It’s deadline day and my story still isn’t finished. Outside of plagiarizing, chronic dyslexic misspellings, and sleeping with the editor’s wife, there are few things more poisonous to a young, budding journalist than a late story.
More than once I’ve put things off until the very last minute. And while I have become a touch better at minimizing my procrastination over the years, I still find myself delaying business for the instant gratification of an icy Long Trail Double Bag and guitar.
Business before pleasure is for suckers and suits.
I know, I know. That isn’t the sort of mantra a person like myself, someone who hopes to make a living by nailing deadlines, should swear allegiance to. I’m actually very unlazy most of the time. Christ, even I wake up for work every day at the unholy hour of 4 a.m.
That’s about the same time show-off sophomores find themselves passing out on their bathroom floors, soaking in a puddle of puke, piss, and lime rinds.
I do work hard and I pay (most of) my bills on time. I try to kick it old school and try not to stress about this and that, especially when this is never really that bad or important.
But it’s still deadline day – still no story.
For this to happen on the last issue of the year, one that is likely our editor’s final print endeavor of her collegiate career, seems eerily fated to pass. As I’ve said, I’ve done this once or twice before. It’s not that I choose to do it. It just seems destined to happen, like watching our lacrosse team be devoured by Mt. Ida in the finals again and again and again . . .
I can probably tell you what Janet Gillet (our editor) is doing right now, Monday morning, mere hours before we send The Spartan off to be printed. She’s probably sitting in The Spartan office pulling her hair out and swearing like a Bronx sailor, while actively trying to decide which of my soon-to-be-shattered kneecaps would look better on her wall next to her impending diploma.
All the while, softly, out of the Mac computer speakers, Tommy Shaw rips through the peak of Styx’s “Come Sail Away” on his Stratocaster.
As much as I should be angry at myself for putting Janet through one more bout of hell before she heads off to Chicago to pursue her M.A. in psychology, I still find myself giggling like a fart-cutting kid in church a little bit.
It’s not ha-ha funny in the traditional golf-ball-to-the-gonads sense; it’s more of a crazy the-shnozzberries-taste-like-shcnozzberries cackling lunatic-on-salvia kind of funny.
Because I’m next.
What’s funny is that Janet’s time sitting in the Spartan fire pit is coming to an end. The furnace needs a fresh ass to roast, the only way to satisfy its lust for college kid tears.
My friends, I am that ass.
While I’m laughing at her trying to sort through the final pile of Terry Badman Grade BS, she’s already got front row seats to watch me dance in burning, tortured, skin-peeling pain in the fall, when I take over her duties as editor of The Spartan.
We don’t pass a torch here at The Spartan. We pass a fiery pitchfork – from one ass to the next.
I’ll have to admit, there is a certain amount of uncertainty that comes with wearing The Spartan the crown of thorns. Janet has been responsible for nearly EVERY element of the paper (designer, editor, reporter, etc.) for a while now. Those are some big shoes to fill.
It’s like Janet is Ozzy and I’m Dio. Only Black Sabbath is a newspaper and Dio likes the Sox.
Stupid I know, but true. Taking over for Janet is an intimidating task. The Spartan has come a long way in just the few years she has been part of it. The only thing I’ve really proved in my stint with the club is that I can piss people off on a fairly regular basis, whether I intend to or not.
Really, some of you need to lighten up. We’re all mostly new at this. We’re going to misspell your names or butcher your official title once in a while. We don’t mean to, but we understand why it’s upsetting. I’d hate to think I worked a lifetime teaching at CSC and was accidentally referred to as an “assistant” professor, too.
That being said, and here’s where I get all mushy, you all should be thankful that Janet was so willing to deal with the day-to-day bullshit blasted on her every issue. She could have let the paper melt into a steaming pile of otter dung, but she didn’t.