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Wolf Shot In Athol

I am sure we have all seen those hilarious notes written to landlords that produced a different meaning from what was intended.

“The toilet is blocked and we cannot bath the children until it is cleared.”

“I want some repairs done to my stove as it has backfired and burnt my knob off.”

The person next door has a large erection in his back garden, which is unsightly and dangerous.”

“Will you please send a man to look at my water. It is a funny colour and not fit to drink.”

Well, newspapers are not infallable either. In earlier days, due to the amount of content, proofreaders often read what they wanted to see, and missed a few glaring errors, and the end result was often hilarious. I am sure one newspaper in particular would not mind having its name mentioned, given that I have made my share of typograhical errors, like the time I reported gigantic flocks of “Double-breasted Cormorants”, instead of Double-crested Cormorants.

From the Picton Gazette in the 1970s, came this classic headline, “WOLF SHOT IN ATHOL”. How embarrassing to be shot in such a private part of the anatomy!

The late Lindlay Calnan, former owner and publisher of the same paper once related the story of how a major typo substantially changed the meaning of a headline that was supposed to read, “Facts and Figures From the Local Politicians”. However, subscribers retrieved their newspapers from their mailbox that week, to read, instead,”Farts and Figures From the Local Politicians”.

It’s interesting how an ad can read when lines are reversed, which is what happened with this local ad in 1972 which should have read, “two hound pups, five months old, good dog two years old. Also black and white hunting dogs. All very good with children.”

But, this is how it came out in the paper.

WANTED TO GIVE AWAY – Two hound pups, five months old, good dog two years old. All very good with hunting dogs. Also black and white children. Required to pay for this advertisement only.”

A typesetting error substantially changed a tribute to a well know author and historian. The quote should have read, “She was in a true sense, a highly educated individual,” not “a lightly educated individual”.

Here is another blooper that caused a bit of embarrassment for not only the victim in this accident, but also the reporter who wrote up the story. “A 23 year old Milford area woman suffered minor injuries after she was involved in a single vehicle accident on County Road 8. Police say that she was driving a 1978 GMC pickup southbound on County Road 8 when she sh*t a patch of ice………..and rolled over.”

A Highway 7 newspaper once had an advertisement for compact discs. Of course, the first “s” got left out of discs and an elderly lady broke up the newspaper office when she came in and yelled “Give me all you’ve got!”

Another classified ad in the same paper advertised a “mounted winch”. Of course, somehow it got changed to “mounted wench” and the newspaper staff got a lot of calls from the good ole boys in the area.

One time there was an ad for a babysitter required by a Demorestville woman for her two boys. It was supposed to read that a sitter was needed for two small boys “twelve hour shifts involved”. However, a very crucial letter “f” was left out of “shifts”.

And my personal favourite from another local paper, on the use of laptop computers. It was noted that users must be ever-vigilant when taking laptops in their cars. They were cautioned never to leave them alone, “not even for a movement”.

“To err is human, to forgive divine.”

Filed Under: News from Everywhere Else

About the Author: Terry Sprague became interested in nature at an early age. "Growing up on the family farm at Big Island, 12 miles north of Picton, on the shore of the beautiful Bay of Quinte, I was always interested in the natural world around me. During my elementary school days at the small one-room school I attended on Big Island, I received considerable encouragement from the late Marie Foster, my teacher in Grades 6 through 8. Her home was a short distance from where I lived and through the years she was responsible for developing my interest in birds. The late Phil Dodds, a former editor with the Picton Gazette, also a great nature enthusiast, suggested I undertake a nature column - a column I have submitted weekly since 1965. The column has since expanded to the Napanee Beaver and the Tweed News. Life has been good, and through the years I have enjoyed working with such nature related agencies as Glenora Fisheries Research as a resource technician, Sandbanks Provincial Park as a park interpreter and Quinte Conservation as a naturalist and outdoor events coordinator. As a nature interpreter, currently working from my home office, I now create and lead numerous interpretive events in the area and offer indoor audio/visual presentations to interested groups. Could one who is interested in nature have enjoyed a more exhilarating period in the work force?" Terry's website is

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  1. Chris says:

    Over the years I have collected newspaper articles which have raised a few laughs… some of my faves:

    “Missippi’s Literacy Program Shows Improvement”

    “Federal Agents Raid Gun Shop — Find Weapons”


    “Utah Poison Control Center Reminds Everyone Not To Take Poison”

  2. virginia says:

    thanks for a good laugh.

  3. Borys Holowacz says:


    You should know by now that there are no wolves in The County 🙂

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