Take, for example, this recent four sentence news story describing a man’s frantic search for his television’s remote control and the resulting phone call to the authorities.
A 97-year-old man who wanted to watch a Milwaukee Brewers game called 911 to report someone had stolen his remote control.
According to the Greenfield police report:
The man called 911 to report someone had stolen his remote control from his residence in the 9300 block of West Howard Avenue prior to 8 p.m. Sept. 26.
The remote control was found after police responded, so the man was able to watch the Brewers game.
This reminds me of my camp counselling days as a teenager when elementary school students spent their summer torturing me with their incessant cries of theft whenever they’d lose any of their belongings.
It was never:
I can’t find my baseball glove.
It was always:
Someone stole my baseball glove.
The last line of the article may be one of the most beautifully constructed pieces of condescension ever written.