For those who are unfamiliar with this past weekly feature, or who, after reading this introduction, feel they might be having a stroke, let me explain.
The Box is a collection of odd, unidentified photos which — just like many items in our break-room refrigerator — have remained unclaimed for 10 years or more. Utilizing my journalistic training, combined with the full extent of our 1980s computer technology, I attempt to explain the circumstance surrounding a randomly chosen photo from The Box. This random selection process is achieved by me quietly dumping the photos onto the floor and then, just as quietly, releasing a Skippy the Wild, Blindfolded Squirrel into the newsroom. The photo nearest the first reporter to scream or get bitten (possibly both) is the winner! Continue reading Sometimes, investigative journalism calls for a wild squirrel
It’s been a week since those words were exclaimed in Braveheart fashion, sending Skippy, our newsroom’s resident rabid squirrel, on a journey to collect your odd and inexplicable photos. Why?
Because Skippy really needs to get out more.
But also because, With Great Power Comes Great Responsibility. And thanks to Kerbey at I Don’t Get It, I realized I have an obligation to use my investigative journalism superpowers to reveal the truth behind more than just The Box of old, unidentified and unclaimed photos in our newsroom. That’s why, like Spider-Man, I am swinging into action to help others, except without the sticky webbing or skin-tight body suit — because I also have a responsibility not to frighten people. Continue reading Apparently, one Fiddler on the Roof actually played a trombone
Everyone needs to get away sometimes. Even rabid squirrels. For those who noticed The Box was missing from last week’s line-up, there’s a good explanation for that — and you may or may not like it, depending on your proximity to a blogger named Kerbey at I Don’t Get It. That’s where Skippy was headed last Tuesday when, following my weekly cry of “RELEASE THE SQUIRREL!” he skittered out the newsroom door and hopped aboard a casino shuttle headed to the Eugene Airport.
As many of you know, Skippy is a crucial part of helping me make a weekly random selection from The Box, which contains dozens of submitted photos that have remained unclaimed and unidentified in our newsroom since the 1980s. To ensure impartiality, I wait until my fellow reporters are deep in thought (deleting all traces of inappropriate Google searches) before spreading the photos on our newsroom floor and releasing Skippy. The photo closest to the first person to scream is selected as our mystery photo. Continue reading Skippy the rabid squirrel is coming to a town near you
That’s right! It’s time once again to RELEASE THE SQUIRREL! And I’m not talking about whatever it is those male ballet dancers have wedged under their tights. No, this is a real live squirrel who, in addition to being named Skippy, also might have rabies.
Why are we releasing him you ask? Fine, so no one actually asked. But if you did, I would explain that it’s part of a complicated selection process that happens here every Tuesday, when we randomly select a photo from a box of dozens that have remained unclaimed and unidentified in our newsroom since the 1980s. To ensure impartiality, I wait until my fellow reporters are deep in thought (on Facebook) before spreading the photos on the floor of our newsroom in a snow-angel fashion. I then release Skippy into the newsroom. The photo closest to the first person who screams is chosen, at which point I put my investigate journalism skills to the test in identifying the photo.
There are certain iconic phrases woven into the fabric of our collective experience. They are phrases which, upon hearing or seeing them, create an anticipation that has been engrained in us since childhood…
“Once upon a time…”
“It was a dark and stormy night…”
“A long time ago, in a galaxy far, far away…”
“RELEASE THE SQUIRREL!”
Only that last example, however, means it’s Tuesday and time for this week’s edition of The Box in our newsroom! For those who might be unfamiliar with this weekly feature, possibly because your parents never read you the fairytale about a magical newsroom that lives in the shadow of a rabid squirrel named “Skippy,” I should probably take a moment to explain so this all makes sense.
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 — whether it be a man or woman — is chosen. Continue reading Photo from The Box reveals link to Harry Potter, Hunger Games
There are a handful of battle cries that have become so deeply woven into the fabric of our culture that they are iconic and timeless:
“REMEMBER THE ALAMO!”
“WE FREE MEN!”
“RELEASE THE SQUIRREL!”
Okay, so that last one may only be iconic on this blog. Nonetheless, it’s a battle cry that goes out every Tuesday, moments before I let “Skippy” the rabid, blindfolded squirrel loose in our newsroom. At first glance, this doesn’t seem to make any sense. But, just like one of those 3D paintings, keep looking at it and things become clear. If you continue staring, though, there’s a good chance Skippy will bite you. So to save time — and possibly a series of rabies vaccine injections — I’ll take a moment to explain what’s going on here.
Welcome to The Box, an exciting Tuesday feature that combines the drama of investigative journalism with the thrill of a wild, blindfolded squirrel. Think of it as “BJ and the Bear,” but with the potential of “Bear” biting “BJ” and giving him rabies.
Each week, I put my 15 years of journalistic experience to the test by identifying a randomly chosen photograph that has remained unclaimed in our newsroom since as far back as the 1980s. What makes this feature especially riveting, aside from its well-timed use of exclamation points! (see?!), is the selection process, which involves:
1) Me dumping The Box of photos directly onto the floor, and
2) Yelling “RELEASE THE SQUIRREL!” before turning “Skippy” loose in the newsroom.
The photo nearest the first person who screams is selected!
It’s Tuesday! That means I have dumped the contents of The Box onto the floor of our newsroom and, in a few moments, I will RELEASE THE SQUIRREL!
However, as I mentioned last week, I have begun to lose the element of surprise now that my fellow reporters are familiar with this weekly ritual. So, to switch things up, I am going to cut the lights seconds before announcing the release of “Skippy,” our wild, blindfolded and slightly rabid squirrel.
Given that our newsroom has no windows, it will be pitch black once I flip the switch.