I've found that in the newspaper biz people tend to want to flog stories until they're good and dead. Every story could use a follow-up, so why not multiply the fun with three, four or 10 of the same thing?
On Friday my mission was to produce our fourth article in two weeks (and I'm not counting the many columns) about the movie "Leatherheads," a film that, if you'll remember, brought a certain George Clooney to my humble town. Though I'd already written about locals' reaction to a screening of the movie, this time it was premiering to a general audience. These folks would supposedly have a new, fresh take on the flick that I hadn't already gleaned from the previous sample set.
I got there way earlier than was necessary and was accosted by the manager of the local semi-pro football team that's hosting a "throwback" game in honor of the team on which "Leatherheads" is based. This dude has harassed me before-- he tried to get me to get the editor in chief to get George Clooney to do the coin toss for this selfsame game-- and he's relentless. On Friday he insisted I had the power to choose which photo would grace my story, and told me he would buy me two dozen roses if I ensured it would be of his three bored-looking players manning a table with a leather helmet signed by the film's stars. After I emphatically explained to him that photo selection was far from being under my jurisdiction, he tried to extract a promise that I would cover their upcoming game. I'm not in sports, I told him.
"This isn't sports news; it's front page news!" he insisted. Sadly, he's probably right.
When most everyone had trickled into the theater I purchased myself a kiddie combo and climbed solo to an empty row where I could watch George and Renee try to out-sass each other for the second time. Two of the three football players made their way toward my row and excused their "wide hips" as they thrust their crotches in my face en route to the seats to my left. They proceeded to chat and text their way through the movie, the best part of which was the "Sex and the City" trailer that preceded it.