll just say she wants to remain anonymous and everyone will think they know who she is."

"Flossie! You can't just make stuff up and expect a legitimate magazine to publish it. They will expect you to show some proof to them at least."

She snorted. "So there are always the tabloids. They pay better for gossip anyway."

I sighed. "You are going to sell out to yellow journalism? Flossie, I am amazed. What other surprises do you have in mind for me?"

She laughed. "Well, I can flesh out the story a great deal with more fluff and some emotional, heart stopping scenes and write a tell-all book! If that comes out the same time the tabloid story does they will both sell twice as much."

She rubbed her hands together. "I'll be rich! You know what? I can use some of the money from the book and tabloid sales (and probably TV interviews) to start a cult! This fictional woman did have some spiritual insights you know. She could, via me of course, write all kinds of brochures and flyers about her inspirational 'aha' moments. I'll be rolling in the dough!"

"Flossie! You get a grip. You know I won't let you go down that slippery slope to political ruin. Next thing I know you'll be running for empress!"

I poured us both some coffee. "Besides, what do you want all that money for? You already get to sit around sharing your thoughts with a good friend, drink coffee all day, eat cookies whenever you want, and you never have to put a finger to the keyboard to write an e-mail to a tabloid editor, a book publisher, or organize a cult. You've got a sweet life right now."

She sipped in silence, and then winked. "Yes, you're right. I guess this will be another great idea I'll save for my old age."

Until the next time friends, remember, be careful what you read.

Nancy Malcom
The Third Cup