To the Wood Shed

And now, at the risk of antagonizing all those Herald supporters who take deep umbrage at any form of criticism, let's conduct a "painful pun alert" on today's front page splash, which is a story about someone stealing wood at a Revere Church that was being used to build a handicapped ramp. (We won't even bother discussing the news judgment issue of whether this belonged on page 1 or not.)
1) Painful pun #1 -- "WHO WOOD BE SO MEAN?" (With all due respect, did a fourth grader write this one?)
2) Painful pun #2 -- "ANOTHER LUMBER JERK" (This can almost produce a guilty giggle.)
3) Painful pun  #3 (inside headline on the actual page 2 story) "Lumber thief ramps up parishioners' outrage" ("Ramps up outrage?" Pass the Ben Gay, someone just popped a tendon.)
4) Special award for using a word in the page 1 subhead that hasn't been used since the Snidely Whiplash cartoons went off the air. "Fiend steals supplies for handicap ramp at Revere church." (Fiend? Fiend? Are you kidding? Is this the comics page?)

Philosophically, I understand the Herald's new populist/enterprise approach, although I'm still not sure that's what Pat Purcell wants in the wake of his latest play to save his paper. But in that formulation, execution is everything. I understand that you can't have HEADLESS BODY IN TOPLESS BAR every day, but today's front page is just nutty and nonsensical. Somebody should have pulled the plug.

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