By CRAIG MILLAR
RALEIGH, NC — A headline typo panicked a liberal enclave and shut down library services for several hours Thursday when The News & Observer ran a story titled “Librarians Quarantined as Ebola Spreads.”
Neighbors from the bordering Cameron Park, eager to show their support and lack of discrimination against those with the disease that causes rapid, painful death and bleeding through the eyes, rushed to the library with picket signs reading “Librarians Deserve Love too,” “Quarantine Limbaugh, Not Librarians,” and “Ebola Doesn’t Kill, Hate Does.”
“This is awful,” said neighbor Jan Beerstein. “Why, in the 21st century, we feel the need to displace and isolate people just because they carry a virus that makes them ‘different’ from everyone else is appalling. We should educate and embrace diversity, not pretend that if we ignore it it ceases to exist.” She then hugged a black employee of York Properties, and threw a dreamcatcher at a white security guard.
Meanwhile, workers in hazmat suits from several area hospitals descended upon Cameron Village, cordoning off the block and infuriating a few soccer moms and numerous meth heads who had to spend the next few hours staring at each other and drinking coffee inside The Fresh Market.
At one point, a body bag was seen in the hands of several health-care workers, but it was later determined that the librarian inside was just extremely quiet, and not dead as first suspected. She will be released following four weeks of house quarantine.
When the source of the threat, the headline typo, was revealed, the protesters left en masse. Most were later seen sipping lattes and retooling their signs to bear anti-corporate slogans inside the local Starbucks.
By dusk, all official vehicles had left the shopping center, with police spokesman R. Bowen saying the threat was over and had likely been overblown “or just plain wrong.” Further, “this whole place comes to a screeching halt at 6 pm anyway.”
With the last of the National Guard choppers departing the ITB mall and the all-clear being sounded, the time came for answers.
“I don’t know how the f**k all this happened,” a clearly harried Grimes Benehan said at a hastily arranged press conference in front of the N&O building downtown. Benehan, who serves as reporter, copy editor, ombudsman and weekend deliveryman at the rapidly diminishing daily, went on, “I mean, obviously I meant Liberians, but I write most of these stories on my iPhone at Cup-A-Joe, and autocorrect usually catches s**t like this.”
He added, “F**k you, autocorrect.”