Friday, August 14, 2009

An Equivalence: News and Poos

If you don't mind some slightly crude satire, here's another thing which might put a smile on your face. Susan B remarked recently that it would benefit our country if the mainstream media died a swift and merciful death. I found a site called Kill the Strib which finds itself athwart the Minneapolis Star Tribune (aka, The Strib) shouting "enough already". The site is a knock-off on the overly ardent propaganda site "Save the Strib" and it boldly announces in the sidebar:

While we appreciate comments from all vantage points, this site is totally a forum for political viewpoints. If you have a problem with the newspaper's content, we suggest that you post here the comment that was deleted at However, we are also looking for comments in defense of the Star Tribune, as we would very much like to point at you and laugh.

Here's the aforementioned satirical post consisting of a letter to the editor asking for business advice for a new venture. Here's the letter content:

Knowing of your newspaper’s reputation for service to the community and its unflagging efforts to improve the business climate in Minneapolis, I take the liberty of writing for advice.

Studies show that burglars avoid homes with large dogs such as Doberman, Rottweiler or German Shepard. But large dogs are expensive to buy, to maintain (food and veterinary care), and are time-consuming (walking, grooming). This hardest hits working families with lower incomes, who often live in crime-ridden areas.

It occurs to me that a homeowner doesn’t actually need a dog to deter burglars. All that matters is that the burglar believes the homeowner has a large dog. If a burglar sees big piles of dog shit randomly scattered around the front yard, he’s likely to conclude that the home has a large dog, and prudently bypass that home in favor of an easier target.

I have started a new business, a virtual canine protection service, for people who desire the appearance of owning a large dog without the expense and time commitment. I want to start a dog shit delivery service. My service would bring fresh dog shit and fling it on people’s lawns every day (early in the morning, of course, so the burglars don’t see me do it). The customers would pick up the dog shit during the day, when burglars casing the joint would see the customers working and become convinced that this particular home must house a very big, very regular, dog. Maybe several.

The reason I’m writing to you is that I’m been having trouble marketing the service. As crazy as it sounds, some people just don’t want dog shit thrown on their lawns. I couldn’t figure out how to get people to see the value in a pile of dog shit, until I thought of you.

I don’t read the paper and don’t want it delivered to my house. But I find the paper on my lawn quite often. The copies that don’t get soggy and freeze to the steps blow all around the yard. When I called the newspaper, I was told these were “complimentary copies” delivered so I could sample the product to see if I’d like to subscribe. Apparently, there’s no way to “unsubscribe” from this “service” as my repeated requests have fallen on deaf ears. Your Marketing Department has been a model of persistence. I want to adopt their methods.

I’d like to start delivering dog shit to peoples’ lawns. I was hoping to start with yours. I need a few people to test my service to see how effective it is – would you mind if I throw dog shit on your lawn for a few weeks? It would really help me out, and who knows, you might like the product so much that you’ll subscribe! As a special bonus, I’ll bring a can of Mountain Dew and pour some in well-chosen spots. Nothing says “big dog” like yellow holes drilled knee-high in a snow bank.

By the way, I wonder if you had trouble with perceptions, early on? When I pitched my ideas to focus groups, some people were concerned that unsolicited dog-shit deliveries might not be well received. There was considerable feeling that pissing off your potential customers was a poor way to increase market share. I pointed out that the Star Tribune has persisted in exactly this tactic despite declining circulation and plummeting revenues, so there must be a good reason for doing it. My remarks were not well received. Have you had similar feedback?

Thanks for taking time to read this letter. I’m excited about this new business opportunity and I very much appreciate any advice you can give me. I’m serious about signing you up as a product tester – I’d be happy to dump a fresh, hot load of steaming dog shit on your lawn to pay you back for the many “complimentary” newspapers I’ve received. Where do you live?

Hoping to hear from you soon, I remain,

Very Truly Yours,
Virtual Canine Protective Services, LLC

Damn, I wish I had thought of this great idea.


  1. Oh, Lord that was hilarious! :-D

    For many months after letting the subscription run out on the local paper (Pensacola News Journal), I continued to get a copy every day. Since I read news mainly off the Internet, I subscribed for my Mom's reason. However, my Mom was the one who told me to drop the paper, so I did.

  2. Even mags such as Sports Illustrated are hurting, I think. They stole my husband's credit card # illegally from a purchase at a big box store and sent us unwanted magazines for years. We had to change credit card #s after they updated our subscription without our permission. Okay, they're either desperate or evil. Or both.