Today the NYT carries an obituary on the front page reporting the death of Ruth M. Siems, the inventor of family-favorite “stove-top stuffing,” a Thanksgiving favorite. Siems, 74, had a heart attack at home in Indiana, on Nov. 13, 2005. Hmm. It’s now Nov. 23, 2005. Looks like some savvy editor somewhere saw the story and realized that they’d have some Thanksgiving synergies on their hands if they only waited ten days to actually run the story. Untimely deaths are so much more useful when they’re, well, timely.
Of course we don’t know when this story came over the wire – and the AP version is also dated today. So in truth this is all just conjecture; perhaps the family delayed releasing the details of Ms. Siems’ passing for their own reasons. One thing is certain though: the Thanksgiving tables of 60 million Americans will owe a debt to Ruth Siems tomorrow night as they enjoy the fruits of United States Patent No. 3,870,803, be they chicken, turkey or beef, cornmeal, or sourdough. Happy Thanksgiving and thank you, Ruth Siems, wherever you are. Sorry we’re ten days late.