Can Watching TV Cause Chlamydia?

Hank: Sometimes a critic can be wrong without even typing a word. Take “Jersey Shore,” for example.

When this guido/guidette group-house reality show debuted on MTV last December, my schedule was full and my eyes were tired and the show gave off a stench of Axe all-over body spray that was just too strong. The idea seemed redundant after decades of well-documented Spring Break and “Real World” debaucheries that came before, and watching a few minutes of that first “Jersey Shore” episode, I wondered if watching a TV show could actually cause chlamydia.

So that’s how Snooki snuck by me.

Milestone

Check the name in the upper right-hand corner. That’s right. Now read his story, Thumbing His Way Back Home: Before we talk about sacrifice, or phantom blackbirds, or the Chipper Jones Momentum-Turn Hypothesis, let me tell you about the time Bobby Cox demolished a toilet with one bare hand.

It happened at Shea Stadium. Braves shortstop Darrel Chaney slid into home, and the plate umpire called him out, and Chaney raised enough Cain to get himself ejected. Cox was so furious on his player’s behalf that he went to the bathroom by the dugout and visited justice upon the toilet. Chaney saw the shattered tank, the gushing water, and he loved the skipper for what he had done.

Chaney decided he would do anything for Bobby Cox, even ride the bench without complaint, which he did for most of the 1979 season. He played so seldom in the dusk of his career that he basically forgot how, and by mid-September his average had fallen to .111. Cox called him into the office.

They’re not renewing your contract, he said. They’re gonna release you. But I’ll play you as much as I can these last two weeks, so other clubs can see you.

Chaney was a career .217 hitter. He went out those last two weeks and hit .333 for Bobby Cox. And then he retired.

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Sniffin’ Out Stories

Looking forward to seeing how this experiment goes. From the Washington Post’s Story Lab: There’s a truism in journalism that says stories are everywhere, that every person contains the material for a story that can reveal to readers some essential truth about who we are and the pressing questions of our time.

To test that theory, six Washington Post reporters this Wednesday will fan out to coffee houses in Virginia, Maryland and the District to find stories that tell us something about the way we live today. These may be stories about individual people who are struggling to make ends meet, or to find love or happiness, or to map out their futures. Or they may be stories about places and events that shape our lives. Each reporter is tasked with finding a story in one room, one gathering spot. The reporters have just a few hours to identify their story, report it out, write it up and send it in to their editor.

Teamwork

Step aside, Woodward and Bernstein. Here come Montgomery and Kruse.

This is the first byline I can remember seeing them share at the St. Petersburg Times. (I know they had at least one at the Times Herald-Record). Anyway, it happens to be one crackerjack of a story.

I’ve got only one complaint. Between the two of them, they couldn’t seem to conjure up the brand of Jose Linares’s favorite light beer. (Or who knows — maybe it got cut somewhere along the assembly line.) There’s an old saying about that. At the St. Petersburg Times, you always get the name of the dog and the brand of the beer.

All right, I’m done giving them a hard time. This is inspiring work:

TAMPA — Two men live at the end of Caron Road in Tampa in homes divided by a narrow fence. They have been at odds for almost 10 years. One man plays his music too loud. The other man calls the police.

This is how it was until January 22, when police caller had a few beers and shouted across the fence to music lover. Then came words and threats and fists. There was a trial and a guilty verdict. And then the sentencing fell to Judge Paul Huey, last week, in Courtroom 19.

Would he send the man to jail? Would he sentence him to probation? Or in the interest of a more cosmic justice would he do something he’s never done before?

The Hot Day He Saved Papa

Stephanie Hayes: PALM HARBOR — Mikey Enfield called his grandpa on a blazing hot Monday.

Could he help with the yard sale? He loved spending days with his grandparents. And grandpa was of the same mind.

Jack Enfield picked up Mikey, and they hauled tables and boxes from Jack’s warehouse. Jack, a former Marine who goes hard and heavy, didn’t stop or drink water.

The guys went to Olga’s restaurant. Mikey got the biscuit and gravy, and his grandpa got poached eggs.

Jack’s face was white.

The Unexpected Hero

Gary Smith: ENTER A MAN. EVEN AT 60,in pajamas, his body’s hard and ready, a fist. He lies down on his bed, and soon he’s in it again, the dream in which the football’s in his right arm and the enemy’s coming at him. He can never make out uniforms or colors, so he can never be sure if they’re Chiefs, and he’s about to bounce outside and beat two of them around the corner, then hurdle the third and outsprint the rest, the way he did on that 50-yard screen pass against them 30 years ago … or they’re Raiders, and he’s about to tunnel through and shrug off the five who have him surrounded, as he did on that 54-yard bolt … or they’re even Kansas Jayhawks, and he’s about to carve ‘em up for five touchdowns, leaving their coach—who’d traveled to Syracuse with Gale Sayers—murmuring, “That was the greatest performance by any back I’ve ever seen.”