Shit journalists say (Part One)

In the seven years that I have worked at New Times, a lot of people have entered and departed the Larpersnewsroom. They’ve inspired me with the quality and variety of their writing–these artists with unique and highly-developed voices, who stroll into work wearing tutus and ranting fluently about the nuances of local city council meetings and legislation that will negatively impact the homeless population. This cast of characters more colorful than anything I could even dream of writing has become a family of sorts to me. I fight with them, take pride in their accomplishments, look into the future and see them composing important literary works and raising all sorts of hell in all the best possible ways. I make Christmas stockings for them, carve pumpkins with them, hunt Easter eggs stuffed with alcohol and illicit substances with them. We watch each other’s cats and simmer enviously when one or the other of us manages to make some important stride as a writer. And they brandish plastic Dollar Store weapons and ambush larpers and spend hours setting up a dollhouse at a cafe for my book release party. Because I asked them to.

But the newsroom is not a place for saps who blog about how highly they esteem their coworkers. In a lot of ways, it is an unforgiving place. A place frequented by people with sad stories to tell, accosted by outraged citizens who will never, ever pick up the newspaper again–all because they don’t like the way a “t” was crossed or the fact that we’re not writing about the government employees spying on them by living in their pumpkin patch and turning their Siamese cat against them.

If you want to know how journalists cope with these indignities, look no further than the New Times quote board–a pillar in the center of the editorial department swathed in swatches of blue, bright pink, orange, neon yellow, and purple Post-It notes. This pillar is a monument to all the writers who have gone on to bigger and better-paying alternatives. They are gone (some of them years ago), but their wit–and complaints about fecal matter and other out-of-context observations–remains with us always.

The vast majority of the hundreds of quotes on this pillar aren’t fit for print. Or rather, they aren’t fit to be printed on a blog whose purpose is to promote a young adult novel. Among the few that don’t reference adult content, these are some of my favorites:

Red boots and a speedo for me, please.      -Nick Powell


There’s not going to be any rape in a bus full of bear mace.      -Matt Fountain


One way or another, I’m getting kicked out of the Vatican!      -Ashley Schwellenbach


[Silence.] Maeva Considine: I think I AM a furry. [Silence.]


Well, monkeys are a lot smaller than people.      -Kylie Mendonca (on the phone)


You bitch! Mangoes are delicious! And nobody bespirches them!      -Nick Powell


I’m not a horse person … I was more partial to the guy with cake.      -Colin Rigley


Poodles. I lost my enchiladas. This is a bad day.      -Ashley Schwellenbach


I was born a sharecropper’s fetus.      -Patrick Howe


Do you know how much I paid for ALL of my ponies?      -Kylie Mendonca (fiscally outraged over My Little Ponies)


Thanks to you, my cats will have something to discuss with their therapist.      -Ashley Schwellenbach





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