Robert Kirby: Give me news I can use. Coronavirus? Nah. Bison attacks? Yep.

Robert Kirby

I don’t recall when I stopped paying close attention to the news. It was somewhere around the 1.7 billionth story on either Washington politics or the coronavirus.

With my wandering attention span, even the approaching end of the world can get tedious after a while. If it’s bound to happen, then hurry it up already.

This hardly means I’m not interested in the news at all. My wife, who watches and reads all the news she can, knows when to yell, “Hon, you’re going to want to see this.”

And she was right. On Thursday, it was a video of a tourist getting her butt kicked by a bison in a South Dakota state park. This is what I call news. Other people refer to it as karma, but it’s valuable information to the public.

For reasons beyond comprehension, and despite hundreds of signs indicating that it’s forbidden, the woman approached a bison with the idea of taking close-up photos of the mother bison and — here’s the good part — its calf.

In the woman’s defense, let’s suppose she was unable to read the signs telling park visitors to stay away from the animals or that she overestimated her physical durability, or quite possibly was heavily intoxicated.

The point is we don’t know. What we do know is what goes on in a bison’s head. In short, not a whole lot.

I’m not a scientist, but I have read enough to know that your average bison is like a U.S. Marine in the field. It has but four trains of thought, none of which you want to get in the way of. They are:

  1. Eat.

  2. Make additional bison.

  3. Charge.

  4. Bash the crap out of something.

This is why God — or nature, depending on your point of view — endowed these enormous creatures with stout legs, reproductive organs, sturdy teeth and an array of lethal weapons.

What? Yes, I’m still talking about Marines.

Where was I? Oh, right. Nature or God gave humans bigger brains, but, as we all know, not one large enough to deduce that warning signs apply to us, especially when we’re intoxicated, in high school, or on vacation.

I like news stories that don’t drag on forever. It’s only been since March, but I’ve heard enough about the coronavirus to feel like it’s been in the news since the days of Babylon.

The same with the coming elections. Trump did this, Biden said that. It just goes on and on. And it continues even after a decision is reached.

But you give me a story about a camel biting the nose off a drunk frat boy at a zoo, and I’m there, people. That’s karma news. It’s short, to the point, and carries a solid and useful message to the public.

Hell, even a dim thinker like me can grasp the importance of karma news. In this case, don’t torment animals with long necks. That’s news I can use.

Robert Kirby is The Salt Lake Tribune’s humor columnist. Follow Kirby on Facebook.