FLOODED as we are with news from all directions, it makes sense to be selective. For example, I just saw the headline, “Jogger Recounts Killing Mountain Lion With His Bare Hands.” It was supposed to entice me to click on it and read the story, at the same time opening me up to lots of paid advertising, which is after all what the Internet is all about. But why would I want to read such a gruesome story?
One reason might be that I could someday find myself in that very situation and thus would know what to do. It’s highly unlikely, unless a traveling zoo passing through my little town had some sort of mechanical breakdown and a mountain lion broke free from its cage and made its way to my home, and I was outside doing yard work and—well.
If that happened I would just lay down and die, thinking, “Huh, so this is how I go,” because there is no way, with any amount of training, that I could kill a mountain lion, or any sort of lion, with my bare hands. Or even with gloved hands. Maybe if I had a gun (something I have never held in my life) I might fire off a shot, but chances are I’d miss and he’d just get madder. It’s too horrible to consider.
I also did not click on any of these headlines, for obvious reasons having to do with falling asleep at night:
“Teen Texts for Help, Then Cops Arrive to A Chilling Scene“
“Man Gives Stranger $200, Then Meets Truly Grim Fate”
“Reason Plane Cabin Lights Are Dimmed Should Terrify You“
“Rare Instances of Kate Middleton Not Being Camera Ready”
However, I did click on this one: “Man Allegedly Shuts Hot Tub Lid On Wife, Drowning Her.” Since I have both a hot tub and a husband, it seemed like information I might actually use should my marriage suddenly go downhill or if my husband and I become alcoholics, either of which could potentially happen considering the sorry state of the world today. (As my grandfather always said, “You never know.”)
Andrea Rouda blogs at The Daily Droid.