Thursday, September 08, 2005
'Baby Stab Horror'
So I get up this morning to find that the city's dueling tabloids, the Post and the Daily News, have identical headlines: "Baby Stab Horror."
They were referring to the same terrible incident, where some psycho on the street stabbed an innocent baby. I confess I never got around to reading either paper's version of the story, having been stopped in my tracks by the Siamese front pages.
I was a police reporter for five years so I've covered my share of terrible stories, but something about these headlines are so awful. All they do is make things even worse.
After I saw the headlines, I went about with my own life, like everybody else around me. This was my third day of my new job and I expected it to be a tough one, a kind of make or break deal that would separate the men from the boys, put it all on the line, and all that kind of crap. It turned out to be quiet manageable, but I had no way of knowing that, and being the King of Catastrophe, I just worried all morning long.
Riding the subway into work, I realized that I had left my cell phone at home. I panicked, cursed, and wondered what the hell I would do when people started calling me and couldn't find me. I remembered I was recharing the phone and had left it plugged into the kitchen socket.
I, of course, pictured the house catching fire, or the phone melting into a puddle of bubbling plastic. Naturally, none of that happened, and I didn't get a call all day. But it wasn't a good start to the day. Not a baby stab horror, but still a crappy morning.
I did thumb through the Post while I was in the can at work, which seems to be the proper place to read that rag. I scanned the captions of the baby story and saw they had a cast of characters, such as the Brave Nanny and the Grateful Dad. (Weren't they a band? In fact, "Baby Stab Horror" sounds like some 70's punk group with safety pins through their lips.)
I had a fairly decent day at work and finding the people are really nice. I may get a beat change, which I don't like, but, hell, there are no specialists in newsrooms. And there are no atheists. in foxholes. But are there specialists in foxholes? We already know about the atheists.
And you know I never did read the entire "Baby Stab Horror" story, so I don't know what made the Nanny brave or the Dad grateful, but I sincerely hope everyone is all right. (Except the bastard who did it, of course.)
And I'm glad I don't have to cover stories like this anymore. I may hate business journalism, but it spares me the misery of grieving families and midnight house fires in the dead of winter.