By Vince Lovato
(Editor’s warning: Some of the content in the following column might not be suitable for some readers. Reader discretion is advised.)
When I was much younger, I was left alone a lot to produce weekend newspapers so the vets could have their days off.
But I had a penchant for writing headlines that weren’t always…appropriate.
The following is a brief story of some of my more memorable headlines, followed by the headline and the reaction to it.
• On a page that unusually had an obituary and a birth announcement: Coming and Going
Many readers laughed, many said it was insensitive, I said I was pressed for time and lacked clear thinking, my boss said it better not happen again.
• The great Reggie Jackson was in a long hitless streak when he said all he thought about was his hitting slump, even when he was with his girlfriend: He’d rather hit than score
Most people didn’t get it, many who did thought it was funny, many others thought it was crass. My boss said it better not happen again.
• I once pulled Dear Abby’s column to make room for a major late-night fire.
When a gaggle of senior women complained enthusiastically, I was asked to write an explanation and apologize.
I did a great job on the apology. But left alone I wrote the headline: Blue hairs get the blues over losing Dear Abby
Many people laughed. Many others were upset. I was oblivious (I was 22!) My boss was livid. He said, it better not happen again.
• On a tennis player who died after a long bout with cancer: Game, set…life
You can guess the reactions. Thank God most sports fans are as insensitive as I am…er…was.
• Remember the good Dodger pitcher Tim Belcher?
He once lost a game in late innings because he got too tired: Belcher runs out of gas
I didn’t get in too much trouble for that one.
Vince Lovato can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org