I swear I had nothing to do with this

Does this look like the face of a guilty person?
Does this look like the face of a guilty person?

We all make mistakes:

Drying boxer briefs in the microwave

Bathing your cat.

Kanye West.

But when it happens in a newspaper, it’s like taking that same mistake and repeating it, say… 15,000 times… then handing it out to people to make sure they saw it. Such was the case in our latest newspaper issue, which included a full-paged ad promoting the biggest event our small town hosts each year — and has been for the last 109 years: The Florence Rhododendron Festival. Our small town swells (it’s a swell town) from 8,500 to 18,000 for four days each May, culminating with the West Coast’s second-largest floral parade next to the Rose Parade. It also brings about 300 bikers to town.

No one knows why. 


Standing in Old Town last year, before Sunday's big parade. Sadly, still no sign of Jax or Chibs from "Sons of Anarchy."
Standing in Old Town last year, before Sunday’s big parade. Sadly, still no sign of Jax or Chibs from “Sons of Anarchy.”


So the Rhododensron Festival is kind of a big deal.

As I mentioned, mistakes happen. However, at our newspaper, when it involves something that looks suspiciously intentional, I somehow get the blame.

Again, no one knows why.

*cough cough*
*cough cough*

So when this type-o appeared in today’s full-paged ad, I had to defend myself by clarifying I am in the editorial department, with no access to our ad department.

I’m still not sure they believe me…


I hope this doesn't mean I'll have to wear a tiara.


I really hope this doesn’t mean I’ll have to wear a tiara…





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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...

58 thoughts on “I swear I had nothing to do with this”

  1. Story. Of. My. Life. Something happens and all heads turn slowly toward me and eyebrows head for hairlines and everyone becomes Bobbles Heads. It doesn’t help that 9 times out of 10 I AM to blame. Still….the benefit of doubt would be nice once in a while.

  2. Every festival needs a little ned in it!

    (Still chuckling over Kanye West mistake…) You know he once threatened to run for president… I thought we were safe until this election season. The possibilities are now endless. Egads.

  3. Illuminati confirmed.

    If I might add, after the red thong, sporting a tiara should be a piece of cake! They don’t creep but those little comb thingies HURT.

    Btw … to save you the trouble of looking thru our closet, I do not have a tiara.



  4. As a long-time garden (and garden centre employee), we simply call them rhodos. And what respecting gardener would be without a rhodo? I have two (PJM and one other whose name I never knew because it was a rescue rhodo).

    They are beautiful shrubs, and when they get mammoth, they are breathtaking in full bloom, so I understand why garden enthusiast swell your small town. On the bright side, they should be environmentally friendly people.

    Oh, and for the record, many readers won’t even know how to pronounce rhododendron let alone spell it, so only about 25% of your readers will recognise the error. They will all be rhodo elites who make more noise than the average when you spell their favourite flower incorrectly. On the other bright side, your ad will be shared more than normal to point out your–I mean the ad department’s mistake. Remember, there is no such thing as bad publicity.

  5. Surely this is referring to the flourishing Mycenaean court of Rhododnedron III, son of Orythroneus and Phaedra?

    (Sorry, this is the best I can do to try and rescue the ad department’s credibility.)

No one is watching, I swear...

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