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Wednesday, September 07, 2005

It's All in the Spin

UPDATE: Here's a challenge for you. After reading, see if you can write a "spin," like this one, either based on a story we would all know, or tell us the real story first and follow with the spin. Let me know if you do it, I'd love to read.
I did not write the following. It has been in my files for a long time, came to me somehow even before internet, although it is the kind of thing you might have received in a junk email. I like it well enough to share, though. In fact, I like it a lot. The power of well-chosen words.

A prominent local family was preparing to celebrate the 80th birthday of the family patriarch. His children wanted to give him something truly special for the occasion, and they decided to hire a writer to research and prepare a report on their family tree. They hired a geneological writer, and he went to work.

After several months of research, the writer returned to the family to report on some of the highlights of their history.

"By far the most interesting member of your family was Uncle George," the writer commented.

The patriarch's children looked at one another, and each said that they had never heard of an Uncle George. Was the writer certain his research was correct?

"Absolutely," the writer asured them. "Uncle George was in the branch of the family that moved to the Chicago area in the late '20s. There he met and went to work for Al Capone. He was hired by Capone to guard liquor warehouses during Prohibition. He was on the job one night when Eliot Ness came to raid the warehouse, and there was a gunfight. When the smoke cleared, it turned out that your Uncle George had shot and killed an FBI agent. George was tried and convicted, and was eventually executed in the electric chair at Sing Sing."

The family was horrified. They thanked the writer for his work, but said that they would have to think of another gift to give their father. With Uncle George in the family tree, their father would be ashamed, and since he had lived this long without knowing about Uncle George, they decided it would be best to leave it that way.

But the writer reassured them. "Trust me," he said. I'm a professional. You have nothing to worry about." The family reluctantly agreed to let him continue the family tree project. When the final report was delivered, they grabbed it and turned right to the paragraph on Uncle George of Chicago. It read:

George moved to the Chicago area in the late 1920s, where he was closely associated with the legal community, and active in some of the most historically significant events of the day. He eventually made a killing in his chosen profession. George was a man who endured many trials in his life, and he emerged from them with strong convictions. The last position he held was a seat in applied electronics at a major federal institution. This was a very secure position, and one to which George was strongly bound until his untimely death. Many were shocked by George's demise, but none so much as George himself.

23 heads are better than one . . .

Blogger mrtl said...



That's fantastic! =)

Blogger JessicaRabbit said...

Most entertaining and amusing. But now I have the song, You spin me right round baby right round like a record baby right round, round round, Stuck in my head, and I blame you.

Blogger Bucky Four-Eyes said...

Well, the new post did not give you blog lift in IE. Hmmmmph. I'll have to do some exploratory later today and see what I can see.

Jess - YOUTHQUAKE! Aren't you a little young to be referencing 80s music?

Blogger Susie said...

thank you, mrtl and SHE! Glad you enjoyed.

jess, how about this: I'm so dizzy, my head is spinnin'; like a whirlpool that never ends; and it's you, girl makin' it spin; you're makin' me DIZZY! OR
Will it go round in circles?
Or are you way too young for both?

bucky, well Doc, if you can't fix it, I guess I could just remove the map. That is, perform a mapectomy.

Blogger Bucky Four-Eyes said...

OK, let me try this comment as ME!

Susie, I believe WWIT is now uplifted and ready for deployment.


Blogger whfropera said...

BFE - I still have that Dead or Alive on an extended play VINYL mix.
(laughs and laughs)

Blogger Susie said...

thank you, doctor bucky!, although you did freak me out for a minute there -- what? I'm commenting to myself now! What'd I say? Shit, I don't remember saying that! aaaggghhh!

Anonymous lawbrat said...

That is great. What a use of words. Really makes you think.

Blogger Bucky Four-Eyes said...

Doctor Bucky...oh, what license that gives me...

Who's next?
*pulls rectal thermometer from freezer*

Blogger LadyBug said...

Too funny.

Anonymous peefer said...

Funny, and a somewhat frightening how words can be spun so well.

Blogger OldHorsetailSnake said...

So how did they get the words "Sing Sing" out of Ossining, N.Y.?

Blogger Von Krankipantzen said...

That guy should write resumes for a living. He'd make serious bucks.

Blogger eclectic said...

Nothing like good old fashioned white wash, eh? That was a great read -- thanks, Susie.

Blogger Nina said...

Some people do that really, really well. Thanks for the laugh today.

Blogger Squirl said...

Hey, Susie, I love your spin story. I'd have to give some to that if I were to write one.

And that's Tommy Roe, Dizzy!

Blogger SassyFemme said...

Oh how funny and bizzare!

Blogger Susie said...

lawbrat, isn't this what you lawyers do? ;)

bucky, you make me shiver!

hi, ladybug!

peefer, it can be frightening. I couldn't post on the news anymore, but what's going on there made me remember that I had this piece. This is sort of what we live with today, media-wise, I fear.

hoss, why you asking me? Have you heard something about me?

kranki, you're right! This is what resume writers do, I think.

eclectic, it really is a gift that some have.

nina, you're welcome. I appreciate those who do it this well, too.

squirl, you know Dizzy! (And I'm not talking about any of your family members.)

sassyfemme, I do enjoy the funny and bizarre :)

I'm outta here for all of Thursday, day and night. My intern training begins today. Wish me luck! I've only ever trained a dog before. I think these students will be more difficult.

Blogger jac said...

Bravo !! But who wrote that piece ??? Is it real ?

Blogger Circus Kelli said...

Hee hee! I like it!

Blogger echrai said...

Quite entertaining - and that's exactly what I'm told we have to do when we write "statements of fact" in legal briefs. Put a favorable spin on a story for your client - WITHOUT LYING. I'll never forget one of the examples we had to do in class - a funeral home's pallbearers dropped the corpse and then mutilated it trying to get it back in the coffin quickly causing severe emotional distress to the 43-year-old daughter (who lived with her father) - the best one was the tale of a spinster who cruelly had no tears for her deceased care-giver until after her abrupt closeness to a pallbearer caused him to jump, instigating the entire mess. Such writing is great fun!

Blogger Susie said...

jac, I don't know who wrote it; I don't think it's real, just clever.

CK, it likes you, too.

echrai, ooh, those would require some creativity, all right. You new pic is lovely.


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