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October 25, 2013
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Editor's Note: Make sure you play this video in the background while you read this.
Punching Kitty was a writing project for the city of St. Louis to have a little fun and try to get everyone to stop taking themselves so seriously...and hopefully highlight some critical issues along the way.
We had a lot of fun, but all good things need an ending and ours was on March 13th, 2013. While we will no longer actively write, the site will stay up as an archive. To the right are some of our favorite and most acclaimed articles from our four year run. You may also enjoy "This Day in PK History" which shows the posts written on this date in years past, and this page which shows a random article from the archives.
- The Editor
As you all know, we dropped the bomb on our readers last Wednesday when we announce that we would be no longer posting regularly on this very site. It made us sad too, but it was even more sad when we saw the love all day on Wednesday and even in to Thursday and Friday.
Here are is a collection of our favorite Twitter goodbyes, but there was also some great ones on Facebook and in emails directly to us (click on the image below to see the full list). Thanks guys!
We also got a few common questions we’d like to take a second to answer here:
We might write again (hell, we’re writing right now!) if the urge strikes. It might be tomorrow, it might be in a week, it might be in a month. It just won’t be as frequently and regularly as it was over the last 4+ years.
While it’s flattering you considered us your local news source, that’s also kinda sad since we made dick jokes and had a battered cartoon kitty as our logo. That being said, we don’t have a good answer for you as to who to turn too next…maybe just Twitter or Facebook.
If they’re juicy, you can definitely still send them to us! As we’ve said, we might pop back out of retirement to write it up, or if we can’t we’ll send it to someone who can and will.
Oh, you’re talking about Rory Cochrane. He’s also been in CSI: Miami as Tim Speedle and, possibly more notably, he played Lucas in Empire Records and Ron Slater in Dazed and Confused. Here’s his IMDB page for future reference.
A little. While we knew what we had planned, we didn’t want to pre-announce it and do a week of “clip show” posts. We just wanted it to be regular old Punching Kitty right up until the end (outside of our special local media “quick fixes” posts), so our last “regular” post was just that, finding the best/most interesting/weirdest/funniest story we could find to write about. We see your point though, as ideally it would have been nicer to end on a happy-ish post. We’ll keep that in mind going forward.
Now, we’re adding another: The end of regular posting on Punching Kitty.
(No pressure, but if you want to have this playing the background while you continue to read, we think it would really make the moment.)
The number #2 question we’re asked when it comes to Punching Kitty is: “How long are you going to keep writing?” (#1 is “Where did you come up with that name?”). It’s a question I’ve always answered with “I’ll stop when it’s no longer fun, or people stop reading.” but in the back of my mind I had always targeted five years as the end date even if the other two conditions never proved true. Why? Things need an ending, especially things like Punching Kitty. If this was a “blog” in the vein of a “Here’s what I had for breakfast…” and “What’s with the rude people at the bank?!” then there wouldn’t need to be an ending per se, but Punching Kitty is more like a series and those definitely need endings because if the moment comes where I no longer enjoy writing it or you’ve stopped reading, it’s already too late.
So why now? Why a full year earlier than my original schedule?
I’m leaving St. Louis. In fact, I’ve already left. It wasn’t because of the crime, or any of the other things I pick on everyday, but those things did make it a little easier. I moved for a new day job and because the idea of living somewhere else was attractive for a variety of other reasons. Those that knew of this move tend to ask “Can’t you just still post from the new place? You don’t need to live in St. Louis to write about it.” They aren’t wrong, but not entirely correct either. While you can certainly pull up STLToday or KMOV.com and write about the latest face-shooting from anywhere, it’s difficult to write about it well. You need to be in the area to get the pulse of what people are talking about, and the character that was “The Editor” has always been essentially an amplified version of a St. Louisan. Not being there living the news, makes it very difficult to hit the standard we set for ourselves (Yeah, believe it or not, we had standards!).
Won’t you miss it?
Yes and no. Punching Kitty is a lot of work, and there will be nights where I definitely don’t miss having to drag my ass home early to look for a joke amongst the different news sources, but it was also a lot of fun to write. It’s always fun to write jokes when you know it will be actually read by a significant amount of people, and because Punching Kitty prided itself on having no boundaries or allegiances, it was even better. We won’t claim to have made a lot of friends because of our “no one is safe” mind set, but we did make some, and interacting with those people, from regular tipsters to fellow writers, will also be missed. I couldn’t be happier with the end result of what we built here from the kitty-decorated self posts, to the weird Editor backstory crafted from various parts of my own life and complete bullshit, and of course the readers that hated who we turned in to the most hard-core fans (or vice-versa). I’d be thrilled to repeat it again some day, if I can.
So now what?
Well we aren’t just going to turn out the lights. The site will remain up, all old stories and comments will be left and active. The only change will the lack of daily updated and maybe a reconfiguration of the home page to reflect the change and to focus on archived content (like our This Day in PK History feature). That being said I wouldn’t unlike/unfollow us too quickly. Twitter and Facebook will still be maned by us to answer questions, post quick comments and respond to a few things…and we’re leaving the door open to the occasional post when something is just too big to ignore, if we do, that’s where we’ll post a link.
Though I have my doubts on my ability to stay a way from my keyboard, taking a break from the “night job” is currently my focus. I have no idea what my next project will be, maybe more writing, maybe something with video or audio, but I can tell you it won’t be “Punching Kitty in a new town”. Punching Kitty was for St. Louis, my hometown, and so St. Louis gets to keep what I’ve done so far and anything I may do with it in the future.
Hopefully we’ve left our mark and will continue to do so as people find older posts that still have the same impact as when we originally wrote them (that’s the one benefit of the city not getting much better in significant areas).
…and who knows…maybe I’ll move back to St. Louis some day and pick back up regular posting! In the meantime, continue sending us your tips and news links! A good one might coax us out of retirement for a day or at least get us to pass the story along to other sources.
tl;dr – I will no longer be regularly writing on Punching Kitty, though the site will stay up, and I may write occasionally.
As always, thanks for reading!
– The Editor / Mike Flynn
Being too drunk is usually a problem but sometimes, particularly in St. Louis, it’s a great thing. For example, it’s the only way to get really excited about going to City Diner. It makes you completely unaware of stabbings, and not in just the Dateline Mystery “No, I don’t remember stabbing my wife…” kind of way.
Police are investigating the possible stabbing of a middle-aged man after his sister noticed several lacerations on his body Saturday night.
His sister noticed? Was the guy dead?
The victim’s sister tells police that she found the 57-year-old sitting on the front porch of their residence in the 3100 block of Henrietta around 10:05 p.m.
The woman advised her brother to come inside and lie down.
What? He was sitting, conscious, on the porch but his sister discovered the stabbings?!
When she took off his jacket and shirt, she reportedly observed lacerations on the victim’s chest, neck and back.
According to police, the victim was extremely intoxicated and unaware of his injuries.
This is a good message for the kids of St. Louis: You’re going to be stabbed, you just are, so just make sure you’re drunk when it happens and you won’t even notice being stabbed in your chest, back and neck(!).
The victim was unable to provide any details of the incident.
You don’t say.
Our drunken hero is in an area hospital recovering from his injuries and dealing with a pretty crazy hangover. In the meantime, we’re going to try and get the phrase “stabbed in the neck drunk” in to the area’s common vernacular.
Girl: “Wow what happened last night?”
Guy: “Well you got pretty hammered.”
Girl: “Oh shit, did I get stabbed in the neck drunk?!”
Guy: “Not sure, but I stabbed you other places and you definitely never noticed.”
Earlier this week we took some time out of our day, pressed pause on our continual Mila Kunis British interview watching, and told the St. Louis media how to fix themselves…and then we waited. Waited for the “Oh you think you’re so smart!” or “You deserve to get more than the usual amount of ass cancer!” emails/comments/tweets to come rolling in, but they never did. Instead we got things like this:
To these we say…get back in your seats, class is back in session.
1. Stop hiring old Cardinals that weren’t all that good in the first place. No one’s getting lead in their pencil over seeing Ron Gant stumble through the teleprompter text, and then try to explain to “Buck from the Ozarks” why trading “Jamie Garcia to the Yankees for Robinson Cano and Phil Hughes” seems like a long shot.
2. Since we know you won’t do #2, at least don’t hire Aaron Miles.
3. Since we know you won’t do #3, make sure you buy a lot of stackable seat cushions for him to sit on. Try to keep a bag of Cheerio’s around to keep him from getting fussy between shots, and make sure you ask him about the times he pitched after every extra inning game. “Pappa Tony” said he likes that.
4. Tell “The Cat” (reporter Jim Hayes) that if we’re all supposed to keep playing along with his hair piece, lets at least switch it up a bit. Maybe one game come out with a Russell Brand-style, and then maybe like a Kid n Play look. It would really spice up those early-August games vs the Marlins.
We know why The Vital Voice wanted to get on our list, and it’s because they know we love The Vital Voice! We know that you know that we know! …but also know this: We can always find something.
Why the hell do you have the weather on your home page? There is no point to that widget other than “Well, we already have three ads on the page!” guilt-based filler. Ditch the weather and just put another ad there, it’s ok because no one is checking the weather there ever ever ever (ever)!
“I wonder if I should wear a coat today? I know! I’ll load up thevitalvoice.com and scroll most of the way to the bottom and look at the right column for the most up-to-date weather information!”
– No one, not even Dieta Pepsi
Maybe, maybe we’d understand if you wanted the weather information just so you could tack on a standard “…with a slight chance of rainbows.” at the end of every day’s forecast, but failing that, it’s time to kill the weather.
Though our audience has been known to overlap on a semi-regular basis, most of your content isn’t always in our wheelhouse. That being said, we’re certainly not going to begrudge you for that. Horny, sports-loving 18-year olds will always exist and as long as they click ads and come back each day it’s no doubt a solid business. There is one thing though: Lets call it a day on the “Girl Next Door” bit. There hasn’t been an actual hot girl on that for what appears to be from your archives, a very very long time. All your proving to us is that we live “next door” to a ton of chicks that look at least drunkenly bang-able with makeup, a tight girls Cardinals jersey and Photoshop. But we already knew that! We didn’t even have to see the girls to know because that list includes every girl ever under 200 lbs and free of horrible physical deformity…well, at least under 250 but not major deformities, like if they’re Philippine or something.
Ok, who else did we miss?