“It’s Been Fun”

This is a weekend for traveling.

More than 5 billion Americans will jump into their cars and drive to some destination so they can watch a parade, wave a flag, buy an inflatable Angry Bird™ balloon manufactured in China, and drink too much. I am doing all four things right now so my estimation of the number of American drivers might be a little off.

The recession is beyond us, according to Triple A, aka AAA not to be confused with AA or ABC. Gas prices are down, the three As declared, and promptly forgot to tell all the gas stations in my hometown since yesterday I spent $55 to fill up my Toyota Camry when it still had one-quarter of gas in the tank. But apparently, I will use all that “extra” money to buy me some entertainment in the form of restaurants, furniture rental stores and dollar stores.

I am using my savings to buy these at the Dollar Tree:

Snap-on feather hair extensions are extremely useful when the chemicals contained inside them cause one to lose 75% of one’s hair.

Mine will be red, white and blue.

The people-travel-on-holidays is a news story in the NY Post, and I am all too familiar with these non news stories that a reporter is forced to write to fill news holes on a long holiday weekend.

In Memorial Days of yore, I would be a lucky American non-traveler holed up in a cubicle on a Saturday covering four events that would eventually lead me down the path of obtaining an MLS so I would never have to interview people at the annual soap box derby ever again.

So. . . why are you at the soap box derby?

My daughter is racing.

Awesome. Grrl power. . . I’m sorry I said that. Um. So, what do you like about the soap box derby?

The fact my daughter is in it.

Yes, great stuff. Let me make sure I’ve quoted you accurately.

By the way the winner of the race “likes to race” and “enjoys the competition part.”

You’re welcome.

Then I would rush over to the annual wheat festival 20 minutes away to report on festive wheat. The ole’ timey wheat thresher would ole-timely thresh, and people would consume switzle–a concoction of vinegar, sugar, water and ginger–and vomit profusely.

Here is a direct quote from an news article I wrote about it:

“It’s been fun,” said one of the organizers. “We chose this weekend because of the weather and because it would be a patriotic weekend.”

Where the fuck is my Pulitzer?

Then I would write a story about oxygen being required for people to breathe, and inevitably someone would stick the inflatable parade balloon somewhere it should never be, and I would write about that when I did my police calls, and I would call it a day.

But this year, I’m free, people.

I’m free to join the 399,000 or 4 billion other drivers on the road to more happiness or more nowhere.

If only I can kick my switzle habit, I’ll be home free.

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21 comments

  1. I’m going to have another drink and hope that wherever the inflatable parade balloon is stuck is not somewhere that will require rubber gloves to retrieve it.

    A Happy Mem Day to you.

  2. Happy Memorial Day, Speaker 7!! … you sure know how to make me grateful I’m in Cameroon and not working for a small newspaper somewhere! By the way, $55 is a boatload to pay to fill up 3/4 of a Camry’s tank … but it’s also about half the annual income of most people in the L’Extreme Nord where I am (not to bum you out, but just to put things in perspective) — Happy road trip!!

  3. omg, ‘where the feck is your pulitzer’ INDEEDY DOO. goddermn it, you kill me. i would like to see a critque by you of all the news articles you’ve ever written, please. and thank you. xo, sm

    1. I could sum up all my news articles in one sentence: “I hate being a reporter, can’t you tell?” Seven years I did it. Seven long painful years.

    1. Oh my god!?! I feel compelled to write about this for the local newspaper. Do you mind if I quote you. . . um. . . so what do you like about water?

  4. I worked retail all through college and remember feeling like holidays were created for everyone to enjoy except me.

    In my high school English class we were asked to bring in an example of good or bad writing. I brought in a bad one (of course), a local newspaper article about a kid who found a golden eight ball in his cereal box and apparently therefore won $5,000. I remember the riveting quotes, including this one from the mom: “He said, ‘We won, we won,’ and I said, ‘Yeah right.'” Now I feel guilty for bashing on this, knowing it was probably all the poor reporter had to work with.

    1. Wouldn’t it be amazing if I was the one who wrote that article? Circle of life.

      That sounds like a story I would have been forced to write. Interviewing children was the pits. They would give monosyllabic answers and were notoriously unreliable when it come to recounting details. I would shake them by the shoulders and scream “Give me something to work with, you little bastards!!” Okay, I didn’t actually do that, but that’s what was happening inside my head.

  5. You definitely deserve a Pulitzer. That quote was great. I check out your blog on my phone, then when I get back to the computer, it’s gone. Then I have to look it up, which means you get double hits. Great for you, as hits=money.

  6. How does one go about nominating another one for a Pulitzer? Because for THIS (alone): “Where the fuck is my Pulitzer?” you deserve one.
    I currently am homeless on WordPress, and only write “guest blogs” and therefore do not feel the freedom to say fuck whenever the fuck I like. By the same token, I do not feel responsible enough to have my own blog, while feeling a sense of responsibility for writing a new article for the one upon which I guest.
    I sleep on theolio’s couch.
    But, while there I vacuum and do the dishes and laundry.
    And I make dinner at least three nights per week.

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