Sunday, April 12, 2009

My life as a reporter - the low

I was soaking wet, ringing a doorbell in the a torrential storm, looking to get a quote from a man accused of raping his granddaughter.
No immediate answer. Then I hear a dog barking. For the first time in my life, I am going to get a pack of dogs set on me. Standing there, soaking wet, without an umbrella, because I never remember to carry a god damned umbrella, waiting for someone to open the door, so I can then ask him for a comment about allegedly raping his granddaughter and preparing to be mauled by a rabid Rottweiler.

Did I miss the fucking class in journalism school that would have explained how to handle this situation, about what made it worthwhile to get paid less than most migrant workers for the honor and the glory of spending hours in a courthouse, reading unimaginably lurid details of a supposed crime that made me want to vomit all over the clerk of courts front desk. Not to mention the fact that my overall gut instinct was that this could all be some horrible family dispute that got way out of hand, that the guy likely didn't do what he was accused of. If it was clear he was such a monster, why had he been released on $1,000 cash bail? Why wasn't he locked up in the cargo bay of a pirate ship off the coast of Somalia, waiting to be used as shark bait?

Another added bonus that was part of the whole situation. The accused grandfather rapist lived directly next door to my newspaper's office. Meaning that from here on out, coming to my office meant not only would I have to put up with my odious prick of a boss, but I would also have to worry about some revenge-crazed accused rapist jumping out of the bushes and attacking me with this garden weasel.

Why the fuck hadn't I majored in accounting?

I ring the doorbell one last time. Now I can see the dog, and it's a golden retriever, slightly easing my fears of being mauled.

But behind the dog is an even more awful site. The accused rapist's wife is coming to answer the door. A sweet-looking, gray-haired lady of about 65. At this point, I would have given anything to face the imaginary rabid Rottweiler and the garden weasel-toting rapist rather than asking this woman for a comment on her husband assaulting her granddaughter.

"Can I help you?" she asks.

"Ahh, yeah, umm, I'm from the newspaper next door and I was wondering, ahhh, if Mr. X is home and has a comment on his, his, uhhh, legal iss..."

"Get Out of Here and Don't You ever Come Back!"

Door slams in my face. I am left drenched in the torrential rain. I drudge through the puddles, back to my office, back to my odious prick of a boss.

4 Comments:

Blogger Suldog said...

Yugh.

(Combination of "Ugh" and "Yuck", which about says it all concerning having to ask questions like that.)

By the way, EC, I truly had no idea that Asheton had died in January. Thanks for letting me know. I must have been sick that day and not read any papers or on-line sources.

1:05 PM  
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Blogger Anali said...

Wow. That is a low if there ever was one. I hope you got to go home to a nice warm house with a fire, a comfy chair and a cupcake. Or maybe a beer and a steak? ; )

10:17 AM  
Blogger Jazz said...

Damn.

That the thing about journalism that gives journalists that scum of the earth reputation. It's a far cry from "All the President's Men".

9:10 PM  

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