Tuesday 19 February 2013

UP THE TABLOIDS! reprinted with permission

I don’t want to alarm anyone, but I have it on very good authority that we will all soon be eaten by Aliens. You may not believe it, but they even have pictures. I’ve seen them. In the National Enquirer.

I’ll bet you think this type of reporting is believed only by people with the intelligence of woodworms. But frankly, the supermarket tabloids cover a market that daily city papers are frightfully lax about reporting. After all, it is in one’s interest to keep up with the ongoing sagas of our neurotic top celebs, if only for the relief in confirming that “Hey - I am not really nuts! SHE is nuts.”

Okay, so I can’t come down too hard on the rags. I’ve actually been published in them. (I’m talking short stories here – things that were supposed to be fiction.) And they paid me a hell of a lot more than The Globe & Mail and Toronto Star ever did.

Besides, tabloids are educational. Mind-boggling scientific facts also get top billing in these papers. I read recently of a woman called Eartha Bog who talks to her plants. Lots of people do that, but she also claimed they talked back.

I’ve thought about this a lot.  I mean, really: who needs a bunch of talking plants nagging you around the house all day? Mine would probably say things like:

Violet: Ugh! When was the last time you dusted?

Ivy: Putting on a little weight, aren’t you dear?

Which brings me to my all-time favorite tabloid story, entitled “My Alien Lover left me for a Younger Woman.” The lady in the checkout line behind me pointed it out.

“Oh My God – even Aliens do it!” she said.

“Yes,” replied the first woman in line, shaking her head. “But do they do it better?”

Postscript: I talked to my editor once regarding the veracity of the people who were quoted in his paper. He told me that those alien stories are not lies. They are fully believed by the people interviewed for the article, who may just happen to live in a specialized hospital environment. I’m not kidding. He told me that.


  1. LOL My grandmother believed those papers, especially if the story had to do with aliens. I learned to just nod and keep my mouth shut. :)
    Marja McGraw

    1. Marja, I'm smiling. I'll never forget my shock when the editor told me those interviews were real. Conducted in some very interesting institutions, mind you.