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BY Andy Bustanoby
October 8, 2007

Now that's a newsworthy story--particularly when it's reported about me. Let me explain.

One of our toilets went bad. Yes, one regular, 100 lb. + bathroom fixture. It was replaced, and since the plumber had nowhere to dispose of the replacement, I put it in the back of my pickup to hold until the county could trash it.

Since my pickup is our only vehicle, this presented something of a problem. The toilet would slide around and bang in the back of the truck whenever I put on the brakes. Fay, my wife, was annoyed by the noise. So I thought I'd tease her.

The next time I put on the brakes and the toilet banged, I said, "Watch out! It's coming through the back window, and it's going to hit you."

She laughed.

"Don't laugh, I said. It could happen! Imagine our having an accident, and the toilet comes crashing through the back window and knocks you out!

"What do I tell the ambulance driver? What do I tell the police--my wife got knocked out by a toilet?

Just consider today's news reporting of the event. Headline: "Husband Hits Wife In Head With Toilet." Story: "Minister/counselor Andy Bustanoby was investigated by the police today for injuring his wife by hitting her in the head with a full-sized toilet. This reporter is not certain of the details, but witnesses said that though he is an old man, Bustanoby is strong enough to do it. His hospitalized wife was not conscious to give the details."

When I told this to Fay, again, she laughed. But let's be serious, folks.

If I'm a reporter who needs to sell newspapers, I might say something like this. And then to sell more papers I could report a retraction and say, "Injured Wife Clears Husband of Charges." Story: "Fay Bustanoby said today that her husband did not intentionally injure her by hitting her in the head with a toilet. It was the result of an accident."

The next time you read an alarming news story, just relax. Wait for the details to follow. The reporter may just be a clever storyteller.

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