Years ago when the boss was away we had a bit of fun. I ran composite photo of a man posing with his .3030 (I think) rifle in one hand and the giant, three-foot grasshopper he’d bagged with it in the other.
It ran on the front page of the Mountain View County News in late May of 1986. A co-worker in the newspaper’s backshop brought the photo in and we thought it’d make a great joke. The cutline explained how the farmer, fearing for his cattle, shot it while it was having a drink at a water trough.
About a week later we got a call from a nearby agricultural research station wanting more information. The publisher’s wife, just back from their month-long cruise, warned the caller that the ‘hoppers were coming and they’d better be ready.
The photo is two pics put together. The grasshopper pic was enlarged many, many times over while the man with the rifle was from a photo taken sometime in the 1930s.
In the early 1990s I saw this same photo on the cover of a tabloid. Apparently, the giant grasshoppers were taking over the Australian outback. A few years later it graced the front of another tabloid. By this time the ‘hoppers had made it to the US. I curse myself for not buying copies of these newspapers to hold up with pride along with the County News. After all, I broke the giant ‘hopper story.
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