My Neighborhood News—or, Stuff CNN Doesn't Have the Guts to Cover

The problem with most news is that it isn’t relevant to people’s lives. We read about issues like ISIS, income inequality, and obesity, but when was the last time you actually saw a fat, super-wealthy terrorist?

The truth is, the only news that really matters to people is the stuff that affects their day-to-day life. CNN doesn’t care what happens in my house or to my neighbors. That’s why I am embracing the trend of “hyper-local journalism” by reporting on important events in my own neighborhood. This way, all of us can be fully informed about happenings in the ‘hood, which will of course turn us all into better citizens—and, if all goes well, make idle chit-chat in the street totally unnecessary.


My Neighborhood News (Vol. 1, No. 1):



At 4:18 p.m. on Thursday, April 7, a seven-year-old school-patrol guard from Randolph Heights Elementary was seen lagging behind his assigned pack of children by approximately twenty feet. Witnesses at the scene said the boy appeared “distracted,” and might have been “daydreaming,” though one five-year-old girl thought the boy might have had “gum on his shoe.” The group of children the guard was charged with protecting was preparing to cross Albert St. when the incident occurred. Eight other guards in the group covered for the boy’s mistake. No injuries were reported.



Lindsay Porter, a seventh-grader at Cretin-Durham, is still unhappy with a recent haircut she got at Ficocello’s on Snelling Ave. “I wanted swoopy, angled bangs like Emma Stone, but instead she gave me straight, Taylor Swift-y bangs that make me look twelve. I’m thirteen.” The hairdresser in question, Emily Pratt, defended the new style, saying, “Lindsay’s hair is thin and will not hold an angled cut. Besides, she’s kidding herself if she thinks she can pull that look off.”



Every night during the week of Apr. 4, residents on the 300 block of Saratoga were aggravated by the late-night yapping of a nearby dog. The yapping occurred about 10:30 p.m. each night, setting off a barking frenzy at every house within a two-block radius, including mine. Judging from the high-pitched tone of the bark, the offending pooch is some sort of schnauzer or cockapoo—a small dog with an unusually piercing yip-yip-yip that sounds much more desperate than it probably is. If this is your dog, please spare the rest of us and let the little monster inside.



On Sunday, Apr. 10, Dan Hall of 627 Stanford Ave., had just washed his car and was returning home, when he discovered that the alley was wet, with water puddles everywhere. As he was pulling up to his garage, his front left tire slipped into a pothole filled with water and splashed mud on his newly washed Acura. “It hadn’t been raining, so someone must have washed their car in the alley or something,” Hall speculated. He’d just spent twelve bucks on the Super Wash at the BP on Randolph, and was hoping his car would stay clean at least another day or two.



Jerry Przinski of 226 Brimhall St. recently discovered that a family of rabbits has been living under his deck all winter. Neighbors on the block had noticed an uptick in rabbit sightings over the past six months, and many thought the Przinskis might be harboring the critters, though until now there had been no solid proof. “I’ve seen ‘em pop in and out of Jerry’s fence a few times, so I had my suspicions,” said one neighbor who wished not to be identified, owing to the fact that he lives next door and he and Jerry are poker buddies. Jerry’s wife, Angie, thinks the rabbits are “cute,” though, and won’t let Jerry get rid of them.



A flurry of excitement occurred last weekend when Wicker Street’s Bob Kendall saw what he thought was a marijuana plant growing in his neighbor’s kitchen window. Kendall called the police, who arrived the following day and took resident Louise McDougall’s statement. According the police report, Louise told authorities that the plant is “an Australian fan palm. It looks nothing like marijuana.” As I was walking my dogs, Louise confided to this reporter, “If Bob wants to see marijuana, tell him to come on over and I’ll show him the real stuff. I grow it in the basement.”



There’s been a rash of thefts involving recycling bins left out on Snelling Ave. Apparently, allegedly drunk Macalaster students returning from their nightly studies at Plums have been stealing the bins and using them in their dorm rooms. “They make great little tables if you turn them over,” explained one unnamed Macalaster student. “In fact, I’m thinking of starting a business out of it,” the student added. “My plan is to steal as many recycling bins as I can, and sell them here on campus to foreign students who have no idea what a recycling bin is. It’s genius.” Macalaster was recently rated by U.S. News and World report as the 23rd best school in the nation, a fact that has alarmed residents and business owners alike.



Last Saturday night, my wife wanted lasagna for dinner, and I wanted pizza. She didn’t just want any lasagna, though, she wanted vegetarian lasagna, the kind you get at Whole Foods for twenty bucks a pound. I was irritated, but I didn’t make a big stink about it. As I’ve always said, the secret to a good marriage is a willingness to compromise. So we compromised, and had lasagna.


That’s it for this week’s edition of My Neighborhood News. If anyone in the vicinity has news to report, email me or come by and tell me your story over a beer. You know where I live.