From Tim Porter:
Here’s a list concocted by Ed Beitiks, a longtime reporter for the old (pre-sale) S.F. Examiner who died in January 2001 at too young an age. Ed was an original in every way and as such disdained cliche. He created this list of canards that could be dropped into most breaking news stories. Here’s a link to Ed’s obit.
- “It looked like a war zone,” said one bedraggled policeman. “Buildings falling down, bodies all over the place. I haven’t seen anything like this since I was in the “Nam.”
- “He was such a quiet man,” said a neighbor, who asked not to be identified. “I’d see him at the market and one time he even helped me with my groceries. I can’t believe it’s true.”
- “Oh, he was wild, sure, just like any other kid his age,” said his mother. “But he wasn’t a bad boy. I tried to keep him in the house after midnight, told him not to hang around with those other guys, but you know kids. He’d laugh and say, “Don’t worry about me, mom’.”
- Police report that arresting officers chased the teenager into an alleyway, where he turned to face them. The officer who fired the shots said he “saw something shiny” in the waistband of the suspect, but no weapon was found.
- “It sounded just like a railroad train going right by our heads,” said one of the neighbors, roused from a deep sleep by the crash.
- “It’s a miracle more people weren’t killed,” said one officer, looking around at the remains of the earthquake/sniper attack/meteor crash.
- “It sounded just like somebody letting off some firecrackers,” said one neighbor. “And then we looked out the window and saw Lurlene laying out there on the sidewalk.”
- Shaking his head, officer Kite said, “I’ve been on the force for more than 20 years and I’ve never seen anything like it.”
- One of the onlookers standing near the charred remains said he heard the sound of an engine sputtering, and looked up. “It seemed like he was in trouble, and he swerving around like he wanted to get back to the airport when the plane just turned into a fireball. I don’t think those people ever had a chance.”
- The man kept police at bay for eight hours by threatening hostages with a Swiss Army knife. He demanded a sixpack of Dr. Pepper, a Supremo pizza and a helicopter to Managua or Van Nuys, either one. The SWAT team closed in just before dark, finding the hostages inside the walk-in refrigerator and the suspect gone.
- Pilot Fred Tampico courageously avoided an entire block of apartment buildings — many with little blue-eyed babies gurgling quietly in their cribs — and crashed the airplane into an adjacent vacant lot, killing Mrs. Zamboni as she sat watching TV in her mobile home. “It was a very courageous thing he did,” said one air controller. “If that plane had hit the apartments, no telling how many people would’ve been killed.”
- Mrs. Jalapeno, a feisty 86-year-old, chased the two burly robbers down the street, tossing her umbrella at them as they turned around a corner. “That’ll teach ’em to jump an old lady!” she said with a twinkle in her eye.
- The defendant, dressed in prison overalls and staring straight ahead, showed no emotion as he listened to the jury’s verdict of guilty. But his mother and fiancee, sitting in the first row, broke down in tears.
- “I tried to run back in there to get the others,” said the teenager/fireman/courageous dog, after pulling the infant to safety. “But the flames were everywhere by that time, and I couldn’t get past the door.”
- A spokesman for the militant faction of the Shahid Liberatacion said that unless the western superpowers paid the $3.3 billion ransom and released prisoners taken in the Night of Pig’s Blood raid last Nov. 13, “The blood of these hostages will be on your hands.”