During a marathon time-wasting web session last weekend I stumbled upon a blog called Stuff Journalists Like. The entry that really got me rolling: "Checklist for being a 'real' journalist." The highlights, with my own commentary in parentheses:
2. Corrected a loved one's grammar in a greeting card. (Yes, I'm guilty.)
3. Replaced one of the major food groups with coffee. (I've replaced one with coffee and a second with whiskey.)
9. Learned that being told to "fuck off " and "go to hell" is part of the job. (Especially if "editor" is in your title.)
16. You think it's normal to work 16 hours a day for eight hours pay. (Doesn't everyone?)
17. Have conducted a phone interview while completely naked. (Not guilty, but probably only because I hadn't thought of it until now.)
The official list ends at 20, but I'd propose a few additions:
21. You're not offended when a total stranger calls you a complete moron or an incompetent poopstick.
22. Mysteriously, when deadline is approaching, you tend to "drop" your editor's call, "lose" your thumb drive and suffer computer "malfunctions."
23. You keep a bottle of hard alcohol in your desk and your boss knows it because she gave it to you.
24. You've accidentally worn the same clothes to work two days in a row.
25. You've had breakfast, lunch and dinner at your desk after it was delivered to your office.
So why the list? Because after a week in which I may have heard more than my typical fair share of static, I got a good laugh out of it. And because it's a bit of preemptive stress relief for the static I'm going to take this week over "Idaho's Outbreak of Fear" in which George Prentice takes on a very touchy subject: childhood vaccinations. Though the media's interest in the debate over the safety of childhood vaccinations seems to have waned since it was disclosed the research linking autism to vaccinations was fraudulent, the number of parents who are choosing not to vaccinate their children is on the rise--at least in North Idaho. Get the full story on Page 13.