Headline Hallucination


Don’t believe everything you think you’ve read.

Just now, I was shocked to read the following headline: Rod Stewart’s Body Found Off Florida Keys.  It was accompanied by a photo of a scuba diver’s silhouette being encircled by the menacing forms of several great white sharks.   “Holy shit!” thought I.  “I don’t even know where to begin with this one!”

Except that’s not really what the headline said.  It’s what my sensational subconscious mind thought it said.  Or perhaps more shamefully, wished that it had said.  Because, let’s face it, if the gravelly-voiced crooner of Maggie May and Do Ya Think I’m Sexy? were to have been mauled by sharks, that would have made for a pretty damn interesting story; one about which I could speculate for months on end.

But alas, this is what the headline actually said: Rob Stewart’s Body Found Off Florida Keys.  Apparently, Rob Stewart is a marine life conservationist and documentarian who made a habit of hanging out with schools of prehistoric killing machines.  When this is your hobby and your profession, sooner or later your number is gonna come up.  Just ask Steve Irwin.

But when you’re an aging pop star, death by shark is not usually the kind of demise you tend to anticipate.  So, rest in peace Rob Stewart, whoever you are.  And I’m glad to realize you are still among the living, Rod Stewart.  But please stop making sad albums of old standards croaked out as if by a man with a terminal case of asthma.  I’ve heard that annoying sounds really piss off great white sharks and you never know when you might run into one or twenty of ’em when you’re diving in the Florida Keys.

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