Nov. 14, 2013
Ode To A Weekly Editor
I go to work on Monday morn, not rightly sure why I’ve been born.
To be an editor endowed with skills to serve the reading crowd.
I could have been an engineer, an astronaut devoid of fear, or been a doc, a scalpel whiz, to take me where the money is. Instead I opted to become a writer; destined to succumb to all the woes a weekly brings - like deadlines, debts and other things, like names misspelled, a jumbled quote, a guy incensed because I wrote a piece which went against his grain (is that what caused my stomach pain?). A cancelled ad at paste-up time, an obit late with words sublime.
And when I’m working on the run, a caller wonders if I’ve done a feature on the spud he’s raised - he says I would be quite amazed to see how big the thing has grown. (I finally get him off the phone).
That’s when I learn, to my dismay, it’s going to be a hellish day. I find my waxer on the fritz, and when my main computer quits, with lots of ads yet to set.
The serviceman is hard to get. He comes at last and, when he starts, he says he has to order parts. But praise the Lord, by lucky quirk, he finds a way to make it work.
Now everything will be alright - except I have to work all night. As press day dawns, with bleary eyes, I say a prayer unto the skies, then roar off to the printing plant I’ve proved again I won’t say “Can’t!”
I grab the first run off the press, I must admit I’m under stress. It’s too late now; I scan it quick - there’s gotta be some nit to pick. Oh, joy supreme, I didn’t fail - another issue in the mail! I’ll know too soon what folks have read, but first I’ll stagger off to bed. I’m sure a typo (maybe three) will fill some critic full of glee - but I don’t care; ‘tis worth it all, to get a complimentary call.
I could have worked at Pizza Hut, sold shoes or peas or used cars, but - despite the weekly misery, there is no other job for me; to heed the journalistic muse, to be the bearer of the news.
(Editor’s Note: Thanks to JP Doodles and Keith Jones, a South Dakota muser.)
McKenzie River Reflections