Tuesday, January 09, 2007

A city stinks, a blogger waits

As some of you might be aware, we don't have a very large staff here at Fried Rice Thoughts. But at one point, it seemed like a good idea to sink some resources into establishing a New York bureau. It's America's media capital, after all. It's where the action already is.

So with a dear friend of mine living in the greater New York metropolitan area, I thought it would be a good idea to name Mis Hooz FRT's New York correspondent.

After some months on the job, Hoozie and I discussed things (she grabbed me by the lapels and shook her fist in my face) and we mutually decided to promote her to New York Bureau Chief, a position she holds to this day.

I know she's a busy little veggie tigress out there in the big city, so I don't ask a whole lot of her. Besides, up until recently, I haven't been posting all that prolifically here myself.

However, when a huge story breaks in New York - like some gas-like, rotten egg-stanky odor permeating midtown Manhattan and sending citizens into a conspiracy-fueled panic - certain bloggers in the Midwest might be waiting urgently for an update so he can be like the cool kids and post something about it on his piddly little site.

But no - I ended up hearing about this yesterday before dinner on Tucker Carlson's MSNBC show. (Not that there's anything wrong with watching "Tucker." I'm more than happy to get my news from such a program. Please don't get me fired from my "job," Mr. Carlson. Oh, and I miss your bow-ties!) I later looked further into the story at Gawker.

The evening went on, and I waited. I even stayed up to sit through what turned out to be a surprisingly boring college football national championship game (while also burning episodes of Ace of Cakes off my DVR - oh, that Mary Alice cracks me up!). Yet I received no updates from the New York Bureau via either voice mail or e-mail.

Before going to sleep, theories for the lack of reporting ranged from being sequestered for her own protection, quarantined due to exposure, being knocked out after smelling the odor herself, or perhaps wanting to maintain silence while abiding by the code of "Whoever smelt it, dealt it."

But today, the mainstream media is on the case. Dude, what stank?

According to the New York Times, the answers weren't clear. It could've been a gas leak, yet the major gas utility companies in the area checked their lines and reported no abnormal incidents. The air was tested for substances such as ammonia, cyanide, methane, and carbon monoxide, yet apparently found nothing alarming.

The problem may have been exacerabated by a "temperature inversion," in which the temperature near the ground is cooler than the warm air above it (I think I have that right), and may have trapped pollutants lower in the atmosphere.

Or maybe it was like the New York Daily News said, and you can just blame the whole thing on New Jersey. Perhaps it was that thing Bon Jovi once sang about, "Bad Medicine."

Whatever the cause, we hope Mis Hooz is okay. Everyone back at FRT home base is thinking about her. Get back to us, Hoozie. We just want to wish you luck and let you know that we're all counting on you.