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Skullduggery rampant with Chronicle’s eclipse glasses

This, apparently, is why we can’t have nice things.

A few weeks ago, some Chronicle staffers — OK, it was over cocktails — hatched the idea of inserting eclipse glasses into the newspaper on the Sunday prior to the moon crossing in front of the sun.

What a great service to our readers, we reasoned. We’ll get thousands of NASA-approved glasses and hand them out to our loyal subscribers. We’ll stuff them in the copies sold at grocery stores and gas stations, free with the paper. People will be so happy.

But while scientists could predict the exact moment of the “totality of the sun” — a great name for a band, by the way — we didn’t foresee that some among us are total, opportunistic, thieving scallywags.

Some crook stole a few hundred pairs of glasses out of the Chronicle building. Glasses were pinched from bundles of newspapers dropped at various locations around town, and some rogues were even spotted running down streets early Sunday morning, pilfering newspapers off of doorsteps as they went.

Now, perhaps these fine people just have lots of friends and an overwhelming concern for eye safety. A more likely scenario, however, is that the scoundrels possess significantly loose morals and sold the ill-gotten booty out of the back of a van. For them, it’s our genuine wish that Bonnie Tyler’s “Total Eclipse of the Heart,” be the song they can never get out of their heads. May it play on repeat for years to come.

Most of our subscribers did indeed get a pair of glasses delivered with their Sunday morning paper. We’re sorry to say, though, that those hoping to purchase a paper with the glasses inserted from one of our many vendors were sometimes out of luck. To those people — and those stores — we offer our sincere apologies. Making you wait in line only to be left disappointed and frustrated was never our intent.

Undoubtedly, some who wanted glasses to view the eclipse went without. It warmed the heart, though, to see people sharing their glasses Monday. Perhaps we are no longer the sleepy little hamlet where the local paper can put eclipse glasses into an edition without fear of thievery, but there are still plenty of good people here who had no problem looking out for one another.

And if you’re one of the culprits, we do have a few pairs of glasses for sale this morning. Slightly used. We’ll make you a heck of a deal.

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