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Sunday, December 17, 2006

A Day in the Life of Little Miss Know-It-All

6:28 Radio turns on. I am awakened by George Jones or something equally unappealing. Open eyes, groan softly. Remind self that it is not easy to program a radio show every day, and sometimes you have to play bad music.

6:30 Regional news. Listen with half an ear to make sure my employer has not done something terrible.

6:30:15 Newsreader perkily announces that some of our most vulnerable citizens have been left out in the cold. You see, a drop-in centre for homeless people has been closed. So they've been left out in the cold both literally and figuratively. Get it? GET IT?

6:30:20 Snort moistly at the bad cliché. Think about who could be responsible. Think "That reporter should be punnished." Snort again at own bad joke.

6:35 Regional news ends. Other than bad cliché, no items of particular interest. Take shower. Comb hair. Consider applying green eyeshadow as a nod to the Christmas season, but decide against it.

7:05 Wake up son. Stumble into kitchen. Grab coffee. Greet husband.

7:10 Wake up son.

7:13 Regional news promo. Newsreader promises a story about a government institution that is mean to homeless people. Hope that she is not talking about my employer.

7:20 Get more coffee. Wake up son and bribe him to get out of bed.

7:30:15 Newsreader announces that some of our most vulnerable citizens have been left out in the cold. Get more details this time. The drop-in centre was closed because of threats to and violence against the staff from abusive crack addicts. Staff are still seeing clients by appointment but do not believe the drop-in centre is safe anymore. Reporter smugly states that this arrangement is insulting. Start to get annoyed on behalf of social workers and grammarians.

7:35 Rush around, trying to pack son's lunch and get him ready for school.

8:15 Out the door to school. Completely miss the news promo.

8:30:15 Newsreader announces that some of our most vulnerable citizens have been left out in the cold. Realize that this was not merely a throwaway line for the reporter. She has built her entire story around a cliché and is trying to embarrass social workers into putting themselves in harm's way. Think about how reporter is not volunteering to work at the drop-in centre herself to keep people from being left out in the cold. Start to get really angry.

8:45 Arrive at work.

9:00 Read newspaper. Editorial smugly suggests that if hospitals just paid nurses more, there would be no nursing shortage. Linger a bit longer than usual over the job ads.

9:30 Briefly look at The Washington Post. Notice the cliché-free writing.

9:35 Try to get work done, but get distracted by the smoke rising from a nearby chimney. Remember the news coverage from the time the city and the workers' compensation board made all workplaces smoke-free. Think about how every single person in those stories was described as "fuming". Start to get really, really angry.

9:45 Try to get work done, but get distracted by righteous indignation at former colleagues and their poor writing skills.

10:00 Put feelings into words. Attack former colleagues angrily. Question their qualifications. Slander them savagely. Blame them brutally. Impugn them inhumanely.

10:15 Use sleeve to wipe flecks of spittle off computer screen.

10:16 Think that it would probably be best if these opinions were not posted on the Internet. Erase diatribe and start over with a discussion of clichés in journalism.

10:54 Check for typos (NOT spelling or grammatical errors, of course). Find none. Post to Internet. Feel much better.

10:55 Work productively for entire day without losing temper or attacking anyone.