First Words — 29 June 2013
The stories The Onion must have overlooked

 Speechwriters for the Obama Administration say there is just nothing stirring or inspirational here whatsoever. “I just can’t see us having to use Ft. Lauderdale as the embodiment of America’s resolve and dogged perseverance any time soon.”
from The Onion, May 9, 2013

By Mark Gauert

City & Shore Magazine

I leave home in a rush, resolved to find something stirring or inspirational here whatsoever. Before you can say “dogged perseverance,’’ I do.

“Sometime between Thursday, May 2nd and Sunday May 5th,’’ reads a flier taped to a light pole steps from my door, “a person/persons stole most of the ducks from the lake WITHOUT THE AUTHORIZATION OF OUR HOA.” (Their caps, not mine).

Take THAT, The Onion, I say. (My caps, not theirs).

Here is an inspiring and stirring story about some good person in my neighborhood – a suburb of the very Ft. Lauderdale The Onion savages – rising to defend innocent ducks. Or, possibly, Home Owners Associations. But probably ducks.

“What?” you might ask. “Why would anyone steal ducks?” This is off topic, but one theory (floated in a subsequent newspaper story about the ducknapping), is that, “Trappers parked at the edge of the lake at dusk or dawn fed the ducks bread laced with sedatives and then collected the ducks, likely with the intent to sell them.

“I’m sure they’re making their way into a restaurant,” a source in the newspaper story said.

That’s just a theory, of course, and totally off topic unless you’re contemplating the duck à l’orange. What really matters is that if I can find an inspiring, stirring story moments after leaving my own front yard, we are all likely to be surrounded by similarly inspiring, stirring stories The Onion conveniently overlooked. We just have to look for them.

I walk back in my house and, sure enough, almost immediately find something else inspiring and stirring on the front page of the Sun Sentinel – a newspaper based in the very Ft. Lauderdale The Onion savages. The 100+ Abandoned Dogs of Everglades Florida, a nonprofit group lead by Amy Roman, has been rescuing dogs that a person/persons have been leaving to starve in the Everglades.

“We have been really impressed with her work,’’ says Stephanie Scott, spokesman for the SPCA International. “It’s a difficult job. It’s dangerous and it takes a lot of effort.’’

Take THAT, too, I say. (My caps again).

Here are just two stirring and inspirational stories The Onion “conveniently’’ chose to “ignore” in its “reporting,” perhaps because they didn’t quite “mesh” with the “script” of their so-called “story.’’ (My “quotation” marks).

“What?” you might ask. “Why would anyone take The Onion seriously?” This is off topic again … but, wait, are you saying The Onion is a satirical publication?


I leave the house for work, resolved to find something stirring or inspirational from this revelation. And, talking with our staff writers and contributors, I do. Each of them offers a non-satirical story about something stirring and inspirational about South Florida. Dining writers John Tanasychuk and Rebecca Cahilly, for example, reveal their favorite restaurants here; wine writer Bob Hosmon, his places for wine; Greg Carannante, his can’t-miss, upcoming shows this summer; Design Writer Charlyne Varkonyi Schaub, her favorite home & decor pieces … and more, starting on pg. 79.

More than enough, whatsoever, to peel an Onion.

-—Mark Gauert

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