Thursday, July 26, 2007

Goodbye Bat Child.

Yesterday, Publisher American Media Inc. announced it will cease publication of the Weekly World News on August 27.

So long Alien Babies. So long Elvis Sightings. So long Sea Creatures in Lake Erie. And, of course, so long Bat Child.

My mom used to buy Weekly World News when I was a kid. I fucking loved it. Like Mad Magazine, Cracked and Richie Rich comic books, I wouldn't have been the creative specimen you see in front of you today if it wasn't for this newspaper. I shit you not.

There were a couple issues that piqued my interest one, in particular, being a blurry photo of Big Foot. I remember reading the article and looking at that photo over and over again. Thinking and dreaming about this crazy planet we call Earth. And wondering if I'd ever get to see a Big Foot like the one on the cover of WWW.

Then, of course, there was Bat Child. Now unlike the other mystical creatures I read about in WWW, I had my doubts about this character right off the bat (no pun intended). When it was reported that they found this little bat creature in a cave, my curiosity was piqued. I read the article and, afterwards, I sort of believed it. I wanted to believe it. I mean it was reported, by a journalist, in this fine publication and it was on cheap newsprint. So it had to be true. Right? Right? Who was I to judge? This was, after all, The World's Only Reliable Newspaper.

I decided to believe. Bat Child was real.

One fine day back in the early 90's, I was flipping through the pages of WWW when I came across a great offer - Weekly World News was selling t-shirts of its most popular covers! FUCK YEAH! I plopped a $15.95 check into the mail on the Bat Child photo you see above. Then I impatiently played the waiting game.

Flashforward 4 weeks later. I was heading up to Cedar Point with my girlfriend at-the-time. Lo and behold, the t-shirt arrived in the mail just before we were about to leave. Proudly, I wore my new Bat Child t-shirt up to Cedar Point for the whole world to see. As we waited in hour-long line for various rides, the t-shirt went off like gangbusters. People would point, laugh and giggle. I think a couple people even threw up. Shortly after, I bought a couple more WWW t-shirts - "Farmer catches 50-pound grasshopper" and "Elvis is Alive".

I'm not sure what happened to those shirts, but the memories will live on.

With YouTube, Coast to Coast AM and other web sites publishing crazy alien photos, big foot sightings and, of course, dead celebrities - I'm sure this little niche of pop culture will go on. (In fact, Weekly World News plans to report strange stories from its Web site.)

But, nothing will compare to reading one of those crazy articles in my bed, drifting off to sleep, and letting my imagination soar.

On August 27, we're going to lose a piece of American Pop Culture.

Goodbye Weekly World News. Goodbye.


Anonymous said...

That sucks. I remember that newspaper when I was little, too. Great post.

Anonymous said...

Using 'piqued' twice in the same post? That means you like boys and brown gravy.

Your Finest Eimer said...

Hey, you're right. I like the word 'piqued' just like I like the words "I'm going to fucking kill you if I ever find out who wrote this comment!".