Tuesday, 18 April 2017 16:47

Talk of the Towns for April 19, 2017

Written by  Staff

Beats hospital food

Talkers were happy to hear that quick, thoughtful action by an administrator at a Statesville hospital in early April kept things calm, peaceful and groovy when it was discovered that a batch of cookies and muffins distributed to hospital staff were unknowingly baked with cannabis oil.

Somehow — and don’t you know the family member planning the party at home was sorely disappointed — a batch of marijuana-laced cookies and muffins (and Talkers never knew or just can’t remember if you can get the munchies while eating munchies) were mistakenly brought to a work station inside Davis Regional Medical Center and, before anyone knew what was happening, everything on that floor got really, really mellow.

That is until a few of the laid-back cookie crunchers overdid it and got to feeling a little woozy. Staff performance got sluggish when some workers complained they just weren’t feeling right and a few others got preoccupied ordering pizza, but before things got completely discombobulated a team leader bravely stepped in and confiscated the tainted snacks.

Talkers imagine the items were carefully stored and then personally hauled away when the shift ended, and furthermore believe that the fast-acting administrator deserves all the accolades — high praise indeed — for those selfless actions.

It’s always somethin’

On multiple occasions, Talkers have used this space to rant about incidents where social media posters and some television news folks have made a mockery of the truth or, worse yet, pulled down a few strings of information from dubious sources to catapult themselves toward a catastrophic conclusion that, despite those origins, is nevertheless shared with the world.

An unfolding of facts recently in Mooresville provided yet another example of how rushing to say something first, instead of finding out what really happened, can cause not only unwarranted anxiety but also fuel a disastrous dissemination of misinformation.

In April, personal postings ran amok when it was reported that a “stalker” had pestered a woman and her daughter inside two retail outlets in Mooresville. In a frighteningly swift, Internet-enhanced version of the Telephone Game, the report grew into a full-grown manhunt and women and children were warned that a vicious pervert was on the prowl.

A local TV news crew pounced on the incident, but the irony of their report — which included statements that the evil man was acting in a “suspicious nature” and that the juvenile girl in question had been “grabbed” — was that it included this statement by a Mooresville police officer: “The challenge with an investigation of this nature is the panic this type of incident creates through the community. In this age of social media, the information that gets posted, shared or copied can often be taken out of context or some facts changed completely from the initial incident.”

Yeah. Exactly.

Thanks to in-store video and an actual search for the facts, we know it turns out the girl in question had rounded a corner while leaving the restroom and bumped into a visually impaired man who was on his way to the men’s room. The man was concerned that the girl may have been injured and held her shoulders while making sure she was okay.

In the late 1970s, in the heyday of Saturday Night Live, Gilda Radner created the character “Emily Litella” who appeared as a local news guest commentator pontificating on controversial topics she had misinterpreted — like “busting school children” and “violins on television.” When provided with the truth, Emily didn’t alter her argument or look for someone to blame. She would just pause, look in the camera, and calmly say, “Never mind.”

In an age when technology makes it easy to sprint willy-nilly down the wrong path, maybe its time for that catchphrase to enjoy a revival.

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