Photo from The Box reveals link to Harry Potter, Hunger Games

"Skippy" the rabid, blindfolded squirrel.
“Skippy” the rabid, blindfolded squirrel.

Every office has its odd ball. You know, that member who’s just a little different from the rest of the staff? Our editorial room at Siuslaw News is no exception. It’s just that our odd ball happens to be a rabid, blindfolded squirrel named “Skippy.” But like every odd ball, he is uniquely qualified to perform a certain function that no one can do quite as well. Which is why, in spite of the risk of being attacked and bitten, I continue working with our editor; because she has the final say on keeping Skippy.

What is Skippy’s function? To assist me each Tuesday in choosing a random photo from The Box, which is a collection of unclaimed and unidentified photos in our newsroom dating back to the 1980s. The selection process begins with me dumping the contents of The Box onto the floor of our newsroom after my fellow reporters are deep in thought (drooling on their keyboards). To assure that the selection process is completely random, I then yell “RELEASE THE SQUIRREL!” and let Skippy loose in the newsroom. The photo closest to the first reporter to scream β€” whether it be a man or woman β€” is chosen.

That’s when I put my 15 years of investigative journalism skills to the test by identifying the circumstances captured in the photo. But not before getting yelled at for disrupting the flow of the newsroom (waking people up) by making it necessary for everyone to compose themselves again (change their shorts).

I have to admit, this week’s random photo initially threw me off a bit. Mostly because it was almost TOO obvious. As anyone who follows this blog knows, my investigative journalism process is so exhaustive that it often requires a nap. In this case, however, my initial instincts proved correct and, within minutes of waking up, my investigation was complete…

Is this an early audition by two of today's most recognized movie franchise stars?
Is this an early audition by two of today’s most recognized movie franchise stars?

In investigative journalism, a “hunch” isn’t enough. Unless you’re Geraldo Rivera. The rest of us need to provide documented proof, evidence or a really good reason for jumping to conclusions. The time stamp of 2/24/00 in the bottom right corner fit my hunch’s timeline perfectly…

This is either a time stamp or the strangest print pattern ever
This is either a time stamp or the strangest print pattern ever

Next, I acquired images to compare to those in the photo…

Josh Hutcherson as he appears today, which is often sweaty
Josh Hutcherson as he appears today, which is often sweaty
Daniel Radcliffe, as he appears today. Or 10 years ago. Or when he's 40
Daniel Radcliffe, as he appears today. Or 10 years ago. Or when he’s 40

Though the evidence was clearly overwhelming and I could have stopped there, and possibly taken another nap, I decided instead to offer this last piece of evidence to support my theory…

The placement of these exotic plants was clearly intentional
The placement of these exotic plants was clearly intentional

Backed by what is inarguably a big pile of evidence, I think I’ve proven my hunch was indeed correct:

The photo was taken during an audition between a young Josh Hutcherson and Daniel Radcliffe, for the roll of Harry Potter, while acting out the “Screaming Mandrakes” scene in the Mrs. Sprout’s hot house…

image image

Admittedly, I could’ve just taken the easy way out by jumping to an unsubstantiated conclusion based on wild assumptions and Googled images, but I have a reputation to uphold; I think we can all agree today’s investigation is a fine example of how I have managed to keep that reputation.

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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...

32 thoughts on “Photo from The Box reveals link to Harry Potter, Hunger Games”

  1. I am worried about Skippy. Not only is he angry all the time – very unhealthy, you know – but he has atrocious tastes in photography. Could the two be linked?

  2. well not that you asked but you know i am gonna comment…

    being the fashion guru i like to claim and profess (lie) to be.
    i bout sharted my pants on this one.

    year 2000. 14 years ago. that boy in the middle is actually wearing an Ed Hardy “LOVES” shirt brfore ED HARDY was fashion. (damn him) the boy-not ed. i recognized it immediately. you know…like your smell-o-vision AC/DC shirts…(DEAD GIVE AWAY)..emphasis on dead.

    that shirt is prob worth oh…a mint now. prob $1M…i truly have no clue.

    as for the picture…

    I havent the faintest IDEA.
    BUT…the song ..”Bermuda, Bahama…come on pretty mama…” seems to come to mind…

    1. Excellent detective skills, and I’m sure there’s a great story as to why you seem to be so intimately knowledgable about men’s shirts. Or Ed Hardy. Or both…

  3. I do believe you have ferreted out the truth once again Ned. It seems completely logical given that both young auditioners are dressed in camolflage green so as to present the least visual impact and avoid shocking the Mandrakes while re-potting (a very sensitive time for the Mandrakes). Excellent investigative jurnalism as we have come to expect.

  4. Oh, I couldn’t help but notice your exemplary manicure – amazing. Have you ever looked into hand modeling? Lots of money to be made there. People would pay you to have you hold their pictures for them. Imagine.

  5. Ahhh…naps….I LOVE naps. And chocolate. And puppies. And, I really wish Katniss would just go end up with Gale already.
    Obviously, I shouldn’t be catching up on WP reading after my bedtime…or with wine.
    Thanks for the laugh!
    PS: Look for an e-mail from me. I have an idea for NWOW πŸ™‚

    1. Actually, I think after bedtime and wine is the prefect time to read this blog. The more you drink, the funnier I get!

      And I got your email; it sounds like a great idea, Michelle πŸ˜‰

      1. Yes, Ned…although beating Geraldo Rivera at something isn’t necessarily an accomplishment, there’s definitely a compliment for you in there, somewhere, if you really want to find it (which I’m sure your investigative skills will permit you to;)

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