It only happens once in a while, but sometimes I get great pleasure out of a news story.
I'm not talking about heart-warming stories that give me the emotional warm fuzzies. Nor do I mean educational stories and need-to-know stories, which give me a kind of cerebral boost. I like those for their own reasons, but I think I get the most laughter and enjoyment out of stories that are just plain weird.
Take the other week, for example. Downtown Dartmouth was engulfed in this rotten smell. People compared it to dead fish combined with sewage, and it lasted all afternoon and into the evening. No one could explain where the smell came from.
And, come on, that's great, right? Not huge news, but still a quirky light spot in my day. But the best was yet to come, because when I turned on my radio the next morning, Rob North was reporting on the stink live from the Dartmouth waterfront.
"I don't think it's overstating to call this the granddaddy of all stinks, or a place where bad smells can go to learn how the job is done," Rob said on live radio.
I think he was taken by a fit of inspired hyperbole, because he went on to compare the stink to a hog farm spreading liquid manure and a dead whale on a beach. I tell you, forget making my morning - that made my WEEK.
It probably made a lot of other people's week too, because I noticed people both inside and outside the newsroom got downright poetic trying to talk about the odor.
It "festered" in a "pungent intensity of stench." It was "skanky" and "smelled like death." Some people compared it to the stink that assailed us last summer from the Halifax sewage treatment plant: "You know how a glass of wine has different notes?" one person mused. "This was worse."
I thoroughly enjoyed this story, which was created out of air, out of thick air. As Oscar Wilde said, tongue firmly in cheek: "In matters of grave importance, style, not sincerity, is the vital thing."
Here's the link to Rob's famous report.