Mighty Junction – USA

 

There was a dog that lived in Mighty Junction, USA and every day he would walk the trail southward.  This time he encountered a strange cat along the way and chased it down, nearly catching it when he heard the cats’ owner call out for the nefarious feline.  “Kurt where are you, you wonderful cat?”  A sharp meeeooww and the cat vanished away without a trace. While on the other side of town, a bullet intended for Douglas went astray and blasted through a car window, into a man named Frazier and that wasn’t all the excitement for that day.
Those were just some of the headlines from the Mighty Junction Express.  The Mighty Junction Express was founded nearly forty years earlier by a man who is only known by the name of Grouse.  What did others use as his first name?  When he was addressed it was only as Mr. Grouse.  The Mighty Junction Express was not a newspaper as other papers of the day were; old man Grouse had the idea that there was too much space in the paper that was taken up by too many details surrounding the headlines that were printed in them and so he decided that all that was necessary was the headline and maybe a sentence or two to describe the story.

The rest of the story could be filled in by the reader’s imagination, and that would make for a much more interesting story as well as leaving more room for the headlines that were never mentioned because of a lack of space.  The style of publishing brought along some problems as well, but the money it made was more than the headaches that entered every now and then, so the powers that be kept the format the same.
Mondays’ headlines read in this manner:
FOUR HORSES FOUND IN J. HOGANS FIELD; THEY WERE NOT HIS
THE BIG SALE AT JOHNSONS CANCELLED
TWO LOCAL TEENS FOUND
ZEBRAS AT LOCAL ZOO ESCAPE ALONG WITH A LION
TWO MEN TRAPPED WHILE GAS STATION BURNS


My name is Byron Byline and I recently moved here to Mighty Junction from Bees Knees and let me tell you that I found this newspaper to be rather irresponsible and very unprofessional.  These headlines could have been used as a story prompt for some creative writing paper and that would have been okay.  However, as a headline they worked, but without the complete story to follow they were nothing more than gossip starters.  I knew that more than what the people of Mighty Junction wanted, it was the truth that they needed; so I embarked on the mission of discovering the truth in these stories.  First I will tell you what the general consensus of the people surrounding the story was and then I will disclose to you the truth of the situation.
FOUR HORSES FOUND IN J. HOGANS FIELD; THEY WERE NOT HIS
Here are some of the comments surrounding this headline, the authors of those comments are not being revealed to protect them from any backlash. “You know he stole them, his whole family is nothing but thieves.” “Well, I don’t know how they got in his field, he does, and he’s not saying.” “They probably wandered in through that hole in the fence.” ” I don’t think he has enough money to buy horses, yea; he stole ‘em.””He stole a piece of candy from me when we were kids, and he is still up to his ways.”

Now, here is what I discovered when I asked a few questions and learned the truth.  On Saturday past John Hogan received a phone call from his brother Terry Hogan asking if he could bring his four horses and wagon to his house and they could enter them into the 4th of July celebration being held in Mighty Junction in two weeks.  John Hogan said that would be a great idea and he would get the necessary forms filled out Monday afternoon when he went to town.

The horses arrived early Sunday morning while John was at church and he and his brother went to the fishin’ hole that afternoon to relax.
THE BIG SALE AT JOHNSONS CANCELLED
Again there were various ideas and rumors as to why the sale at Johnson’s Store was cancelled.  “Johnson ran off with another woman” “There was never going to be a sale, it was just a plot to lure us in and get all of our money.” “Why should there be a sale, when no one buys his stuff anyway?”  “Johnson is a tightwad he would never put anything on sale.” You get the idea, just rumors, and no facts.  There was a detective show that I would watch when I was younger and one of the detective’s lines was “Just the facts, Ma’am.”

That is what I am here for to collect the facts and report them.  Johnsons’ Store had advertised a big sale that was fast approaching and there were going to be various items that had never before been available through this local grocer.  Some of those things were large items; a full size refrigerator, an electric stove, a washer and dryer that worked by electricity.  Then there were the smaller items like fabrics in colors other than denim, black and gray.

There were going to be books for children and adults alike; books on History, Adventure, and Classic literature like William Shakespeare, Charles Dickens, and John Bunyan.  There was also going to be toy trucks made of metal and wood for the boys and china dolls for the young girls.  Indeed there was going to be a big sale planned for the 4th of July weekend but due to the fact that the supplier was not going to be able to get the shipment there on time the sale had been cancelled; no one had bothered to ask Mr. Johnson why the sale was cancelled.
TWO LOCAL TEENS FOUND
Some readers out there may have already come to your conclusions on this story as to who the teens were, what they had been involved in and what they were found doing.  If these teens were your kids would you want the facts about the situation or would you be happy with the tradition that has been established by the Mighty Junction Express?  I submit that it would not be the latter of the two choices but instead you would choose to know the whole story.  Upon reading this headline I had to ask myself some questions about situations that would require a person to be found:  Were the teens found doing something illegal?  Were the teens found doing something immoral?  Were the teens found doing something that could hurt them or others?
I did some checking around and I did discover that there were some teens that were involved in some acts that were illegal, some that were immoral and even some that had degrees of both type involved.  Then I had to ask myself what does the word “found” mean?  The word may mean “discovered” as in the sense of being found (discovered) doing something that should not be done. (He was discovered hiding in the room behind the office after breaking into it.)  Or, the word “found” could be (discovered) (they were discovered helping someone carry the many bags of groceries upstairs) Then the word “found” is often used in the sense of what happens when you (discover) something that was lost.
However, by checking with the source of this headline I discovered that by not giving the whole facts of the story the “reporter” has done this community a great injustice.  There were two teenage youth that were found (discovered) by a man and his wife walking home Sunday evening.  The brother and sister both fourteen years old had been out riding together on his horse when the horse got spooked and ran into a tree.  The girl had been knocked from the horse and her brother was trapped under the horse and couldn’t get out from under him.  The horse was unconscious and the girl had broken one of her legs and was unable to go any further than the road and wait for someone to come by and see her. The teens are now at home recuperating from their injuries and the horse never recovered and had to be put down by the local vet.
ZEBRAS AT LOCAL ZOO ESCAPE ALONG WITH A LION
Common sense would tell the person writing this one down, that a headline of this type could, and probably would cause great concern and perhaps distress among the community.

As I made my way through the town of Mighty Junction I was warned by a number of people to be on the lookout for three lions that had killed a zebra and escaped the Mighty Junction Zoo.  When I showed them the copy of the paper and what the headline actually said the response to it was, “I know what the headline says, but this is what happened.  Be careful there is a killer lion on the loose.”  Before I had tracked down the facts of this story that poor lion was responsible for the disappearance of a hundred cats, dog’s squirrels and had even attacked a small child.  As a matter of fact there were a dozen groups of men armed with everything from handguns to large caliber hunting rifles looking for the “rogue” lion.

Now here is what happened according to the Mighty  Junction Zoo staff; the two zebras were bought by LJ Kingsley a lion tamer from the Cowboy Circus and were going to be released on a wild game preserve that the circus had established for the protection of exotic animals.

The source had overheard the words; escape, zoo, and the word lion as Kingsley told the waitress at the diner what he was working on and the source decided that with those three words he could build an exciting headline.
TWO MEN TRAPPED WHILE GAS STATION BURNS
This particular headline, or rather the comments that it caused resulted great dissension amongst the firefighters’ at Engine Co. 45, because they had searched the service station at fifth and main for any signs of life while they were fighting the blaze that was in the back of the building.  As a matter of fact one firefighter had been seriously wounded during the battle against the blaze. They were sure that there was no one inside the building when the order was given to allow the fire to burn itself out.  There were the rumors that with this headline being made known that there was to be further investigation into this company’s qualification to continue fighting fires.

However, the facts that I uncovered while investigating this story show that the members of Engine co. 45 did their very best in fighting this fire and there were two men that were trapped, but they were trapped in the building across the street, a shoe store that had been locked up while the men were in the back room hiding out from the police that were looking for them for setting fires in the town of Brownsburg.  They had set the fire at the gas station and hid themselves in the shoe store to watch it burn.  When the owner of the shoe store came back later that evening and found the men there they told him that they had been in the bathroom when the store was shut down and could not get out.  When asked why they had not used the phone they said they tried but the line was dead, oddly enough the line had been cut from the outside.
There have been a great many residents here that have commented that they wish the paper would report the news stories as well as the headlines in their paper and the editor from the Mighty Junction Express could not be found for a comment.

The top headline in the next day’s paper read as follows:  BUSINESS AS USUAL AT THE EXPRESS
My mission in this life has been established and it will continue in the town of Mighty Junction, USA.

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