Compare and contrast the last section of my piece, The Mailman Doesn't Deliver On Sunday, with this recent story from The Onion, Todd Helton Disappointed To Be On Area Man's Fantasy-Baseball Team. Not only does The Onion use the same joke as in my feature - a real baseball player demands a trade from his fantasy baseball team - they even use the same player. This might mean I have some fans in Madison, but most likely, it's a big coincidence. Maybe, Todd Helton secretly has a keen interest in fantasy sports, and both The Onion and I have picked up on it, independently and subconsciously.
When I worked for The Heuristic Squelch, it seemed like The Onion was constantly scooping us for jokes. We once had to pull a piece about video game villainy at the last minute, after The Onion put Mario on the cover that same week with a similar premise. It was worse when we couldn't do anything about the simultaneous comedy. Because of the long turnaround time for printing, we'd often send in an issue, then groan to see The Onion hitting the same topic, four days before our magazine was going to come out. We were ripping them off enough with our newsflashes, so it was terrible when we'd also inadvertantly run identical features about the recall election.
But this time, I am 18 months ahead of those smug cheese-eaters. That's right, The Onion! You ain't all that!
Ironically, Todd Helton's terrible start nearly doomed my own fantasy baseball team last year. By making fun of Helton and the "Colofraudo Suckies" in print, then subsequently drafting Helton in the first round of my draft, I was tempting fate. When Helton hit .250 in May, with very little power, I blamed the article. I even tried to trade Helton for over a month, but got no offers. It was a good thing I didn't. In the second half, the first baseman carried my team, Operation Shutdown, to the fantasy baseball nerd title. Mr. Todd Helton, you and your altitude-inflated statistics are welcome on my imaginary baseball team anytime.