Below is the typical day at The Houstonian through the eyes of an editor in chief:
About 8 a.m. (long before roosters wake up), I drag my panicky carcass into the office with my first gallon of gas station coffee. The morning begins as follows: Kristle (business manager) and I ensue in a heated battle over whether or not we can afford light bulbs for the office – or oxygen for that matter. But if anyone can tackle our debt like a speed-induced cheetah, it’s Kristle Castillo. Thank God for that chick.
Halfway through my coffee, Sally (production manager) proudly proclaims that the newspaper has increased from six to 10 pages, prompting me to take a moment and cry in the other room. If some people can be too happy, then Sally is definitely one of them. It’s tough to yell at someone who’s too likable.
Two hours later (with the office bustling), everyone’s last nerve is finally severed when Brad (entertainment editor) plays the same damn Brazilian song for the 342nd time. Rachael (senior reporter), in a fit of anger, throws the nearest object at Brad but inevitably misses. The poor girl couldn’t harpoon a blue whale if it was three inches from her face. It’s reassuring to know that she never misses deadline, though. And on a separate note, just for her viewing pleasure, “YOU COULD CUT THE SEXUAL TENSION IN HERE WITH A KNIFE!”
Sometime after this, it’s not uncommon for Kyla (photographer) to walk in and prance around the room. She must be infected with the same “merry” disease that Sally has. Kyla and Kristin Edwards (viewpoints editor) have mastered the art of quizzing students with inane questions for the “Word on the Street” section. They’ve also become accustomed to the usual questions students have for them, like “Sam Houston has a newspaper? Where the hell are they?”
Right around 3 p.m., I have officially finished my third cup of coffee and organized one-third of the newspaper. Side effects at the point include twitching of the head and multiple trips to the urinal. Kenny (sports editor) wanders in and hesitantly and boots up his Apple computer, only to find that it’s not working – again. Instead, the screen proudly displays the pinwheel of doom, an indication that the computer is trying to kill itself. Yet Kenny is a champion of patience when everything goes to hell. It is an attribute that will benefit everyone next semester.
Around the time most people are eating dinner, my two other senior reporters finish another one of my very peculiar assignments. Christi submits a story on a few “smooth criminal” rugby players from UNT who have stolen several SHSU banners. Next semester she’ll finally become the sports editor (a girl who’s a sports fanatic? Soooo hot!). Linda, on the other hand, returns from banging on someone’s door because their home looks like a Hobbit house. She is easily the greatest gift our newspaper had never foreseen. Then there’s that Jack Ivy kid, a photographer/photo designer who bursts through the door later in the evening (this is around my fifth cup of coffee, when my hallucinations convince me that a platoon of murderous ducks have taken over the office.). He’s typically late, but Jack can make Nancy Grace look like a decent human being in Photoshop. How can anyone get angry at someone THAT good? And while Brad may log on to every computer in the room, his “savory” guitar playing keeps me from having a panic attack. He’s been one fun addition to The Houstonian.
Everyone comes and goes, but between 11 p.m. and 2 a.m., I am stuck in the office with the two sexiest vixens to walk this university: Kristen and Courtney Lundgren (copy editors). They are the only two girls to get 11 out of 10 stars on my “girls I consistently lust over” chart. Finally, Kristin Edwards calls one last time to make sure the murderous ducks have finally left me alone. She’s the only person who’s done this longer than I have, and come to think of it, was the one who introduced me to this newspaper. It’s going to be rough not seeing her every day.
The office closes down, The Huntsville Item receives our newspaper two hours AFTER deadline and the twins drop me off at my ugly house. As they leave my parking lot, probably to go attend some crazy party, the realization hits me:
I’m going to miss this.
God bless all of those who have helped me through this semester: My staff, family, friends, girlfriend Jennifer Westerman (she’s a sexy vixen, too), Mr. Blackman, the 326 practicum class, SHSU and, last but not least, the Big Man upstairs. Looks like this will be my last byline in The Houstonian.
Shawn “I wore the daddy pants” Farrell