For me and for a great many other reporters, the most loathsome chore in journalism is the dreaded "man on the street" interview, which is why I both admire and pity the Palm Beach Post's Frank Cerabino, who every week ventures out of the cool fluorescent confines of his newsroom to meet actual people. (Every time I see the opening credits, I strain to see the editor who must be pointing a pistol in Cerabino's direction.)
The most charming aspect of these videotaped encounters is the wonder Cerabino displays toward people who are openly doing things that -- based on the antiseptic world presented in daily papers -- they are supposed to be ashamed of doing. In the most recent episode, Cerabino tempts New Year's resolvers with chocolate confections. At about the 2:40 mark, our intrepid columnist is flummoxed by a beach "dude" who not only admits to being under the influence of marijuana, he apparently believes that Cerabino is a fellow stoner with whom he can share his cache of "munchies."
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-- Thomas Francis