Monday, November 12, 2007injecting your personality into your reporting (go, T-Dot!), I thought I'd share this hilarious and downright satisfying piece by David Segal of the Washington Post.
The piece could be called an explainer of the circus-like divorce of Pittsburgh-area billionaire, Richard Mellon Scaife. (And yes, that's Mellon, as in Mellon Bank.)
But Segal didn't simply do a cut-and-dry timeline. Oh no. He, of the Style section, approached the story this way: Visit Pittsburgh and see all the sites of the tawdry Scaife divorce.
Aside from suggesting that Pittsburgh tourists drive by the Scaife's houses and the office of the Tribune-Review (which Scaife owns), Segal points out all the absurdity and and irony that the reader would no doubt find in such a tale of the rich and ostentatious, like this:
One of the most astounding stacks of papers in the pile that is the Scaife divorce is the inventory of Ritchie's stuff, compiled by her lawyers. The list runs for more than 80 pages, like an episode of "Antiques Roadshow" that will not end. Meat platters, sardine forks, melon forks, a circa-1804 Dutch teapot, a painting by Magritte, Victorian cream pitchers, bread trays, candlesticks, a sterling silver nutmeg grater, flatware service . . . you get the picture.Segal continues:
"Defendant has and continues to unlawfully hold in his possession six pairs of asparagus tongs manufactured by Mappin & Webb, Birmingham, 1926 weighing 10 ounces total," reads one of dozens of paragraphs. "The last-known location for these items was at 'Vallamont,' 132 Pheasant Circle, Ligonier, Pa. 15658. The estimated cost for these items is $1,800."Really, the story almost writes itself. Segal doesn't have to do much more than be a reporter to let you know, "Yes. This is as ridiculous as you think it is."
But let me not spoil it for you. Read the whole thing here. continue...