At some point the mind goes numb from reading and watching and listening.

A cop found guilty of murder. Another Black person shot by police. Another mass shooting. More protests. Politicians argue.

Ahhhh. A return to normal, ho-hum after a year off.

Let’s then go off the well-flogged path and look at the other headlines that somehow got buried these past two weeks. Who would have ever thought we would be reading such things?

Now, mind you, these are not headlines from the National Enquirer or from similar ilk. These are from “real” established publications. Ahem.

n “Instagram star cat Ponzu killed after owner attacked in New York park.”

“Instagram Famous Cat Dead After Child Trips Over Pet’s Leash, Fight Erupts At Public Park.”

This one merited two headlines in two publications because anyone or thing made famous by Instagram is now news.

The cat’s owner? She is an “Instagram chef.” Chef Bao Bao.


And her cat Ponzo has, had, its own Instagram page.

Problem is that Yahoo’s news story says Ponzo has 30 million followers.

He doesn’t. Didn’t. He has 41,000 followers.

Fake news.

Well, the cat really is dead but he really isn’t, wasn’t, an Instagram “star.”

n “Brooklyn Woman Charged With Hate Crime For Slapping Woman Speaking Mandarin in Manhattan.”

The slapper appears to be wearing a black sports bra and nothing else for a top.

n “Chinese man with Down’s syndrome kidnapped and killed to provide substitute body.”

Remember. These are from “real” publications.

n “Mysterious goat appears in Death Valley National Park. That’s bad news, rangers say.”

A simple goat in the park is no problem. A “mysterious” goat, however, is. So is a “suspicious-acting goat.”

n “Cancer patient saw disease all but vanish after catching COVID.”

Hmmmm? Maybe we should all start licking shopping cart handles.

n “Yemeni model abducted from the street by Houthi rebels after doing photoshoot without hijab.”

I just like reading/saying Yemin-Houthi-Hijab.

n “Bear on North Carolina coast compared to bigfoot: ‘We weren’t even sure it was real!’

It was real. It was a bear standing on two legs, which bears are apt to do.

n Sydney man finds snake in lettuce bought at supermarket.”

Which reminds me of the time I found a small worm wriggling out of a half-eaten Hershey’s miniature bar. At least it wasn’t a half-a-worm.

It also reminds of the time we found worms in a head of broccoli. That was my fault. I sometimes store nightcrawlers in containers in the fridge and the container was not sealed and the worms slithered out and fell through the rungs on the fridge shelves and into the crisper, where they found comfort in living in the head of broccoli.

n “Popular NC teacher killed trying to rob Mexican drug cartel member.”

Gee, someone should make a series about that. I would call it “Breaking Bad.” Or “Ozark.”

n “Ashley Graham explains her revealing Instagram photos: ‘I don’t post myself half-naked to get the likes.’”

Uh, yes you do. And to get attention, just like every other “Instagram star” and pseudo celebrity.

I must say, it works. Ashley Graham has more than 12 million followers.

Maybe it’s time for me to start posting on Instragram.

I’m starting with a highly-filtered picture of me half-naked, standing next to a bear who speaks Mandarin and mysterious goat wearing a hijab.

All I want is more followers than Ponzo the dead cat.

Scott DeSmit is a general assignment reporter for The Daily News. He can be reached at

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