… This Just In …



[Breaking News: from another strangely irrelevant moment in our newsroom…]

Being a journalist at a small newspaper means, in addition to writing stories and taking photos, you also layout and build the pages. And clean the toilets. But for purposes of this post, we’ll stick to this afternoon’s page-building incident, which began when I made a “filler ad” to take up a tiny space on the page too small for anything else…

As a professional, it's my job to solve problems like this.
As a professional, it’s my job to solve problems like this.

Generally, a filler ad is a small box with our website address in it, or something like this…

Boring, right?
Boring, right?

So I made a new filler ad just to see if my editor was actually looking at our pages before signing off on them…

This should boost online subscriptions.
This should boost online subscriptions.

I then placed my pages on her desk for proofing. Usually it’s a good 10 to 15 minutes before she comes back with her changes. Not today. When she came back 45 seconds later, she looked like this…

My editor when she isn't happy about something.
My editor when she isn’t happy about something.

Editor: “Who had PAGE A5!”
Me: “That would be me.”
Editor: “What a shock!”
Me: “Are we good to go?”
Editor: [Long pause…] “Fix it.”
Me: “Fix what?
Editor: “You know what I’m talking about. Fix it.”
Me: “The photos? Ok, but there’s only so much I can do with Photoshop…”

I’m just lucky my desk is nearest to the door.

(Ned Hickson is a syndicated columnist with News Media Corporation. His first book, Humor at the Speed of Life, is available from Port Hole Publications, Amazon.com or Barnes & Noble.)

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Ned's Blog

I was a journalist, humor columnist, writer and editor at Siuslaw News for 23 years. The next chapter in my own writer’s journey is helping other writers prepare their manuscript for the road ahead. I'm married to the perfect woman, have four great kids, and a tenuous grip on my sanity...

32 thoughts on “… This Just In …”

  1. **coffee spews onto keyboard** Hahahaha! I absolutely love that type of humour – in this busy world it so often goes unnoticed but nothing is funnier than a totally unexpected tiny detail that is completely surreal. As the assistant transportation manager at a major distribution center, it was one of my jobs to oversee the loading of trailers used to open new stores in the system. This was a pain in the ass as it meant accumulating everything from the pens to the fixtures to the telephones to the safe on the shipping dock and then loading the trailers (usually 10 or 12 of them) in reverse order of the unloading plan given by the new store group. Invariably there were changes, last minute additions (Ahh, we need this counter in the middle of trailer #5 which you already have loaded), unexpected items, missing items, etc. It was a challenge. Since the store would not yet be set up to process their own invoices, all the original paperwork was retained at the head office and handwritten delivery bills were created for each item and attached to the item in the trailer to match the checklist when unloading. One day we were busy loading a new store setup when the wall safe arrived. It was to go on the rear of trailer #2 – so it could be moved by professionals on site (it weighed 1,500 pounds) and installed in the wall that was prepped for it. The handwritten delivery bill said “one safe”. Feeling in a frisky mood, I got a prophylactic, placed it in a box, put the box in a big box about the size of the safe, shrink wrapped it all to a pallet, placed the delivery slip on the skid and had it loaded on the rear of the trailer where they were expecting it. The real safe, I had put in the nose of the trailer. And away it went on delivery. The next morning, my phone rang and Phil, the leader of the setup team was on the other end. “Very f*cking funny, Paul” was all that was said before he hung up. Ha! He was about as happy as your editor Ned. And I laughed so hard when I told the shippers (who were all in on it), I had to sit down to keep from falling over. We’re just unappreciated Ned.

    1. Hahaha! I love it! Humor is one of the few things that helps keep us in the moment in a world where we rarely are anymore. Hijinx like that is important for your sanity πŸ˜‰

  2. OMG! I am laughing to hard! My husband and son both had to come see what had me in tears. The line that put me over was “that’s a shock.”
    Crap…I can’t see through the tears.

  3. Laughing so hard I can’t spell or proofread. “laughing to hard” should be “so hard.” Which just sent me into another fit. That’s it! I’m done working for the night.

No one is watching, I swear...

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