"PORT-AU-PRINCE, Haiti — Hunger bashed in the front gate of Haiti's presidential palace. Hunger poured onto the streets, burning tires and taking on soldiers and the police. Hunger sent the country's prime minister packing." Oh, really, Marc Lacey? Really, New York Times? Hunger did this? The inanimate sensation created when one's liver requires more glucose "bashed in" a gate and burned tires? Oh, sorry, are you trying to be poetic? A little fancy with the language? Great work! Your stupid lede made us too annoyed to read what is probably a very important and serious story about poverty. Your stupid lede and our hangover. Is it... the stupidest lede? Probably not! SO: find us even more egregiously 'poetic' Times ledes. Maybe we'll poll! After the jump, Denton's nomination for dumbest fancy intro to serious news.

The river is the life and memory of this country.

On the muddy banks of Kisangani, the river releases a man who risked cholera and crocodiles and spent three months on a decrepit barge — all for a chance to travel a thousand miles to sell, at long last, a sack of plastic ladies shoes.

Outside Mbandaka, where the river trips over the Equator, it glances up at the shell of a dictator's unfinished palace, now home to a pair of cows.

In a hidden creek in the hard-knocks capital, Kinshasa, the river hears the screams of an unwanted girl. Her father banished her to the water, believing that she was a witch.