Several individuals expressed rage and frustration Friday (a few even started tipping over their desks) when MSNBC web guru Michael Small mandated that article headlines could be no longer than 45 characters.
“It’s a disaster,” said MSNBC editor and semi-pro cyclist Andrew Katchen. “You can’t get an idea across in 45 characters. It’s like trying to fit a fully grown adult male into a tupperware container.”
Small was indignant. “You’ll do what I say,” he said in an office memo, “or you’ll feel my wrath. I know I seem like a timid guy, but things will get really bad for you if I start to see 50 character headlines.” He added: “Believe you me.”
“Just do what he says,” said manager Jesamyn Go. “It’s a silly rule. I get it. But you don’t want to cross Michael.” Go was eager to convince the rabid group of multimedia editors that she was on their side, but the editors knew she was in the tank for Small.
One multimedia editor, Evan Puschak, widely considered to be the best editor in employment at MSNBC (and a generally handsome gentleman), eased the tension by tranqulizing Small. He then accessed the site setting and changed the headline character limit to infinity. The rest of the multimedia team cheered Puschak and held him up on their shoulders.
“Hip hip hooray!” They exclaimed, asking rhetorically: “What would we do without you?”
Small woke up several hours later in a daze. He had no memory of the day, or the week, or the previous 10 years, and he forgot his name and who he was. He wandered off into the city and is still missing.
If you have information about Small’s whereabouts, please call: 1-800-FIND-MIKE