Column: Worst Free Press stories of 2010

Over the past few weeks, we’ve been posting the top stories of 2010. While it’s nice to look back on the highlights of the previous year, it’s also important to remember the dismal failures that sank like a led balloon. seriously, we had a few stories that made a paper factory smell like a gardenia plantation.

Let’s take a look at three of the worst stories of the year gone by:


Ham biscuit sends one to hospital (Jan. 2)

Long-time Free Press employee Johnny Hussey retired at the end of 2009, but his desk wasn’t cleaned out until December, 2010. When peckish Free Press Managing Editor Bryan Hanks started rifling through Hussey’s desk in search of loose change, he stumbled upon a ham biscuit wrapped in cellophane.

“Johnny used to come in with a ham biscuit every morning,” Hanks said. “He’d sit at his desk and savor every morsel of that biscuit as if it were Sophia Loren, while the rest of us were stuck eating bologna Pop Tarts from the break room vending machine. If we were lucky, somebody would hit a raccoon on the way to work and the smokers would gather out back and barbecue it with their lighters.”

Shortly after consuming the antique breakfast sandwich, Hanks experienced what lysergic diethylamide expert Owsley Stanley referred to as “a trip that would have caused Jerry Garcia to switch to decaf.”

At one point, Hanks’ hallucinations were so intense that for a while he referred to Kinston basketball star Reggie Bullock as “Reggie BUHlock,” which, in turn, inspired countless sportscasters across the country to do the same.

Deer season column spins Earth off axis (Oct. 9)

Even though it was filled with more obvious jokes than a list of 2010 Grammy nominees, Free Press Columnist Jon Dawson’s Sept. 29 column about the cancellation of deer season caused lots of anger, confusion and knotting of panties.

While many orange hats were stained with tears, at least one area business man was happy with the column.

“For a few days, the hunters thought they couldn’t hunt, which meant the deer weren’t afraid to get out on the roads,” said Titus Sanderson of Bondo Body Work and Taxidermy as he finished a tax return for a local elephant. “on a good day, we’ll usually have two or three cars come in with body damage caused by a collision with a deer; for about a week after that column ran, we were getting 10 deer jobs a day, which was fine until Dawson showed up and asked for his percentage.”

Chicken sammich campers deemed mentally unstable (Dec. 21)

When a group of adults camped out in the parking lot of a new fast food restaurant on U.S. 70, psychiatrists, psychologists and one streetwise wino with a heart of gold were dispatched to the scene to determine what could cause such abnormal behavior.

Psychiatrist: “Like any junkie, these people like to congregate with people of similar standing. The flavorful chicken triggers the release of certain endorphins that will cause the chicken junkie, or ‘chunkie’ to do whatever it takes to obtain as many dead birds wrapped in flour as possible.”

Psychologist: “While it seems impractical to most, for the most part, this is harmless behavior, although in some instances when the thrill of camping out for a free chicken biscuit isn’t enough anymore, the addict will resort to drastic measures, such as camping out for tickets to a Dane Cook concert.”

Streetwise Wino: “Those fools are some (censored by Freedom Communications) up individuals; are you gonna eat that?”

Jon Dawson’s columns appear every Tuesday and Thursday in The Free Press. Check out Jon’s blog at or e-mail him at If you returned your hunting license as a result of Jon Dawson’s September column, please call Bryan Hanks at 252-559-1074 for a full refund.

<a href=",2005:cluster=, 04 Jan 2011 05:10:09 GMT 00:00″>Column: Worst Free Press stories of 2010

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