A (Partial) List of Things I’ve Done With Sources

Since there has been a fair amount of controversy on the lines you can and cannot cross with a source, here is a partial list of things I have probably done with sources.

Smoked cigarettes

Drank drinks

Slept in their van

Ate crab cakes (even though I’ve been a vegetarian for a decade) (even though I didn’t like crab cakes even when I wasn’t)

Took a (bad) photo of them in front of a statue of Stevie Ray Vaughan

Accosted Dusty Hill, bass player from ZZ Top, at some sort of … party?

Believed that they smoked crack on accident that one time

Watched a stupid football game on Thanksgiving

Hired a vital staff member

Pretended I had met someone I hadn’t

Invented a fairly believable scenario about meeting that person that wasn’t so much invented as stolen from someone who had actually met that person

Walked a dog

Agreed with him that, yes, that code enforcement guy was a total bitch

Let her pay for lunch even though I knew that was wrong and I felt bad about it, but I had gone to the restroom and she took care of it while I was gone, then I wrote a story that didn’t really make her look that great and it’s been almost 15 years and I still feel really bad about it and I always made sure to pay every single time

Didn’t tell anyone about that thing that time

Listened to their stupid band

Dreamed about a zebra that could play basketball and talk and no one thought it was that weird, even though in every other way the zebra behaved exactly like a wild zebra would (note: I did this with a source, but the source was probably not aware)

Drank from their bottle of red wine, even though I didn’t drink wine of any kind at the time, and there were no cups and I usually — well, I’m no germaphobe — but I like a little separation of church and state, if you know what I mean

the Kid ‘n’ Play kickstep

So many shots


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  • Whisky Tango Foxtrot

    You, sir, get all my internet points for the day.

  • On my list would be:
    played poker for more than 24 hours straight

    watched an orgy

    went bowling

  • J-No

    watched an orgy? what kind of eyes-wide-shut story were you doing, MM?

    now I don’t think watched their stupid band crosses any kind of bounds … I mean, it’s kind of part of the gig as music reporter/critic/etc. But if it is unethical, I wish someone would have told me … would have totally bowed up my journalism-ethics shoulders and put my foot down on that one.

  • That’s “Wyld Zybras” dude!

  • Played Galaga (DESTROYED the source, by the way)

    Drank beer

    Swore gratuitously

    Drank beer in the co-pilot seat as he was flying his plane

    Played one-on-one basketball game (again, DESTROYED source)

    Watched him shoot insulin into his buttock

    Drank beer and whiskey

    Participated in bass-fishing tournament that included an onboard guide, none of which I paid for

  • Yelled at Westboro Baptist Church members

    Broke into an abandoned building

    Watched as teens tagged said building

    Played poker for 24 hours straight while watching an orgy in a bowling alley

  • publicnewssense

    Apparently you did nothing illegal, however, and that is the ethical rub, not that a lot of rubs are ethical.

  • Tom

    Drank Coors Light on the rocks (not recommended)

  • Rappelled off the side of a public bridge.
    Stood next to a source as he operated on a woman and took her cup size from A to C.
    Sat through and participated in many exercise classes at a retirement home.

  • Liz Landry

    got hit on and pretended I would absolutely LOVE to have drinks later

    believed they indeed had hit a rough patch and gave them some money. I also gave them a ride, but we were going to the same area

    ate her egg salad sandwich and helped her husband load cars full of donations

    borrowed clothes, wore clothes, NEVER returned clothes

    met him at a bar, drank with him at the bar, sang karaoke with him at the bar and hit hit him with a dart

  • Towski

    Tim, I’m not sure that your list consists of anything you wouldn’t already do…

  • blue pencil

    Attended a bondage-and-discipline teaching session for an underground S&M club and picked up ah, um, well … a clamp when it fell off the demonstration subject’s, um, nipple.

    Let the movie director hit on my girlfriend.

    Let my girlfriend flirt with the movie director.

    What can I say? It was the ’80s in Austin. And the bondage story never ran.

  • Josh Hixson

    My list:
    – Reassured them that everything would be all right while we watched their house burn down together.
    – Tried out for a semi-pro football league in North Texas.
    – Made a long-distance phone call to China from the middle of a shady massage parlor in Plano where a staffer was arrested for alleged prostitution.
    – Helped corral mini goats.
    – Held their knee cap in my hand while they had knee-replacement surgery + live-tweeting their surgery from inside the operating room.
    – Ate my weight in high school press box food while covering football games.
    – Had a Bobcat paw me on the shoulder. Later discovered it was declawed. Funny joke.
    – Scouted and later confirmed existence of piranha-smuggling pet shop in Plano.
    – Watched as two home brewers tended hops they grew for their beer in a church community garden on the DL.

  • Unclever Pseudonym

    — Sheared a sheep
    — Cried
    — Drove around 1,000 feet beneath the surface of the earth
    — Searched the alleys for (the body of) a missing girl