Like Justin Bieber, I completely overlooked The Door

image It’s time once again to gather at The Door (of Shame, Blame and Brilliance) here in the newsroom, join hands and, while speaking in a monotone voice similar to anyone shopping at Wal-Mart after 2 a.m., repeat the following phrase:

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

Why do we say this? I mean, aside from the obvious health benefits of exercising your iambic pentameter? Because it’s our way of acknowledging the reporters who have come before and left their mark here at the Siuslaw News, at least in terms of what they’ve taped, pasted or otherwise found important enough to stick to The Door by any means necessary since the 1970s.

Today’s exhibit is actually something I have looked at hundreds of times over my 15 years here, and not just because The Door is across from my desk. Back in the 1980s, the Spotted Owl was a big deal here as conservationists pushed to have thousands of acres of timber land (not the hip-hop singer) closed to harvesting in order to save the owl’s habitat. Oregon was divided into residents who were “for” saving the owl, those “against” it, and those who “just want to eat hallucinogenic mushrooms.” As the controversy raged on, journalists here at the Siuslaw News continued to offer unbiased reporting. In addition, they also exhibited their professionalism by making little paper hats, like this one, with the words “Take a Owl to Lunch” on them…


The Door is laden with Owl Hat victims…


Including THIS guy, who prompted today’s post…


For years, I thought he was just another unwitting owl lover — until I actually took time to read the entire piece which, until this morning, hadn’t been highlighted with a marker. This “Person on the Street” feature appeared in the Eugene Register-Guard in the mid 1980s…


The question posed: “Is racism is a serious problem in Springfield?” (which is the neighboring city to Eugene.)

His answer made me laugh, but only to keep from getting sick to my stomach…


I took it upon myself to remove his “Take a Owl to Lunch” hat; he doesn’t deserve the distinction. But he will remain as a reminder of how, like The Door itself, some things are best left closed. Especially if someone forgot to flush.

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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...

43 thoughts on “Like Justin Bieber, I completely overlooked The Door”

  1. I’m pretty sure he wouldn’t want to “Take a Owl to Lunch”. I just cannot imagine that people would have those thoughts or that they would say them out loud.

    I can’t help but laugh at the whole concept of the “Take a Owl to Lunch” campaign, from the clever notion of A singular owl at lunch to the attractive hats- the marketing genius behind the campaign is to be admired.

    1. I think it was “a owl” on purpose, to underscore the ridiculousness of the situation; it was truly ugly and crazy here then, with a lot of ignorant people weighing in.

  2. Oh, and I almost forgot…

    The — Dour — is — owl — beek(on), drawing — us — into — jager — bombs — of — journalism.

    I can recite that in my sleep. My wife tells me that I do. Of course, I also sing Britney Spears songs in my sleep. And that’s OK.

    1. I will now be reciting that in my sleep, after too much jager. And I suppose singing Britney Spears in your sleep is ok, as long as you don’t come to bed dressed like her. But hey, that’s between you two.

  3. Wow. I mean just, wow. Lost for words on the hat (Are you kidding me, people?!) and the guy’s response. A simple, “yes,” would have done the job, but instead he provided an illustration. “Wow,” I say again.

  4. I always like the door and the thoughts espoused due to its contents. This man is bad, cannot believe the paper published it also! I like owls, I love an owl hike they hold at a park close to me, called Highbanks Park. I am sure the owl loving people would tear that hat off the man’s head just simply because they are much more intellectually advanced! Like you, for example.

    1. So glad you enjoy The Door, which started by accident, really. And yes, it’s hard to believe people still think like that in this century. The owl hike sounds great. Aside from wolves, owls are one of my favorite animals. For some reason, though, I’ve never been able to find a wolf hike. 😉

  5. my theory is that he had that owl hat on too long, cutting off the blood supply from his brain. causing some sort of a mini stroke. only explanation for his high level of idiocy –

    1. Maybe he’s just bitter for having the last name Roach? And maybe his family owned a chain of motels? Do you know how many times he heard, “Hey Dean! We weren’t sure you’d be in school today since Roaches check in but they don’t check out! Ha HA!”

      Still, though, it’s no excuse for that kind of racist thinking…

  6. That man deserves some applause. I mean, he effectively made his answer so ridiculous people are still laughing about it decades later. As for the title, brilliantly done. I got that reference and I laughed remembering the look on his bewildered face as he rubbed his head and was all like “what just happened?”. I think he also did it again… revolving doors are dangerous to those with elaborately coiffed hair that hides their eyes in an attempt to make them more “edgy”.

    1. Yes, JB needs body guards assigned specifically to protect him from the dangers of revolving doors. I guess they don’t have those in Canada..?

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