You know the game; mindless television news reporters breathlessly painting word pictures of hundreds of thousands of spectators at the Thanksgiving night ceremony, with endless miles of strung out Christmas lights – enough to reach Sedalia (maybe back).
The bigger the yarn, the better and who’s to say different?
Enter intrepid Kansas City Star reporter Jim Fussell and the FYI section.
In a world where corporate layoffs, an aging readership and a tendency to play fast and loose with hyperbole is the rule – not the exception – Fussell and his FYI cohorts took the total high road. Not that their mission – to lay down a blow job for the Plaza Lights – was a particularly noble one. Those kind of decisions tend to come from higher up.
That said, Fussell knew better than to follow the TV news playbook and float a bunch of outdated, phony crowd and lights numbers. Tempting as it may have been.
Not even in the “Plaza Lights by the Numbers” sidebar box.
Nup, the only anecdotal Plaza Lighting Ceremony number Fussell is guilty of “reporting,” is 16 – reportedly the number of lights strung up at the first Plaza lighting ceremony.
Think of it, sixteen.
Apparently the Plaza was proud enough of it to carve the number into history.
Ever wonder if they exaggerated?
Like maybe there were only 12 lights the first time out, but they wanted to be sure people returned the following year.
Good job, Jim…