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Love the hugs, but I’m not 40

Jason Ferguson
Published: Thursday, June 12th, 2014

The chickens finally came home to roost.
After years of torturing my coworkers with an endless spree of practical jokes and pranks, a few of them got me back in a big way a couple of weeks ago, by putting an ad in the paper. For those of you who didn’t see it (and judging by the responses it got, there aren’t many out there who haven’t), the ad contained a picture of me looking forlorn (I don’t recall having this taken) with the declaration that I needed a hug, because I was turning 40 Sunday, May 25, which actually is my birthday.
I proofread the page the ad was placed on, but Norma carefully disguised it by simply blocking out the space they were putting the ad in and labeling it as a late-coming political ad. After I read the pages, Norma slipped the ad in and off it went to the printer. I didn’t see it until the afternoon of the day our paper came out when Charley said “There’s something wrong with this ad,” and handed me the folded over paper. There was the ad. Carrie, Charley and Norma all laughed. I did too.
“Well played,” I said. “You got me.”
I was a little concerned that people would actually believe I was 40 and my fear proved well-founded. If any of you advertisers reading this don’t believe people see ads in the Chronicle, I’m here to tell you they do. The response I have received around town has been flattering, mind-boggling and comical. My family thought it was hysterical, as did my friends who saw it.
The day after the ad came out, deputy Matt Haugen of the Custer County Sheriff’s Department was the first to hug me. Next, was Heather Hiltunen, Michelle Watland and one other employee at Custer Elementary enveloping me in a group hug when I went there to get some photos identified.

The chickens finally came home to roost.

After years of torturing my coworkers with an endless spree of practical jokes and pranks, a few of them got me back in a big way a couple of weeks ago, by putting an ad in the paper. For those of you who didn’t see it (and judging by the responses it got, there aren’t many out there who haven’t), the ad contained a picture of me looking forlorn (I don’t recall having this taken) with the declaration that I needed a hug, because I was turning 40 Sunday, May 25, which actually is my birthday.

I proofread the page the ad was placed on, but Norma carefully disguised it by simply blocking out the space they were putting the ad in and labeling it as a late-coming political ad. After I read the pages, Norma slipped the ad in and off it went to the printer. I didn’t see it until the afternoon of the day our paper came out when Charley said “There’s something wrong with this ad,” and handed me the folded over paper. There was the ad. Carrie, Charley and Norma all laughed. I did too.

“Well played,” I said. “You got me.”

I was a little concerned that people would actually believe I was 40 and my fear proved well-founded. If any of you advertisers reading this don’t believe people see ads in the Chronicle, I’m here to tell you they do. The response I have received around town has been flattering, mind-boggling and comical. My family thought it was hysterical, as did my friends who saw it.

The day after the ad came out, deputy Matt Haugen of the Custer County Sheriff’s Department was the first to hug me. Next, was Heather Hiltunen, Michelle Watland and one other employee at Custer Elementary enveloping me in a group hug when I went there to get some photos identified.

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