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1 Dateline: Flavortown! “This is hilarious,” Kristen Peterson wrote on Facebook of our recent blog post spoofing Guy Fieri. “And smart hilarious, which is better than just plain hilarious.” Welcome to the Desert Companion blog, Kristen, where the satire always passes the health-code inspection. “Sneak peek: Guy Fieri Vegas Kitchen & Bar menu,” by Andrew Kiraly and Scott Dickensheets, purported to preview dishes at the bombastic chef’s new local outpost. Sample:

Xtreme Buffalo Wing-a-dillas

What makes these gooey slabs of blended chicken-cheese substrate so Xtreme? The side order of involuntary neck tattoo you get while eating them.

It went on in that vein, from appetizers to entrees to cocktails, the whole enchilada crafted with love and heartburn. Wrote one Paul Sorvillo on a Facebook page where the satire was posted, “I am in pain I was laughing so hard!” Smart, hilarious and pain-giving — at the DC blog, we serve it your way.


2 Kiraly and Dickensheets teamed up again for “Long distance information.” This blog exchange began with a report that the View papers, published by Stephens Media, save money by filling some of their column inches with local — ahem, “local” — content reported from out of state and, possibly, off continent. Kiraly wondered, “(D)on’t you feel like there’s a whiff of treachery to this move — to the community the paper serves, to the practice of journalism?”

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Short answer? Yes. Long answer? Yes.

“I think it’s weird that we call writers reporting from Mumbai on something that happened in downtown Las Vegas ‘hyperlocal,’” responded journalist Launce Rake on Facebook. Bryan McCormick, an artist who also works in finance, added context: “Financial services ‘media,’ for lack of a better term, were among the first to off-shore routine desk tasks …” First they come for the editorial assistants. But the austerity doesn’t stop there, he says. “Editors pretty much don’t exist; they were considered unnecessary in the new world of Internet stuff.”

One reader emailed to finger a different perp: readers. “Sadly, most readers undoubtedly don’t care who reports the news in the Views,” he wrote (he wishes to remain anonymous). This consumer apathy is as destructive to journalism as runaway bean-counting. “Readers are getting exactly what most of them deserve.”


3 After “Explosion in the night,” an account by Robert Matzen of the 1942 plane crash near Las Vegas that killed actress Carole Lombard, appeared in our April issue, local poet Lee Mallory filed an extended recollection.

“My uncle, Harry M. Gadd, Goodsprings resident and historian, used to tell me his backstory of the crash. Gable and Lombard’s torrid relationship, and the actress’s trek East to sell war bonds, are well-documented. Less so, as told to my uncle, and later related to me, were the facts surrounding the ill-fated and fruitless effort to rescue ‘survivors.’

“I learned that on hearing word of the crash, Gable rushed to remote Goodsprings to await news from the accident site. He checked in at the storied Fayle Hotel ... Located as it was not far from debris-strewn Double Up Peak, Gable waited fretfully as the search party, with small horse and mule teams, ascended into the cold and snowy wilderness. …

“Uncle Harry said the men scrambled up the mountain, picking their way up and through crevasses that broke into chasms with thousand-foot drops. On reaching the summit, they found a debacle of charred, twisted wreckage, with not one soul living. Finally, after collecting what scattered remains they could, the party made the dangerous descent down the craggy mountain. At first, some of the searchers slipped on ice, and one of the horse teams bearing the grisly burden stumbled, and the animals fell to their own deaths.

“In the meantime, and for many more hours, Gable waited at the Fayle Hotel bar, drinking and carving nervously into the wooden bar top. When searchers returned, Gable, of course, was traumatized and inconsolable with loss. In seconds, a legendary star, patriot and wife had been lost, leaving an iconic widower. …

“I also recall (my uncle) pointing out a living room shadow-box, which held small, meticulously identified and labeled pieces of wreckage: a fragment of aluminum trim, a control tab strut, a burned and rusty oil plug. Each piece of debris bore a small brass plate, which shone as brightly as the wonder in my boyhood eyes ...

“These are the recollections of a little boy, now poet. These many, many years later, Mr. Matzen, with his expertise, can retell or correct any mistakes of fact.”