Friday, January 23, 2009

Readers Get Kid Lit Instead of Journalism

The "reefer" this morning is a regular Friday abomination. It refers readers to page 11 to catch the latest: "Gussie the Gator meets Pickles, the twin of Tickles the Octopus."

Here's the background: For the last 18 months or so, a nice lady who lives in one of Arcadia's several retirement parks fills her idle hours by writing seven-paragraph animal vignettes for children. The stories feature little animals with cute names swimming, picnicking, avoiding bee stings, safely crossing the road and such. A few months back, when summer came, the nice lady retreated to the north for the season, and the weekly installments stopped. Old Word Wolf was sure the torture was over. Arcadian news reporters would find they didn't need this space filler from a writer who addresses the kindergarten (and must surely be, OWW speculates, the publisher's great auntie, perhaps?). The real journalists would find plenty of news to pursue. Between city hall, schools, courthouse and jail, OWW heartily hoped that real news -- the type that informs taxpayers, citizens, businesses, young people, and visitors about their community -- would resume. OWW was wrong.

To read how awful it really is, the latest installment is tucked below the fold:

Little Tail plays with Tickles and Pickles

One bright, sunny, yet cool day, Gussie the Gator and Little Tail the Gator were sunning themselves in the pond. After a while, Little Tail said to Gussie, “Daddy, I’m going out to find someone to play with. I am tired of just floating and sunning myself.” He did not need to swim far before he ran into Tickles the Octopus. Now, Tickles got her name because she laughed and tickled you with her eight legs and made you laugh and laugh, which she was trying to do to Little Tail. Suddenly, Little Tail saw two octopi. So he said to Tickles, “Are there two of you?”
“No,” replied Tickles, “that is my twin brother, whose name is Pickles. When I was born I always had a smile on my face and eyes wide open, ready to play and laugh. So that is why my mother named me Tickles.
“But my brother always has his eyes half-open and never smiles. Sometimes he is really grumpy and never wants to play. So my mother said to him, ‘I’m going to name you Pickles because you always have a sour look on your face.’” With that, Little Tail said to Tickles, “Let’s see if he will play with us.” Tickles said, “I bet he won’t.” Sure enough, when Little Tail swam up to Pickles the Octopus to play, Pickles swam away and hid behind a rock, saying, “Stay away from me!” So Little Tail swam back to Tickles the Octopus and said, “Boy! He sure is grumpy. He acts just like a sour pickle. Your mother gave him a good name.” So off Little Tail and Tickles went to find Bubbles the Goldfish to swim and play and have fun. They played hide and seek. So ended another happy and beautiful day in paradise, in sunny Arcadia.

Florence Barboro is a DeSoto County resident and regular contributor to the Sun for Cross Creek Country Club and RV Resort. She has written a series of short stories geared toward young children. Look for her story each week in The Arcadian.


  1. Wow. Just wow.

  2. That's the regional NEWS page? OWW, i've always taken your carping with a grain of salt. I realize now you have been remarkably restrained. Wow. This is awful, just awful.