Better Than Fiction

No Telling

I love our local newspaper. Not that I would consult The Log Cabin Democrat for any national or global news, but that was never this newspaper’s purpose. This journalistic wonder was the heartbeat of our community for over a hundred years before Kris Allen, and I hope it weathers another hundred. Maybe only the conglomerated, big-city newspapers will die out. Maybe the small-town rags will outlive us all.

Why? The Police Beat. There’s nothing like it. I’ll give you a taste from today’s shock and awe. These are numbered in the paper. I have no idea why.

4. Theft of property at 3900 block of [deleted by me]. A woman called police to say she’d accidentally left her purse at Walmart and someone had stolen it before she could get back to claim it. In the purse were keys, credit cards and a Kel-Tec .380 handgun.

What? Are other women in the checkout line pushing buggies and packing heat? Apparently so. I’m a complete gun nerd, so I had to look up this particular weapon. The fine people at Kel-Tek advertise this as “…mainly intended for plainclothes police officers as a secondary weapon, or for concealed carry by licensed citizens. The small grip size and light trigger pull make the P-3AT ideal for female shooters.” At Wal-Mart. They left that part out.

That’s not the day’s favorite from the police blotter, though. This one is.

6. Assault at 500 block [deleted by me]. A woman answered a knock on her door Friday morning to encounter a heavyset white female wearing a brown hat and scarf and “big dark glasses” spraying her in the face with what seemed to be hairspray and beating her with what is described in the report as “a plastic dump truck.” After the attack the assailant fled in “a black, foreign-type passenger car,” according to the report.

This is why the South produces so many good writers. It’s not that we’re all literarily gifted, it’s because the local newspapers sweetly dump these prizes right into our laps like birthday presents. We don’t have to make it up. The stuff of fiction happens all around us. There’s no such thing as writer’s block when there’s a good hairspray-and-plastic-dump truck incident to get us over the hump.

Was it Aquanet? Tonka? Did that unfortunate woman at Wal-Mart lose irreplaceable pictures of her grandbabies along with that Kel-Tek .380? These are questions a writer must answer.

So keep on plugging away, Log Cabin Democrat. Just to make sure you do, I’m re-upping my subscription. Sure, you’re free on the internet, but my loyalty to the Police Beat requires hard cash and a fresh year-long commitment.

Found Bits


I’ve got time on my hands and it’s lovely. Nothing like losing an hour or two scanning what’s out there, especially since I never have time unless it’s some break or other. Something more important always needs doing. Even when I’m busy, though, I have no trouble finding the delightful and bizarre online. I’m actually famous for this. Ask my friends. Here are today’s found bits.

I began on Ebay, of course. Nothing kills the hours like looking up bizarre items there. I found a sea green Olivetti typewriter that I neither need nor have a place for. I love my computer. I do. Just the thought of slinging my fingers at typewriter keys again (thequickredfoxthequickredfox) makes me a little edgy. Remember correction paper? Enough said. Just because I’m technologically spoiled now doesn’t mean I can’t appreciate a gorgeous, industrial-age typewriter. This one in particular is just sexy.

A few clicks later I stumbled across A Good Blog is Hard to Find. What a delightful gaggle of southern writers! A good blog is hard to find, but this one had me instantly. I’m still pouring over past posts trying to catch up a bit. Another southern writing group blog (grog?) that you must immediately see is The Debutante Ball, a collection of southern writing women whose books are debuting this year. The group changes yearly to let in another crop of freshly publisheds – kind of a literary Junior League.

I howled at Knit1Read2‘s old post about southern hair, and the latest on downtown parades. Naturally, this led to Hair History, and to Hair Archives. All those meticulous vintage do’s – I tell you, I was born too late.

I know it’s a stretch to begin websurfing typewriters in Ebay, take a left at southern writing grogs, and finally end up howling over the definition of Full Gospel Hair. It’s a lovely way to avoid Christmas shopping, though, and I highly recommend it.