No story? No problem.

Welcome to this week’s Reno News & Review.

I lost a cover story this week. It happens, and honestly, this one dropped out for a good reason: We thought we could do it better and in a more original way in coming weeks. No big deal. A minor annoyance. Really.

Just picture the mercury climb one tick up the sphygmomanometer, about what you’d expect from … what? … the blood pressure increase caused by a construction company starting a new roof on the neighbor’s house at 7 a.m.

I see this as an opportunity when it so rarely happens. I’ll call my buddies in Chico, Sacramento, Vegas and Tucson. I’ll look on the alt-weeklie story sharing website, Sometimes I’ll pull something from a national mag. All I’m looking for is the story I’d never assign. You know, the national technology or diet story. And you know what? Nothing. Nowhere. Here’s a stress story from the Chico News & Review, but I’ll have to write a couple pieces to flesh it out. Tick.

Exercise and stress? Easy. Meditation and stress? Cool. I must know a dozen experts. Place the phone calls. An hour passes. Tick. Another hour passes. Tick. Tick.

Monday morning. Deadline hours away. No meditation story was written over weekend. T-tick. Leaving the house. Raining.

“Hunter, where’s your coat?” “I think it’s either at mom’s or at school.” “You realize it’s raining and 40 degrees?” TICK.

Message on voicemail from ex: “Jeff vonKaenel called. I think it was Friday. Or Saturday.” Since my boss is calling a cell phone number I owned two years ago, I think I can assume he hasn’t called in two years, and so it must be important. TICK … TICK ….

We return to the house to find something, anything, that will work for a coat to keep my kid warm for the day. We have nothing. TICKTICKTICK.