The shit we columnists go through.


There’s a panic, a horrible and desperate anxiety that the gods have reserved for columnists. It is called OH SHIT. This is what happens.  Columnist sends an impressively huge batch of articles to the editor and then floats in a pink bubble of pride, just feeling so great about how creative and productive they’ve been. This leads to a dumb kind of relaxation that will turn into PANIC when the editor calls at the last minute, demanding an article.

“What do you mean? I sent thousands of those!” the columnist will wail. “They can’t possibly be finished.” Well, the ones I’d sent Esther actually were finished, and I had to run around like a chicken on drugs looking for something to send for your entertainment this week.

I chanced on this old post, off one of my old blogs. Enjoy.

On Sunday afternoon, after I’d been to church, after I’d held hands with a lady called Esther and promised to go for new life classes (so that my tipsy, giggling unserious salvation can finally get a grip), I CURSED. I cursed on radio, into the ears of thousands of Ugandans. I cursed like a fool looking to blow her internship. I said F words. I said S words. I said B words. I said words pertaining to a particularly offensive kind of self loving. My co-presenter scowled at me, so I think I might be fired. To say that I offended most of that radio station’s guidelines is an understatement.

All this happened because the guys I was in Studio with ganged up on me. They backed me into a corner and said things like, “Be quiet Mildred, the cool people are speaking. Mildred, why don’t you give up on radio? Why don’t you go home? You remind us of Kendra.”  They tempered with, kicked, and boxed my ego’s ears. They were being nasty, man. And I was being a bad sport as usual. Sigh. Then I cursed.

Obviously, they started being nicer after that. The sneering stopped. One of them even said, “Mildred, you’ve got to be a better sport. You have to hit back without showing the world that you’re angry. Loosen up; this is only a gag for radio.” He’s nice and cute-ish and he’s got proper smarts, so I hope he’ll be there next week.

Because this is just a blog, I can switch from topic to topic, right? Yea. I make the rules.

I was in the car with father today when he whispered, “Take heel and let loose” or something like that. Whenever he’s itching to show his badass traffic-law flouting prowess, he says that “take heel” thing. When I ask him about it, he says that sometimes a certain spiritual force, a voice in his head gives him the go ahead to overtake cars and drive in wrong lanes.

I’m sorry, but I’m always praying for the owners of the lanes that he’s misusing to come claim them. I’m always hoping for him to get in trouble. This is bad manners. He’s a happy man who whistles and breaks rules, two things that should make me proud.

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