So I’ve started pitching stories to other websites and…crickets. BUT, what that means for you guys, lucky readers of my blog, is that whenever a story is rejected/ignored by one of the sites I pitch it to, I’ll pub it here! Because this is my corner of the internet and I do what I want with it! :)
Here’s something I wrote and thought was funny, but wasn’t funny enough to make it to the big leagues. Next time I will be funnier! For now, try to enjoy funny at mediocre levels:
My dad tells me that when they gave him his first computer as a lawyer in the 1980s he thought, “What a waste of desk space.” Here’s how I imagine his generation spent their office hours in that strange world where cellular phones were the size of bricks, the World Wide Web was but a tadpole in the metaphorical pond of Tim Berners-Lee’s mind, and mail came in something quaint called “envelopes.” (OK, so we still have envelopes, but not nearly so damn many as they must have had. I mean, the amount of envelopes generated back then necessitated an envelope-opening tool dubbed, fittingly, a “letter opener.” When was the last time anyone used a letter opener? Can’t remember? That’s what I thought.)
- Chain-smoked ALL the cigarettes. Cigarettes were likely the Twix “need a moment” props of the day. Example: 1980s boss asks intern Jimmy whether or not he brought the P&L statements to the meeting with him, and Jimmy pulls out his pack of Marlboros and lights one up, granting himself a 15-second window with which to formulate his response. (He didn’t bring them. He actually hasn’t finished them yet. Good luck with that one, Jimmy!)
- Drank hard liquor on the rocks. We scored a deal—let’s have a drink. We lost a client—let’s have a drink. We made it to work today—let’s have a drink. You’re heading out? Take one for the road.
- Dictated memos for their secretaries to type and then painstakingly mimeograph. (Google it, it’s a thing.) These memos probably contained highly important notices to the tune of things like: “Whoever used the last of the coffee without brewing another pot is an asshole.”
- Twirled round and round in their office chairs while yelling “Wheeee!”
- Actually accepted calls to their landline office phones instead of just looking at the receiver while it rang and letting it go to voicemail.
- Wrote letters, by hand or by typewriter, on fancy letterhead, in block business letter formatting, with the salutation Dear Mr./Mrs./Ms._______ followed by a colon. These letters would arrive to their intended recipient in 2-3 days. They may sit on said recipients desk for a week or more, until that person took the time to write a similarly styled letter to respond to the problem, which had, by that time, already worked itself out.
- Went out to three-martini lunches. My company’s got the bill—No no, my company’s covering the bill! Oh, Barbara, you are just too much.
- Did math in their heads like some kind of wizards. Alternatively, used an adding machine. (That would have been my style.)
- Said things to their bosses like, “I’m sorry I missed you when you came by my office late yesterday, and I wasn’t home for your phone call. My wife and I were out [which is to say there was no way of contacting them!]. What did you need from me?”
- Filed paper things in hanging file folders and got severe paper cuts. Searched for the thing they filed a week ago in the same hanging folder it was most definitely filed in to begin with, only to find it gone without a trace. Blamed Jimmy.