And the award for most unnecessarily depressing dispatch from the New York Times goes to…

One of the more “awww”-inspiring YouTube clips making the rounds this holiday season is “How to Wrap a Cat for Christmas,” a quasi-instructional clip in which a man gently encases his patient tuxedo cat, Flippy, in Santa-themed paper.

But like many a Christmas fable, the reality behind the video is a bit of a bummer. Flippy the cat is dead.

What, they ask, does a creature that lives to chew shoes and chase tennis balls really know about himself and his surroundings?

These questions are intriguing enough when applied to household pets — do they know why they’re not allowed on the couch? That we are coming home again? That the houseguests do not like to be sniffed and jumped on? — but downright trippy when it comes to dogs like Bo. All of a sudden, photographers shoulder one another aside to snap his picture, and the president of the United States scampers behind him.

Does Bo wonder, in whatever way he might be capable, what all the fuss is about? Does he know he’s the most famous dog in the world?

Yes — or he soon will, said Cecelia Ruggles, a Connecticut dog breeder who owns Stump, the Sussex spaniel who won Best in Show at the Westminster Kennel Club show this year.

Oh, just…wow.

As I stood near the TKTS booth writing this thought in my notebook, I realized that: “Hey, I’m writing in my notebook while standing up wearing a blanket. These sleeves are handy.”

Then a woman in red stockings who was promoting the musical “Chicago” came tap-dancing over to me. “You’ve got my favorite blanket on!” she said. She had forgotten its proper name. “It’s a, um, Huggy?”

She handed me a flier for the show, which I was able to take easily because Snuggie has sleeves. I did not have anywhere to put it, however, because Snuggie does not have pockets. As I twisted to reach for the back pocket of my pants, the clingy Snuggie pulled away from my shirt and discharged a powerful bolt of static onto a sensitive area of my chest.


On a regular basis, I bemoan my lack of pitchable ideas for newspaper/magazine stories to my friends. I didn’t realize the NYT was willing to print whatever bizarre brain-drippings any old weirdo can come up with. I think I’m finally ready to pitch. I’ll start with a trend piece about people who mock bizarre NYT articles.

I don’t know what’s more alarming about this article, the condescending, congratulatory tone of the writer who is clearly so proud of himself for doing his part to help the homeless by giving them copyediting lessons, or this passage:

"I took down the names and phone numbers of many of my street clients. All said they would display the signs I made for them, and on Monday night I telephoned a few to ask if the message had yet had any effect."

I’m sorry, if you can afford a telephone of any kind, you shouldn’t be a freaking panhandler.

Thought the media had already covered every possible angle of the Miracle on the Hudson Flight 1549 crash? Think again!

Clothes, though, may be a minor part of a passenger’s baggage. Mr. Gamache lost a laptop, too, and the keys to two vehicles, one of them a push-button start key that he said would cost $400 to replace. He said he received conflicting instructions from the airline and its insurance company, AIG, about whether he could go out and replace everything.

“Karma, right?” he said. “I just survived a plane crash. I’m not going to do anything that could make someone mad.”

And Mr. Wentzell lost a box of Special K cereal that he travels with, for a lower-cholesterol breakfast than hotels usually provide.

This is a real article, printed in a real paper, that shows why print media is really, really screwed. Seriously, he lost his box of Special damned K. Let’s take up a collection for the poor sod and get him a replacement box of crunchy goodness!

First — on Groundhog Day, no less — Chuck botched the biggest photo opportunity of his not-quite-3-year-old life. He chomped on Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg’s index finger.

That raised a question for follow-up: Would Tuesday’s Chuck be any kinder or gentler?

So the zookeepers trotted him out for another photo op. Only one camera and two reporters showed up this time.

That word “trotted” is a problem. It suggests politeness. It suggests civility. It suggests everything that Chuck was not as he went rampaging across the stage in the zoo’s auditorium, knocking over a prop-size statue of a giraffe.

Then one of the photographers put a photograph of Mr. Bloomberg where Chuck could not miss it. Chuck rubbed his lips on the corner of the picture frame. He was not making nice — it looked as if he had bared his teeth. But the mayor should not take this personally. Chuck did the same to everything he rubbed up against before he jumped off the stage and waddled around the auditorium for a victory lap, Chuck style.

Two comments:

A) Slow news day, Times? Seriously.

B) If I was within biting-distance of Bloomberg, I’d probably go for it, too.