Fun, Follies and Loss of Innocence in Novel Land

A spy gets me in from the cold

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Boss yelling at an employee

The copy desk chief was really excited about my ability to edit news stories

If you remember from I’m Tagged as a Misfit, I needed money but I was striking out in finding a job.

In my interviews, I showed up overdressed, got pegged as a troublemaker, and channeled the Cheshire Cat.

Afterward, I sat at home lamenting the year I spent writing The Not-So-Great American Novel only to follow it with Western schlock that got whipped out of town by a New York City publisher.

Great. No book. No job. No money.

What would you do next?

I decided to stop pouting and think big

So I interviewed at the daily newspaper with this killer line: “I know I don’t have any experience, but I am pregnant with potential.”

How could they say no to that?

I don’t know, but they did.

However, I had developed a spy on the inside who said they were desperate for help but under a hiring freeze.

I began calling the managing editor every week so he could pretend they were fine without me.

When the job freeze melted . . .

. . . I was hired as a copy editor because, as the boss told my spy, “He wanted it the most.”

Would you believe it? Bugging the shit out of someone actually worked.

I guess it didn’t matter that I had never edited news stories or designed any newspaper pages. You read that right: zero.

Frankly, I barely knew a font from a fart.

(Well, I really did know farts: family car farts, airplane farts, jumping jack farts and, of course, everyone’s favorite: dog farts. You probably know a bunch more.)

But ignorance is bliss . . .

. . . and I was willing to work until midnight with split days off for $3.75 and one extra half-cent an hour, which is probably the real reason I was hired.

My first night on the paper was a success: I screwed up a simple editing task because I couldn’t remember simple instructions. The copy desk chief squinted his eyes, slammed the desk hard and growled at me like an angry dog.

I knew what he was thinking because I had gained mind-reading power when a goat head-butted me in the face: “Who was the idiot who hired this idiot?”

Talk about great!

I was a real newsman, getting yelled at just like Jimmy Olsen on the Daily Planet.

Momma would have been so proud.

NEXT: “I Become a Crawling Thing”

QUESTION: What job did you get that you weren’t qualified for?

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  1. Nancy Blakley Henderson

    This is so Awesome! You kept me laughing.
    God Bless you,

    • Phil Cobb

      Thank you, Nancy. Laughter is the best medicine.

  2. Lissa Johnston

    You left out yoga farts.

    • Phil Cobb

      How could I have missed those?

  3. Melanie Roussel

    Hilarious XD “Who was the idiot who hired this idiot” had me in stitches as I swear I’ve heard one of my bosses say it. Not about me, I hasten to add. Well, maybe about me – no one turns around when they hear that particular clarion call…

    Keep posting! I need the laughs these days.

    • Phil Cobb

      Definitely never turn around, because then you’re tagged as it.

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