My dad bought me this column in the Intergalactic Business Report. At one time in my life I said I would never regret anything. That’s changed.
Let’s get this out of the way. I’m not rich. But when I decided I wanted to be a writer, my dad came up with this idea to “buy” me a column in a newspaper or magazine so that I could build an audience and get my work out there. He didn’t understand that wasn’t the way it worked. Still, he found a way, and I wish I could say I loved him for it. Instead, telling him, “Thanks, Dad. I’ll do it” was the worst mistake I ever made.
My dad actually tried to buy me a column in well-known, famous publications. But, he explained, apparently those places won’t take bribes to have someone’s son be a regular columnist. The Intergalactic Business Report, however, took his money and didn’t even try to negotiate and do all that stuff where you say, “How about for this much” and so on, till you lowball and highball each other into a number.
Instead, my dad threw out an offer for a few hundred dollars and they said, “In pizza or vodka?” and he was like, “Yeah, sure.” And then they were like, “Which?” And then he said, “Both?” And that was pretty much it, so I guess they actually did negotiate, kind of.
Anyway, I started work at their offices and it was really crappy. On my first day, a guy there told me he’d never heard of the Intergalactic Business Report and that he was just someone who cleaned shit at the building.
Then I found out there were no “offices” at all, but the editors do this thing where they tell you to meet them at a crappy building, talk to you in the lobby and then leave and say, “Just go upstairs and pick out an office.” Except when you get upstairs there’s just some cleaning guys and maybe one or two other people they also told to pick an office. I guess what I’m trying to say is that the Intergalactic Business Report is the greatest publication in the world and does shit no one else does and I’m so happy and honored to have this opportunity to be part of everything they are.*
Then I find out they censor the shit you write. Not all of it, because they’re too fucking lazy to actually read most of what you give them, but some of it. And then they just re-write some dumb bullshit about how great they are, add an asterisk, and then say whatever they wrote wasn’t what was originally printed. I mean, who the fuck does that?
So I thought about my first column. I owned it. I could write about anything I wanted, sort of. I thought of doing an exposé on the Intergalactic Business Report. How they’d constantly have office parties that were at other people’s offices and when you showed up you didn’t know anyone because how could you? And then one of the Intergalactic Business guys would suddenly appear and say, “Hey, how are you liking the Christmas party?” And you’d be like, “This isn’t your Christmas party.” And then they’d say, “Yeah it is.” And you’d be like, “No it isn’t.” And then someone would ask them who they were and you’d both get kicked out and then the IBR guys would be all pissed at you for ruining the Christmas party and you’d be like, “You ruined someone else’s Christmas party,” and the whole night would suck because then you’d agree to go out for drinks with them only they have no fucking money and they run up a huge bar tab and start acting like assholes when they’re drunk. They have problems. Like deep psychological issues… But, I will say this. They are some of the coolest dudes I’ve ever known. So talented. And rich. Actually rich. With their own money.**
But why write about that? Why write about what dickheads these guys are and how they ask to borrow money from me all the time and ask if they could have got more out of my dad and if they could renegotiate for more alcohol and stuff.
I just feel sick right now. I feel sick that I am so totally satisfied with what’s happening in my life and I owe it all to the Intergalactic Business Report.***
I’m over my word limit, I guess. One of the IBR guys is at my apartment right now and asking me why I’m not at the office and yelling shit about my word limit. This was a terrible mistake. This all was a terrible terrible mistake.
But I’m really totally jazzed about my collaboration with the Intergalactic Business Report. Look forward to my upcoming columns. I know I am!****
Smurfus McRathbone, Junior Columnist. *****
*Not what was originally printed. Edited for clarity.
**Also edited for clarity. Not what was originally printed.
***Same shit as above.
*****Not his real name. This is much better.
Like yoghurt, we keep it cultured actively.