For the Bulletin staff, having your phone number at the end of your story often means fielding calls from readers who think you’re the contact for that company, nonprofit or issue, even when the body of the story contains contact information. Evidently they just impatiently skip to the end. Stories about job fairs, for instance, always prompt one or more calls to the reporter from readers, to use the term loosely, who want a job.
In that spirit, I had this exchange with a caller recently.
Me, picking up: Newsroom, David Allen.
Caller: Is this Mel’s Drive-In?
Me: This is the Daily Bulletin newsroom.
Caller: This isn’t Mel’s Drive-In?
Me: This is the newspaper. Mel’s closed two or three years ago.
Caller: I was reading about Mel’s Drive-In on the Internet and your number was there.
Me: Yes, I work for a newspaper, and I wrote about Mel’s when it closed. That was three or four years ago.
For the record, Mel’s closed in October 2010. And if you do a Google search for “Mel’s Drive-In Rancho Cucamonga,” my column is indeed one of the top results, under the headline: “Farewell to Mel’s Drive-In, which is driving out.” Which would seem to be a pretty good tipoff the restaurant isn’t there anymore, but maybe that’s just me.