Deadpan Globe on Hereditary Firefighter

If you want to write a really compelling article, try combining story, statistics, and quotes. If you want an example, take a look at Donovan Slack’s piece in yesterday’s Boston Globe. Here’s the story.

William Hayhurst III’s dream of joining the Boston Fire Department and carrying on a family tradition… appeared to be dashed when he received relatively dismal scores on the civil service exam all three times he took it.

Then, in what critics call an example of the patronage and favoritism lingering in Massachusetts government, the Hayhursts’ political connections turned things around.

A special state law passed this year for the benefit of the Hayhurst family vaulted William III from 623d place to the pinnacle of the hiring list.

Here’s the statistic: “A Globe review found that 40 of the 218 state laws passed in 2007 provide benefits to specific individuals by name.”

Here’s the quote. It’s from one of our representatives who cosponsored the bill.

The reason I signed on is, as a new legislator, I’m not really familiar about the process… So I looked to some reps who are friends of mine who had some easy things that weren’t going to be controversial, and I just signed on to provide assistance to them and learn more about the process.

I wonder what he’s learned.

If you want to learn about deadpan humor, you’d do well to study the article. Donovan drops in that quote toward the end of the article, with the journalistic equivalent of a straight face (straight typewriter)? Even so, his article doesn’t quite match last month’s classic by Andrea Estes.

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