Musings, opinions, observations, questions, and random thoughts on island life, Fernandina Beach and more
Dave Scott is a former Florida and New York daily newspaper reporter, international corporate public relations executive and PR agency head who has lived on Amelia Island the past three years. His “Dave’s World” column ran for two years in the Fernandina Beach News Leader and he currently writes a blog: www.davescottblog.com.
Here is Dave’s latest blog:
“Coming to a News Stand Soon: The Fernandina Beach News Wrecker
(Musings, opinions, observations, questions, and random thoughts on island life, Fernandina Beach and more)
Just like Amelia Island, the folks in Durango, Colorado celebrate their town’s heritage with an annual festival, an event called “Snowdown,” a celebration devoted to “fun, commerce and tourism” that includes parades, costumes, musical performances and more.
But Snowdown has something we currently don’t at our yearly Shrimp Festival. My Indian Rocks Beach, Florida cousin, who splits his time between this state and Durango, presented me with a 16-page edition of The Snowdown Sneer, a hysterical spoof of the town and its winter fete that was held this year, January 29-February 2.
The tabloid parody pokes harmless fun at Durango’s liberal population, the festival, and other area sacred cows with a front page headline reading “City will ban toothpicks to save trees” saying anyone needing a toothpick will have to pay 10 cents, money that will go to the annual Arbor Day celebration, and quotes community activist Payne Dias who says “having a chunk of food between your teeth is not justification to chop down the forest.”
A page 2 article headlined “City’s new parking meters will cost $7.25 per hour” and reports that motorists who need to visit downtown will have to pay minimum wage to shop in stores where employees make minimum wage. It quoted parking enforcement officer Cy Tayshun as saying “Would you rather spend an hour’s time with a disinterested, mouth-breathing, Facebook-posting retail clerk or get one hour of rock-star quality parking?”
To take advantage of Colorado’s new legalized marijuana law the paper’s Business & Technology section details how two local “depots” – Office & Home – will concentrate on selling pot to capitalize on their revised names of Home d’POT and Office d’POT, while a story in the same section claims the city will spend an estimated $31 million to subsidize the downtown’s essential service industries of T-shirt shops and restaurants to ensure they remain open in the off season, an act designed to keep city staffers from “finding real jobs and working hard.”
Another article explains how Durango High School was forced to pawn its shop tools for $672 to help keep its doors open after voters rejected a school tax hike. It reported that other school fund raising options include a marijuana pancake breakfast and a Buy-A-Grade program in which parents can purchase higher marks for their under-achieving kids.
The paper’s weather forecast for the Snowden event ranged from “squiggly lines on a map and a devastating drought to swarms of locusts and a wildebeest stampede” while the local electric company announced that the coal-fired generator that “activists complained about because it spewed carbon” will be replaced with an alternative “53 bazillion kilowatt massive nuclear reactor complex” to be located on the banks of a local recreational and scenic river.
The classified ads contained some of the funniest material with the Business Opportunities section touting chances to earn cash by laundering money for a worldwide crime syndicate and another one urging readers to respond to a “$10 million from Nigeria” offer. A “Livestock & Pet” ad offered a “mean dog free to a good home. A really mean dog that chews furniture, isn’t housebroken and bites children” while the same section advertised “Take My Chickens! What was I thinking? Raising chickens in the backyard? Bad idea. They are noisy and my shoes and carpets are smeared with chicken poo. You can have the whole flock. Oh, they are a couple of years old and don’t lay eggs anymore…”
A “Help Wanted” ad seeks people to “Make expensive coffee for lazy people” while “Homes/Apartments Available” offers a “Dump. $2,995/mo. Drafty, small, depressing, no parking, lots of crime.” In the “Miscellaneous for Free” ads this one stood out: “Free. Online newspaper access. Click on www.DurangoHerald.com and read the paper. It’ll cost you nothing! Oh wait. Never mind.”
Who wants to join me to produce a similar publication, sort of like a local version of the National Lampoon, both print and online, to distribute prior to and during our annual Shrimp Festival, maybe not in time for this year’s event, but certainly for the next one? I’ve already secured the domain name: The Fernandina Beach News Wrecker. If it proves successful we’ll publish as often as financially practical and we’ll have good fun grinding sacred cows into hamburger.
Submit your story ideas to me here or to email@example.com. Also, let me know if you want to be on the editorial staff of the Wrecker. Imagine how much fun it will be because “fun” will be your only compensation and our first editorial meeting will be at a local watering hole?