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February 02. 2014 4:54PM

Joe McQuaid's Publisher's Notebook: Glad to get emails; well, one of 'em, anyway


 

Two emails of note crossed the publisher's desk last week. I'm glad I got the first one. I still shudder at the second.

"Dear Sir:

"It is always disappointing to find obvious spelling or grammatical mistakes in newspapers. So I call your attention to the misspelling and/or misuse of the word 'trusty' in this article. Trusty is an adjective while the proper word/spelling that should be used here is the noun 'trustee.'"

"Thank you."

No, dear reader, thank you. It happens that our use of "trusty" as a noun was correct in the story referenced. But it is such an obscure use that we should at least put the word in quotes or, when we can, explain it.

A "trusty" is "a trusted person; specifically a convict granted special privileges as a trustworthy person."

So reads my trusty dictionary. The story was about a not-so-trustworthy "trusty" who was left alone at the East Kingston police department and allegedly stole drugs.

The second e-mail comes from Thomas Q. Public, a very trustworthy source, who told this tale:

A guy I know and his wife, in order to improve their healthy lifestyle, decide to go and buy bicycles. The wife picks a sedate-looking three speed and takes it on a test spin. Behind the bike shop is a small parking lot and a kids' park with a small circular fountain/wading pool. The wife returns satisfied with the bike.

The husband (often described as a 10-year-old mind in an 80-year-old body) decides to try a flashy, 17-speed rocket.

Things start out well, he is shifting gears and gaining speed and thinking smugly, "Hey, it's like riding a bike."

As he negotiates the small circular pool, the bike pedal catches on the lip of the fountain.

Now airborne, he stops briefly on the concrete rim before entering the fountain proper and totally submerging in three feet of water.

His first thought upon regaining his feet is to salvage the cell phone in his pocket. Remarkably, it emerges intact.

His second thought is in the form of a question: "Why is the water I am standing in turning pink?"

Walking the $479 dollar bike back to the shop (oh, yeah, it is now non-functional) and passing a restaurant patio filled with people having lunch, he is soaking wet, dripping water and bleeding profusely from abrasions on both hands, elbow and three places on his right leg.

He realizes what absolute humiliation really is. Minutes later he also realizes what a cracked rib feels like.

Back home, the couple decides to reevaluate the "let's buy a bike and get healthy" decision; and hubby has his third epiphany of the day — he will realize what boredom really feels like as he will not be playing golf for at least 3 weeks.

While recuperating, the husband has but one wish — that no one captured the episode on camera.

He will spend his days praying and searching YouTube.

Thanks for the emails.

Write to Joe McQuaid at Publisher@UnionLeader.com or on Twitter at @Deucecrew


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