(And yes, I'm totally ignoring the phone hacking scandal and the newspaper with the boobs on page three every day.)
So imagine my surprise when I turn to the trusty BBC for my daily dose of news and sports and find something that, over here, might appear on the pages of The Onion.
There are two parts to this story, but the headline itself made me go, "Huh?"
John Terry, Anton Ferdinand: QPR & Chelsea discuss handshake(QPR = Queens Park Rangers, and for those who don't know, QPR and Chelsea are soccer teams.)
No, I didn't alter anything, that's what it says. To discuss a handshake - not one between Arafat and Netanyahu (partly because one of them's dead) or Hillary Clinton and Sheikh Mohammed Blow-'Em-Up, but between two guys who make a living kicking a ball.
And the first three paragraphs heighten the silly stakes:
Senior officials from Chelsea and QPR are in talks to defuse the growing tension surrounding Saturday's west London derby at Loftus Road.
QPR defender Anton Ferdinand will meet with manager Mark Hughes on Thursday having indicated he will not shake John Terry's hand before the match.
In July, the Chelsea captain was acquitted of racially abusing Ferdinand in last season's corresponding fixture.So let me explain, if it's not obvious, why this is so silly:
1. A man was charged with a crime for calling another man names. A crime.
2. High-level talks are being conducted, and reported on in the media, over an up-coming handshake. Or lack of one.
Both events are, in my humble opinion, ridiculous. And to the credit of my adopted nation, neither would happen here.
First of all, this wonderful, beautiful, magical thing called the First Amendment protects my right to call people names. I might get a biff in the hooter but I'm not going to face the prospect of men in dark suits hauling me off at gunpoint.
This wonderful amendment, which apparently the English should take a look at, also means that we don't get a situation where some politician (or group of them) decides that one batch of rude names is okay, while the other batch constitutes a crime. Let's face it, where do you draw the line? And what's the harm in a rude name or two? After all, the person yelling the racist/age-ist/sexist epithet is the one who comes out looking like a loser, anyway.
As for the handshake thing, good grief. I tried to ponder the situation in terms of US sports, imagining if a member of one team P.O.ed a member of the opposing team. They next time they might on the field of battle, this would happen:
Football (or, as I call it, throwball): the insulter would get insulted right back, probably by a man who weighs more than a bus, and while he wasn't looking he'd get a helmet in the kidneys.
Baseball (or, as I call it, throwball): the pitcher would chuck the ball at the insulter's head, who would then charge the mound, and in nine seconds both teams would be slugging it out while an assistant manager stands next to the melee, spitting ta-baccy and side-footing dirt onto everyone.
Basketball (or, as I call it, throwball): the insulter would be complimented for his imaginative use of language, but in a back-handed way which would lead to louder compliments, eventual chest bumping, and lots of shoving. Meanwhile, two fat blokes from the crowd would be egging the players on while the referees buzz around at waist-level trying to calm things down.
There is simply no way in the world anyone would even suggest inter-team talks to hash out a resolution to the Mysterious Case of the Missing Handshake.
I mean, really, what's next? Slapping each other with gloves? That, my friends, is called boxing and now that I think about it, perhaps it's the perfect solution: one ring, two men, four gloves. Now quit your whining and get ready to rumble!
Seriously, does anyone else think this is ludicrous?
Also, you should get some sports that don't involve throwing the ball.