Already tired of Tuesday? Show it… The Door

image No, that’s not a photo taken inside an empty office at Chernobyl. It’s what I look at every time I glance up from my desk in the newsroom here at the Siuslaw News. It is The Door (of Shame, Blame and Brilliance). As any reader of this weekly feature will tell you, it is a shrine, a journalistic Mecca, a print media Wailing Wall to which we make a pilgrimage each Tuesday and, with deep introspection, ask ourselves that eternal question:

How did THAT make it into print without someone noticing?!?

The Door has been a work in progress since the early 1970s, when journalists began taping examples of the best and worst headlines, typos, cutlines and correspondence to it as a way to 1) keep a healthy perspective on what we do, and 2) keep The Door from falling apart since the budget won’t allow for a new one. In addition to its significance as a sentinel of journalistic history, it also contains enough tape, paste and glue to withstand the blast radius of a backfiring 1967 Volkswagen Beatle.

Which brings us to this week’s entry. However, as always, we must first join hands and, in a monotoned voice similar to Kristen Stewart’s audition tape, repeat the following mantra:

The Door is a beacon, drawing us into the jagged rocks of journalism.

Today, we have two examples of how a single missing letter can change the entire meaning of something otherwise well-intentioned.


Our first piece is an open letter to the community, inserted into 6,000 copies of our newspaper, inviting them to attend an open house to meet the college’s new president.

Thanks to a slight typo, it was the largest turnout for an open house in school history…

Our second offering is from 1998, when District 10 Oregon State Representative Alan Brown sent a blanket “Letter to the Editor” to every newspaper in his district, thanking the voters for re-electing him to his position.


His closing paragraph β€” though certainly unintentional β€” could be one of the most truthful statements to come out of our state’s capitol in decades.

No wonder he got re-elected…

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Ned's Blog

I was a journalist, humor columnist, writer and editor at Siuslaw News for 23 years. The next chapter in my own writer’s journey is helping other writers prepare their manuscript for the road ahead. I'm married to the perfect woman, have four great kids, and a tenuous grip on my sanity...

59 thoughts on “Already tired of Tuesday? Show it… The Door”

    1. Haha! It’s hard to say. I didn’t attend the open house, so there could’ve been entertaining teats I just don’t know about. As for Mr. Brown, it’s entirely possible he was just using that “transparency” thing we keep hearing about πŸ˜‰

    1. Hahaha! I told myself, “If I can help just one person recognize a good ‘probing,’ it will have been worth it.” Thank you for being that person.

      1. The goatee doesn’t help that image, but we all know you’re not even curious, not even in anticipation. And I swear, saying “we” only SOUNDS like I am Sybil.

        I anticipate your anticipation.

        1. OK, now I’m beginning to question my sexuality… oh, wait. That’s just a Sharpie in my pocket. Scratch that. Never mind, I’ll scratch it myself. All this anticipation has me flustered.

    1. I lived in the Deep South for about 10 years, and even Southern hospitality can’t touch teats and entertainment. Actually, considering there’s a large retirement community here, I wouldn’t WANT to touch these teats, no matter how entertaining. But it’s the thought that counts, right?

  1. A teat is of no sexual interest, as they are officially descriptive of animal mammary exit holes. Now nipples, well, that’s another story…unless you like teats for another reason altogether. But that is a slippery slope, heh heh.

      1. Teats’ are sweet treats? My teats meet my feet? (they about did when I was pregnant). Turn down the heat to see the teat peek? I could keep going you know…..

          1. THE MAN! Luv the Seuss! My best work is Seussian in nature…..but, to answer the question, only if Dr S lived in Universe B, where up is down and right is wrong and Dr S is a pedophile.

                1. “I won’t eat these green eggs and teats, Sam I Am, not in those seats or these seats, not with beets, not with my feets.” It’s coming back to me now…

No one is watching, I swear...

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