Instead of finding stories as most reporters do, CBS News Correspondent Steve Hartman uses a highly sophisticated piece of newsgathering equipment: a dart. He asks a person on the street to throw a dart at a map to help him choose where he'll go next in search of a story. Once there, he picks a subject at random from the phone book. The premise is that "Everybody Has a Story."
Yet in Mansfield, Ohio, for a while he thought, that it might be better to rename of the segment to "Everybody has a story, except in Mansfield." After 18 tries, he still didn't have a taker.
"I'm not selling anything. Did you hang up on me intentionally or was that an accident?" he asked one of the people he called. "I felt like, 'Just shoot me,'" he said. Until, finally, he found a believer.
"Oh, my God; this is real!" says Lisa McClain.
When she answered the phone, her family was in the middle of another lazy weekend of planting bulbs and watering the dog.
Their Labrador is obsessed with lawn irrigation. But the important untold story was not in anything visible at their home. It's in what one can't see. Lisa McClain seems to care for her kids a great deal, provide them with everything they need, except for that one necessity that every kid must have. "Video games," she says.
All the kids at Central Elementary raised their hands when asked who had video games at home, except for Lisa McClain's boy, Caleb.
"I'm the only one that doesn't have a Nintendo or a Playstation," he says.
But despite all the peer pressure and the puppy dog eyes, the McClains have managed to keep their TV a TV.
"Actually, I think I'm doing them a favor," Lisa McClain says.
"There are a lot better things that we could be doing," adds her husband, Shawn McClain.
This family said it has discovered something more awesome, with better graphics and a bigger picture than any virtual reality.
It's called reality.
Every week, the McClains set aside time just to be outdoors. Sometimes it's at the pond. Sometimes it's at the botanical garden.
"In the world that we live in, I feel that it's very important that he gets a firm appreciation that there are other things in this world beyond technology," says Shawn McClain.
And although that may not seem like much of a story, the McClains are hoping that it is at least a reminder that a video game isn't the only doorway into an undiscovered world.
The backdoor will get you there, too.
Lisa McClain throws a dart to guide next week's journey. "Lincoln County, Nev.," she says, though she really meant thit Hawaii.
©1999 CBS Worldwide Inc. All Rights Reserved
Copyright 1999 CBS. All rights reserved.