Today's shift in the newsroom started like any other Sunday afternoon shift. Very little local news, and only a select few national and international stories that had strong enough content to add to the day's report.
As always, I began my scan of around 30 sites that I look to for content, hoping to find enough for 8 stories for each of at least 3 different newscasts. I checked all of the usual suspects, the newspaper, radio, and television sites of any media outlet in the expansive region covered by the station.
My first glance only produced one major regional story, that being the vote by workers at the CAMI plant in Ingersoll. I knew that would be the big story of the day on a regional level, so I added the story and moved on with my first set of casts.
I took a second look around 5:00, scanning the same 30 sites in the hopes that some eager reporter would try to make headlines by being the first to post about a major story. What I would soon find would have me almost in tears with laughter.
As I mentioned, my circuit of scanning includes all media throughout the region, spanning west to Chatham, south to Cleveland, east to Stoney Creek, and north to Mount Forest. One of those sites was the Guelph Mercury. It was there where I would find the story. All I had to do was read the headline and I knew it was GOLD.
"Car hits deer, deer hits jogger"
I thought it was some kind of cruel joke, or at least what it literally sounded like. But no, it was exactly that.
"In a bizarre accident Sunday morning, the body of a deer that was struck by a vehicle flew through the air and collided with a jogger."
Now maybe it is just my sense of humour, but I can honestly say that in almost a decade as a member of the media I have never laughed that hard. Quite literally, a driver had hit a deer, which is sad don't get me wrong, but the deer then flew through the air and hit a jogger.
Seriously folks, play out the odds of that happening for a second. I think lightning striking the same person five times has better odds than that does. What an incredible fluke...
I spent a good 5 minutes laughing, told everyone within shouting distance, the one person in the building, and then posted about it on my twitter. For me, it was the exact boost of inspiration I needed to get back to work.
Inspiration, I know how ridiculous that sounds. But in a society filled with the reporting of depressing news, and with the non-stop barrage of stories about the crumbling economy, this produced a laugh unlike no other before it. Yes, it was sad that the deer did not survive the accident and that there is a ver yserious lesson to be learned about the need for drivers to be cautious, but through all of that, a glimmer of light to liven up a rather mundane, negative newscast on another gloomy winter Sunday.
Call it not funny, call it rather sad. For me, it was just the kind of comical story with a side of a valuable lesson, that was needed.