If you are a writer for the Post-Gazette, one of the more depressing features of our Web site is the section that details the most e-mailed stories. As an indicator of public interest, it is enough to make someone like me despair.
Just a little while ago, I finished writing my column. I think it is pretty good - I hope it is funny - but I know that I have little chance of cracking the electronic honor roll of most e-mailed stories. In my wildest dreams, I don't expect to be No. 1.
As I write at this hour, the No. 1 e-mailed story is the following ...
Man without pants reported on Montour Trail
Tuesday, June 30, 2009
By Liyun Jin, Pittsburgh Post-Gazette
State police are searching for a man spotted without any pants along the Montour Trail in Robinson, Washington County.
Pamela Roberts told police she was running with her daughter around 5:30 p.m. yesterday when a man emerged from the bushes near mile marker 13.
The suspect is described as a white man between 40 and 50 years old, 5 feet 7 inches tall, with a medium build. According to police, he was wearing a light blue button-down shirt and a dark blue cap, was carrying big binoculars, and was naked from the waist down.
According to Trooper Raymond Quiroz, the witness said the man became startled and ran away. No one else on the trail reported seeing him.
Police searched the area but were unable to locate the man.
Now, I will admit that this little story is a gem that contains wonderful little details. Indeed, the mental picture of police walking the Montour Trail in the hope of apprehending the man without pants will keep me smiling for a while yet.
But then the depression will return and I will realize anew that I am a seldom-emailed loser.