Most people would be surprised how often someone calls the paper and asks – right after Office Manager Linda Maceira answers, “Good morning, the Weekly” – “How often do you publish the paper?”
But not Maceira: The Weekly’s front desk has provided front-row seating to almost everything. She was there when eccentric Ed Leeper walked in with a giant basket of golf balls and dumped them on the floor, and when a woman asked if she might be able to get a quick in-office Pap smear.
We asked her to recall other highlights from her 15-year tenure. Being the glue that keeps the Weekly together – let’s say it came as no surprise when she won the first employee-of the-quarter vote by a landslide – she was happy to oblige, and even furnish titles.
1. Big Foot Lives… in Carmel
A man called to report he had seen what he believed to be a sasquatch while driving in Carmel. He didn’t know if he should tell us or the SPCA.
2. Best Tow in Town
Thanks to an errant Yelp posting, we get almost daily calls asking if we have a tow truck.
3. Parking Ticket Help
A caller complained the city of Monterey gave him too many parking tickets. He said if we didn’t do a story, could we at least call some of our connections to ask if they could get the tickets removed?
4. UFO Sighting
Someone reported seeing “many” unidentified flying objects and thought we should send a reporter out to see if they were alien spacecraft.
5. Pap Smear Anyone?
A walk-in asked if she could get a pap smear. In spite of walking past several Weekly signs and being able to find the entrance that nobody else seems able to find, she still thought we were Planned Parenthood.
6. Ruff Tracks
A trio of dogs (and their human) came to record a video of the dogs singing.
7. Sex-toy classified
An elderly lady wanted to know if it was OK to sell her vibrator in the free classifieds. I hope she meant to say massager.
8. Supersize Me
Someone called us to complain about their food order, thinking they were calling McDonald’s.
9. Deadline Shmeadline
A caller asked if they could get an ad in “today’s paper.” When told that wasn’t possible because the paper had already been printed, they asked, “Why not? I can pay extra.”
10. not Nice Rack
A man called to complain about the color of our newspaper racks. He said red is too harsh and suggested we paint all the racks white.
11. Different Sitter
An ad placed in our online classifieds featured a leather-like chair that included a compartment to poop in.
12. Called The Popo on the Hobo
A homeless man, who stops by on occasion to ask for photocopies, came in when I was out of town. He was so mad the person dealing with him wasn’t me, my colleagues had to call the cops.
13. Internet hacks
After a stunning amount of people took our April Fools’ 2010 cover story seriously – that the Weekly was going all digital – the phone lines were lit for several days. One woman dropped off a basketful of handmade dog and cat collars as a comfort for the staff and our animals during the time of transition.
14. Movie Nomnoms
A cooler full of ice cream was delivered to promote the premiere of the movie Ice Age.
15. Balls To The Wall
Local artist Ed Leeper stopped by and poured hundreds of golf balls out of a straw bucket and onto the lobby floor to get our attention for his latest art installation.
16. Jail Mail
An inmate sent a letter thanking us for his free subscription in jail and requesting we place a personals ad for him to find a girlfriend.
17. Big Top Nicky
Someone placed an ad selling a “clown bike.” Our photographer bought it.
18. Get Your Ad and Get Married
Following an article on the Universal Life Church, our entire classified advertising staff became ordained ministers.
19. Marry Me
An elderly gentleman wanted to place an ad to find a wife. He listed a few attributes that would make him a worthy husband, including good hygiene.
20. ENDLESS Happiness
After a 2004 April Fools’ issue announced Disney would purchase Del Rey Oaks, reconfigure it and rename it Happiness – and a representative would appear at the DRO Starbucks to show models – the phones rang for hours (both here and at the city) and the coffee shop filled up. Most of the folks who called in were ultimately charmed (and relieved) to hear it was a hoax. Others were upset. One woman, who refused to ID herself but claimed to be a psychotherapist, scolded me for inflicting “trauma” on our readers, who daily face “the threat of nuclear war.” “I don’t know how you can live with yourself,” she said, which is scary, if you think about it.
21. Can I Get a Job And a Date?
A man walked in and said he was down on his luck and wanted to know if we had any job openings. We didn’t, so he asked if he could get a date instead.
22. Twenty bucks says
An ad let our readers know that for $20 they could advertise their house for sale. We got several calls from readers who thought they could buy a house for $20.
23. Dance Breaks
For years, Tuesday night dance breaks have provided relief from deadlines. One session featured a few of our quieter staff members doing Gangnam Style.
24. front desk, Front line
When another April Fools’ piece, this one in 1999, declared the reopening of Fort Ord was coming, a vet raced to the office, pounded on the desk and demanded to view the secret documents we had obtained in order to break the story.
25. Subscriptions Gone Wrong
Every day for a week, we got middle-of-the-night voicemails from someone irate about not getting their Herald delivered. On the last message, they said if they didn’t get their paper that morning, they were going to go down to the Herald’s office to kick somebody’s ass.