Thursday, January 10, 2008

"Knock Knock!" "Who's there?" "Johnny Depp!"

First, thanks to all who took part in last night's "Wednesday Web Chat." It looks like we had 20+ folks bop in and out between 8:30 and 9:30 p.m. Hope to have you along on future Wednesdays.

There's a car that's now gone from in front our newsroom on Main Street, and we're all pretty glad for it. It was driven to our station a few days ago by a woman who claimed she had a big news story to tell us about. As I'm told, once inside our office, the woman began screaming at a producer and a photographer .. and made claims that people were out to kill her. She then fled from the office and screamed her way on to a nearby metro bus and disappeared. Akron Police say she has mental problems. You think? Nevertheless, the woman's car sat out in front of our office for a while making us nervous until yesterday.

It's not the first time strangers have arrived at the front door and then gotten loud at our newsroom. A few years ago a woman wandered in to the office and accused us all of being "wolves in sheep's clothing." She exclaimed that we were covering up a government meat experiment in New Jersey that was making people sick. She eventually left too, but I tried to explain that if that if her story were true, we would be the first to shout it from the mountain tops.

One time a man came to the door dressed like a pirate looking for work; our producer said the only job we had open at the time was in the weather department and he replied, "that sounds good." I can only imagine how our evening newscast would look if I pitched to a swashbuckling Jack Sparrow for the forecast. Instead of using maps with names of our local cities, he could just use an "X to mark the spot!"

Over the years we've also had people wander in looking to use our computers to surf the Net .. probably mistaking us for the downtown library. Others show up at the door expecting to see the folks from the Today Show since "this is NBC, right?" I've had folks bring me info and checks to list their family's obituaries in the Beacon Journal and they get mad when I tell them that it's down the street a few blocks.

Another time we called police when a woman came to the door telling us her son was possessed by the devil and that she felt he had wires in his body. The paramedics already knew her on a first-name basis.

Still, my favorite is probably the guy who called telling me that Akron Police had planted a transmitter in his stomach during a traffic stop. I asked him how he knew this, and he told me that ever since that traffic stop, he saw police officers everywhere he went. For fun, I called city spokesman Mark Williamson for an official comment and he responded with, "we're not that smart." Ironically, that man later tried to rob a bank and wouldn't you know it, there was a uniformed Akron Police Officer in the bank at the time. Maybe he was right about that transmitter all along?????

No comments: