If you interviewed 100 people, I’d guess at least 75 of them would know the rest of that sentence. Antoine Dodson not only became an overnight sensation when he retold the story of his sister being assaulted, he also made me feel normal about one of my little hobbies in life…watching the news to see what the neighborhood crazy is going to say when he or she is interviewed.
I have been obsessed with this for most of my life. Every night when I sit down to watch the news, 99% of the stories are just terrible and depressing…and then it happens…they interview the biggest lunatic they can possibly find, and all is right in my world again.
Case in point: My friends and I have a running joke about the phrase “What had happened was…” because we know from experience that anytime a sentence starts that way, whatever follows it is going to be the worst (or to us, the best) all time version of an event (ie lie) you have ever heard, and it is going to be quite descriptive. People that start a story that way are just stalling while they try to come up with some embellished information. Now that you know that, pay attention to the news interviews. If there is a murder in the middle of some god-foresaken place, Joe the resident crackhead is likely to start his version of the story that way, and it’s likely his version would never stand up in court – but damn if it isn’t entertaining.
A few weeks ago, I was watching a story about a guy that was run over and killed near an off-ramp in Queens at 4:00am. The witness they interviewed was about 500lbs and madly waving her monster sized chocolate shake as she proclaimed “I feel bad for the guy, but I’m super glad it wasn’t me!” Super glad, you say? Well, I am super glad that you just so happened to be roaming around by a desolate off-ramp while the rest of us were sleeping. I am also super glad that you didn’t have any pressing matters to attend to and were able to stick around until broad daylight so they could interview you, and presumably buy you a shake the size of my fibula as a reward. You made my night and for that I thank you.
My all time favorite quote so far came from News 12. It was so good that I texted all of my friends and made them tune in for the rerun of it. (That’s the beauty of that station by the way…they run the same stories over and over all day) Anyway, a grizzly double murder occurred during a home invasion in Newark. When they interviewed the neighbor to ask if he was scared by this event, he responded “Scared? I was so scared I couldn’t hardly sleep all day!” I can only hope that he got to catch up on his much needed sleep the next day while I was out actually working…but I digress. They also interviewed a woman in a dirty showercap right after him, but I couldn’t tell you what she said. It doesn’t even matter what she said actually, because her choice of head gear was more than enough for me.
So to all of you crazy bastards out there who unknowingly spout classic lines on the news, argue with your girlfriend/boyfriend/spouse in the background of a live shot, or accidently curse live on the air…your 15 seconds of fame live in infamy with me. You are awesome without even trying., and you make me super glad that I am a news addict.