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Culpeper Times • March 14-20, 2019

VIEWS When fake was fun Remember when the most shocking headlines were found next to the gum in the Marshall Conner checkout lines of the local grocery store? Remember when fake news was fake in an entertaining way? When I was a kid, I used to tag along with my mother on grocery shopping trips. The trips were largely uneventful up until the moment we began loading our groceries on the conveyor belt. It was there between the apples, milk, tuna and frozen pizzas that my mom and I would peruse the scandalous, supernatural and salacious headlines of the Weekly World News, National Enquirer and Star. My mother would snag at least three tabloids while the cashier sideeyed us. “My kids enjoy these trashy papers,” she would say with a voice meant for nosy people. I served as the willing fall guy, but I knew she secretly liked reading them. Here’s where it gets a bit weirder. The other day while walking in the woods I heard a gruff whisper from behind a pine tree, “Hey…it’s me Bigfoot. I’m taking a break from my long-running success at hide-and-seek to say that I’m starting not to believe


in humanity. You all are so crazy that many of us out here…the missing links, monsters, ghosts and aliens are starting to worry. What’s up with all the Trump stories? People aren’t shocked by hairy man-apes anymore! How can people find me if they don’t look up from their phones? This world bites more than chiggers!” I told him I missed the days when I could read about his forest exploits. “I appreciate it dude. Nice beard too. You see it’s all about corporate sellouts now,” groaned the Squatch before disappearing into the bushes. “Maybe you can blog about seeing me or tell one of the six shows that search for me. I’m heading back to… wait I’m not telling.” The Weekly World News (The World’s Only Reliable News) was my favorite. It had large headlines and it was always printed in black-and-white to save its readers money. Who can forget such notable stories as Batboy returns, the dolphin with human arms, or the alien who fell in love with a cat? Where else could one read about booking a vacation to Mars, 12 ways to tell if your neighbor is an alien, or how your pet can be possessed? Did you know the Weekly World News once reported that grandparents will be banned from Facebook and that aliens fully-endorsed three of the last four presidents? The columnists of the Weekly World News were also top-notch. It had the

ultra-patriotic, politically incorrect rants of Ed Anger. Then there was Dear Dottie, a crankier, big-haired version of Dear Abby. Dottie’s photo looked like a sassy truck-stop seductress and she could really throw the shade. As I looked down at a large footprint in the red Virginia clay, I pondered the hurt in Bigfoot’s voice and realized that his days of shock and wonder are fading. His fans are now enamored with social media conspiracies about Russians. Across the Atlantic the Loch Ness monster is probably singing an ancient lament and all sensible aliens are bypassing our planet like tourists dodging South of the Border. The cable news channels have taken the glory from Ed Anger and Dottie— they offer opinions live in HD. Tune into MSNBC, Fox or CNN (or don’t) to hear exaggerated opinions loosely wrapped around a couple facts stolen from Twitter. It’s enough to make Elvis stay in his hideout in Brightwood (sorry Big E). I remember a journalism professor told me that the tabloids paid very well if one was willing to run fast-andloose with sources and facts. We all laughed---who needs money, right? We were all too noble and ethical to write about mermaids, space-monkeys and chupacabras. How many times have you read or watched news stories that failed to verify sources? It used to be that a proper journalist would verify facts

with at least two or more sources. The anonymous source has been quite busy. Ancient alien theorists and ghost hunters now have endless opportunities for facetime thanks to cable. The yearly psychic issues in the tabloids, also failed to predict a future where print fades to digital. Remember the story about Prince using ESP to drive Michael Jackson’s pet chimp Bubbles crazy? That story still makes me laugh. A quick scroll across my Facebook feed provided many tabloid-worthy subjects. Here are a few that could work: • Culpeper Town Councilman’s dog drinks coffee! • Kid Central children capture a Leprechaun! • A UFO Wine Fest expects encounters of the third vine! • Are there Snakeheads in Mountain Run? • Did Culpeper County High School once consider building a domed stadium? • Is there really a ghost at Old House Vineyards? • Is there an alien aircraft at Culpeper Airport? • Did you know that this newspaper is tabloid-shaped? • Does Jeff Say know Batboy? • Did the ghost of Jeanette Callahan ask for a public pool in Culpeper? Remember when fake news was fun?

The promise of a diet and choosing what’s best for you HEALTH AND WELLNESS

March is National Nutrition Month and offers a great opportunity to think about our relationship with food and commit to making better choices for our health and life. With all the nutrition information and various diets promoted by social media, it’s hard to know which is fact or fad. So, I turned to an expert for guidance. Jena S. Griffith, RDN, IHC, an integrative registered dietitian and expert in nutrition, provides

Shari Landry

nutrition services at Powell Wellness Center. Jena offers nutritional guidance that takes into consideration all aspects of her patients’ lives. She noted that people are understandably attracted to diets that promise permanent weight loss, good health and relief from chronic conditions like diabetes, heart disease, anxiety and more. These diets are appealing because they offer simplicity and specific rules. They tell us what not to eat and often have a particular food enemy like sugar, red meat, gluten or carbohydrates. Jena suggested the following strategies to help decide if a specific diet or way of eating is right for you. 1. Dig deep and look beyond the

‘glowy’ surface of a diet that has peaked your interest. Every diet is touted as miraculous and life changing with followers who often exaggerate their results. You will seldom hear about the people who did not do well such as the person who went vegan and worsened their thyroid condition or the strict keto follower who ended up with an emergency gallbladder removal. Before starting a specific diet, do some research and/or check in with a trusted health practitioner to see if it is right for you. 2. Define success. Is it losing weight in the shortest amount of time possible? Is it to improve your health, have more energy, be able to get up from the floor without help,

run a marathon? Real success is about building diet, lifestyle and fitness habits that keep you healthy for a lifetime. It’s not something that is measured in 30 days or a few months; it’s measured in years. 3. Is it sustainable? Consider the following questions. Are you satisfied and enjoying the food? Do you have energy? Are food cravings under control? Do you have flexibility within the diet structure? Do you sleep well? Are you able to have a social life? Are you able to be productive and not think of food 24 hours a day? If you eat a food/drink not on the diet list, do you have guilt, fear or shame? ➤ See Diet, Page 20

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Culpeper Times | March 14-20  

'Changing Hands' | School board approves budget | Premier Auto hosting ribbon cutting | Family affair when it comes to cutting hair

Culpeper Times | March 14-20  

'Changing Hands' | School board approves budget | Premier Auto hosting ribbon cutting | Family affair when it comes to cutting hair