Being executive editor for Sun Magazine is great fun, especially when you can impose your enormous will on reporters and make them do things they might not normally choose to do.
Such is the case with this week's cover story.
Back last winter, staff writer (and weekly garden columnist) Mike Klingaman wandered by my office. He seemed lost -- or lost in thought -- but I nonetheless seized the moment.
"Klingaman! Steward of the earth! Tiller of the soil! Friend to small animals!"
4 "Whaddya want this time?" he asked suspiciously.
"Want? Want? Is it something I want? No, I am in a giving mood."
"Whaddya giving today, migraines?"
"No, I'm giving you the best story idea I've had in eons."
There was a pause.
"Yellow jackets!" I beamed.
"I don't do fashion," he said, firmly.
"Not yellow jackets," I said. "Not like that sports coat Howard Cosell used to wear on 'Monday Night Football.' I mean yellow jackets, those nasty buzzbombs with the throbbing striped abdomens who ruin late summer in Maryland."
"What about them?" he asked.
"I want you to expose them! Go deep into their horrible little lives. Find out where they sleep so that I can spray their hideouts."
"Were you stung last year?" he asked.
"Yes! And my mom wasn't here to kiss it better."
I arose from my desk and thundered, just as I imagined old man Hearst once did. "I want to wage war on these insects. I want vengeance. I want . . . Yellow Journalism!!"
Five months later, after I had calmed down, Klingaman filed his LTC cover story. It is fascinating. It is funny. It presents both sides of the yellow jacket issue, mine and the insect's.
Hey, Klingaman, whose side are you on?