It’s almost the end of the year, which means it’s time to trot out the old Year-Enders. In the newspaper business, that’s code for “Let’s fill up the paper with all the shit that happened this year so we don’t have to create actual content!” Ha! Don’t laugh too hard. We’ll do it, too. But not here, not now. Forgive us in advance. It will be horrible.
But don’t forgive your Big City Daily. Now, we all know it’s been tough on the Daily Newspaper Industry. Most of them just discovered this Internet thing a few days ago and disaster has struck across the land, killing off daily newspapers by the dozens, depriving the people of their favorite comic strips and daily dose of Billy Graham. To be sure, the Chattanooga Times Free Press has suffered. Why, it used to be two papers, and now it’s just one, except on the editorial page.But nobody reads those pages, do they? No, we didn’t think so.
Still, the TFP remains a sturdy bastion of the Fourth Estate, despite the turmoil and economic devastation, despite the departure of its once-heralded Boy Wonder, J. Todd Foster, who returned to his old stomping grounds to make the paper Great Again only to exit under weird circumstances. Was it ever great? No, we think not. But that sounded good.
And, at this Most Blessed Time of Year, the TFP, like all good Local Daily Newspapers, is preparing their Year-Ender, convening in the Conference Room to decide on the Movers & Shakers, the People of the Year—the people and events that really did impact our lives.
The Brain Trust at the TFP have already popped their corks, swilled the cold, sparkly nectar that has fueled their News-Gathering Machine and the nectar is sweet and good. Its name: Lauren Alaina, she who has given us reams of copy and reams yet to come!
It would be a Less-Than Year at the TFP without the pudgy teen from Jojah, the little Empress of Lake Winnie Who Could! By our count, the Perky Princess of Rossville has appeared in our daily some 126 times since she squealed her way onto a televised talent show, only to finish runner-up to some dopey kid from North Carolina with Dumbo ears. But that matters not, she’s a Star in Our Hearts! And the TFP has dutifully, skillfully, journalistically tracked her trajectory every step of the way.
Along the way, The Brightest Star in Our Orbit has appeared in almost every section of the paper, proving her all-consuming effect upon our daily lives. Most recently, it was reported with that the canny, cutting-edge talent-bookers at Riverbend had managed to book Dimples for their annual splish-splash on the rivah. What a coup!
Of course, Our Wildflower cut her own album somewhere in between losing American Star Machine and all this, which, we’re told, sold in the hundreds at the Walmart. That alone justifies this honor.
So, we’re looking forward to Our Princess being crowned Person of the Year, even though we hardly recognize her now all the baby fat’s been sucked right out of her. Let us relive the fairytale of how this Bright Star was plucked from a life of certain melancholy, a-workin’ at the truck stop and spending those endless rainy nights headlining at Sing It or Wing It.
But let’s enjoy the story for now. Soon, too soon, Our Wildflower will wilt in the shadows as the next Bright Star steps onto the stage of American Warble Teen Sensation. For now, let’s all gather in Courter’s Kitchen and drink in the sickly sweet syrup. Here’s to you, Lauren Alaina, for lifting up our dreary lives!
See you next year at Lake Winnie!