Stories come and stories go, and sometimes they’re the same story.
Way back in May, a Seattle marketing company unveiled a study claiming Ohioans swear more than the residents of any other state.
I wrote about it then. A bunch of other publications did, too, including the New York Daily News.
Then, suddenly, on Dec. 4 — half a year later — the story was all the rage again, quoted on newscasts and websites and even turning up as a comedy skit on Jimmy Kimmel’s show.
Why the delayed reaction? Apparently because The Atlantic trotted the study out, complete with fancy graphics, on Dec. 3. Everybody jumped on board, apparently not realizing it was old news.
Or maybe they just didn’t give a [bleep].
And speaking of national studies … Ohio fared extremely well in another study that really did come out this month.
This story appears to have been broken by Time magazine, which did it the old-fashioned way: by rewriting a news release.
If anybody asks, our state ranks sixth in the entire nation in … penis size.
And how, exactly, did someone come to that conclusion? The rankings are based on sales data from a condom company, Condomania.com, that sells a variety of sizes.
OK, the study isn’t particularly scientific. Neither was the swearing study. But whenever Ohio ranks in the top 10 — for anything — we’re definitely buying in.
The top five penis states, in order: North Dakota, Rhode Island, South Dakota, the District of Columbia and Massachusetts.
Texas? Ha. Forty-first.
Although this study would seem to lend itself to almost unlimited double entendres, I shall grudgingly refrain.
But I will tell you that when the Huffington Post picked up the story and used illustrations for the top 10 cities, it chose for Ohio a photograph of the big, abandoned jackknife bridge in the Flats district in Cleveland, frozen for all time in the raised position.
A mere one day after the death of Nelson Mandela — and four days before his memorial service — my favorite newspaper received a publicity release from a travel company:
“In light of Nelson Mandela passing away, I wanted to share this new trip by Great Safaris. …
“Great Safaris has crafted a truly remarkable 11-day journey through South Africa associated with focusing attention on the fascinating history of Nelson Mandela.”
Can’t we at least wait until someone is buried before we try to cash in on his death?
Bob: Found it interesting that the hellbender salamanders [a Beacon Journal story last week] were being raised at the Marion Correctional Institution, which I am sure is filled with “hellbenders.”
Maybe the salamanders need mentors — and who better to teach a hellbender to raise a little hell than an inmate at MCI?
I really liked the statement that “the transfer of the hellbenders to MCI is a significant first step in increasing the numbers of hellbenders available for release.”
OK, which hellbenders are going to be released from MCI? Or is the state just trying to improve its recidivism rate by releasing amphibian hellbenders and counting them as former residents?
Greg: You’re just trying to raise a little hell, aren’t you? People have been sentenced to MCI for a lot less than this.
Don’t pick on those aesthetically challenged critters. As Hudson resident Casey Weinstein noted Monday in a letter to the editor, the hellbender “is so ugly that it crosses over to adorable.”
River of tears
Bob: I read the article about the new esplanade at the university in Kent and how it was named in honor of Mr. [Lester] Lefton.
Perhaps before he allowed his name to be placed on the boulevard, he should have looked up the definition and pronunciation of the word esplanade. I thought it pertained to a walkway beside a shore, usually a river.
Sallie: During heavy rains, you can see puddles on state Route 59. Does that count?
Actually, multiple dictionaries say an esplanade is a level, open area that is usually located next to a body of water. So perhaps Mr. Lefton has simply chosen to be unusual. Either way, he has some ’splanading to do.
Phone needs a home
Bob: I ordered a phone system from Staples in Fairlawn. It wasn’t available in the store, so UPS is supposed to bring it to my home in Fairlawn.
Check out the tracking: Oklahoma City to Wichita, Kan., back to Oklahoma City, then Kansas City, over to Maumee, Ohio, then to Hodgkins, Ill. — oops, now to Hodgkins, Ind., then back to Maumee, but not yet to my home.
No wonder they are having delivery delays. They zigzag when they aren’t going in circles.
Don’t call it Black Friday. If it’s being delivered by UPS, call it a black hole.
Len: If you hadn’t sent me a copy of the tracking report, I’m not sure I would have believed you.
Well, here’s one way to look at it: This is probably more efficient than giving all of our packages to a fat guy with a white beard.
Bob Dyer can be reached at 330-996-3580 or firstname.lastname@example.org.