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Coffee shop talk is returning to normal

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By The Staff

I couldn't help myself. Normally, I wouldn't care. But I blame two, maybe three, little old ladies in a Louisville coffee shop.

There are certain words and phrases that my brain listens for, even if I'm not actively listening.

Somehow, and I couldn't tell you how, Britney Spears made it into the mental queue. Maybe it had something to do with the Dr. Phil visit to her psych ward room, which thrust her name into the headlines and news broadcasts for what seemed like the dozenth time in three days.

I was sitting in the coffee shop, happily minding my peppermint tea, when the ladies sat down at a table next to me.

"I just don't know about that Britney Spears," one said.

"Somebody ought to help her," said another.

"What about those children?" the third said.

Immediately, I had the urge to write Britney Spears a letter.

Dear Britney,

Are you happy now? Little old ladies in coffee shops are talking about you. Little old ladies!

Instead of their grandchildren, or bridge, or the Sunday sermon, they're talking about you. Are you happy?"

And then Monday it happened. I looked up from my computer and realized our favorite celebrity train wreck hadn't been in the headlines, on the news or even a blip on "Best Week Ever" for at least two weeks.

It reminded me vaguely of the time when the Associated Press refused to move any stories on Paris Hilton for an entire week.

In our celebrity-gossip-hound culture, we seem to eat up stories about these folks who are famous for, in my ever so humble opinion, no good reason. And yet, as a culture, we cling to their every action, every foible, every drunken escapade.

I wondered Monday afternoon if there had been a similar ban on the part of AP.

Surely not.

Hopefully, please God tell me, the media hordes have decided there are far better stories to cover.

After the AP broke their own story about not running any news about Paris Hilton, it was revealed why nobody noticed. Paris, and I'm sure some of you will find this hard to believe, hadn't done anything newsworthy enough to get in the headlines.

The AP didn't move any stories, not just because of their self-imposed ban, but because there wasn't anything to run.

No wonder nobody noticed.

In other news, at the same coffee shop this weekend, I was pleased to hear a group of little old ladies not talking about Britney, but about their book of the month.

Thank goodness. Maybe things are returning to normal.

Jonna Spelbring Priester can be reached at editor@hclocal.com.