For some years in this space we have tried to bring you a darker side of this romantic business of newspapering, to shed light on a burden that gets precious little attention when the heroic qualities of those Out There handling your news are considered.
This is the time of year when editors perform the supreme judgment on history as they know it and make up lists of the most important news stories of the just-ended year. But we refer not to such stories -- those that fall out from the page on you -- when we talk of this burden.
Instead, we have admitted in the past that even though we try to approach our work with the purity of vestals and the zeal of linebackers, some of the news is more wearisome to bring to you. We refer to those otherwise important subjects whose intricacy or frequency can, after sufficient time, cause news gatherers' eyes to become opaque and their nails to change color.
Since this custom's origins were in a now-departed weekly report from the Washington bureau of The Sun, we have as in the past concerned ourselves only with national and international events. This, of course, puts us at a certain disadvantage inasmuch as we are restrained from such soporifics as those of of, say, the local news section ("Commission Unveils Design of New Stadium Home Plate", "Tall Ships Sail Into Harbor") or sports ("Basketball Star Case Goes to Jury"). If there is a call, we shall widen our horizons next year.
Meanwhile, here once again in headline form are those 1990 stories that have been known on occasion to send a a breakfast reader's head into a Wheatena bowl.
Here, once again, are the Bottom 10!
10. Yellow ribbons cover small town
9. NATO ponders future role
8. Bush meets with aides on upcoming summit
7. Study adds fuel to cold fusion debate
6. Problems seen for unified Germany
5. Cost of S&L bailout rises
4. Trump may lose yacht, planes
3. Fuel leak delays shuttle launch
2. Study cites coffee/alcohol/red meat/cholesterol/pesticide risks
And now, No. 1. Drumroll, please, maestro! (In the spirit of things, you will note that just one stick is being used.)
1. BUDGET TALKS REACH IMPASSE
Hello, hello out there.