It could not be more appropriate that I am writing this article during a hectic Tuesday production night, a time that is supposed to be reserved for editing. When I was Humor Editor, I encouraged writers like Evelyn, for example, to turn in their pieces Sunday or Monday so that I would have time to leave comments on them and request additions or cuts. Now that the roles have been reversed, it seems that I would have not liked to have myself as a writer. It took Evelyn sending not just one text, but a follow up “Zander” for me to confirm that I indeed was alive, and more importantly was still intending to send in an article.
Around the time of that text, I was hurriedly packing my school stuff into a bag as the Davison fire alarm auto voice informed me that there was a report of a fire in this building. Possibly more indicative of my scatterbrained nature was that I’m about 70 percent sure that the fire alarm was a result of my shirt being draped over my lamp to create mood lighting. The 30 percent uncertainty was that while it did smell like someone had snuffed out a candle in my room, it has definitely been a lot smokier in there in the past…
So in this case, my reminder of my obligation to the Misc came at a time when my life was quite literally almost going up in flames. You would think that the reminder of yet another writing assignment would be the straw that broke the camel’s back at a time of such high strain. However, as I sit here yet to finish preparing two assignments, a presentation and an exam for tomorrow (well technically, later TODAY), I find myself in a calm and relaxed state. How could this be you ask? Because this production night allowed me to return to my original role with this paper: humor writer.
Back during winter break, now almost two years, ago I emailed the Humor Editor at the time with a sample piece and an indication of my desire to join a nonexistent position of Humor Staff. The Article I sent was a vehement denouncement of some of my least favorite songs titled “The 9 worst songs ever,” which featured an unambiguous #1 of “Hey Soul Sister” by Train. Much like the title’s inclusion of nine but not 10 songs, the article fell a little short of Chris’ expectations, but he was nice to me, and let me publish my first ever article in the semester that followed.
Following my success (at least in my mother’s eyes) at the position of weekly writer, and sensing an impending depreciation of my own content, I decided to apply for Humor Editor. This way I could solicit the work of other, more talented writers and cartoonists. Luckily, Evelyn started writing that semester, so over the course of the year, I was able to train her to make it look like her taking my position was planned, and not happening because of her superior comedic genius.
This semester, I have served as a Senior Editor and a member of Executive Board, a position I was drastically unqualified for, having quite limited experience working on sections where I cannot merely invent the content.
During my time on Exec Board, I learned some invaluable skills, such as how to churn out filler content for desperately short articles, how to send a well crafted terse email, and how to function with so little sleep that caffeine intake merely increases heart rate without making a dent in exhaustion.
The funniest and most creative content I ever created ironically came out this semester when I was in a traditionally serious position. Late one production night, fellow Senior Editor Emma and I, in a haze of tiredness, generated an uproariously undignified headline in the features section for a food column. The published headline read “Leaves have a’fallen, now lentil loaves are a’callin’.” I challenge all of the Misc’s regular readers to find anything with a more revolting aesthetic than the double apostrophe in “a’callin’.” Perhaps only putting it in quotes makes it worse.
My future at this paper following my abroad experience is as uncertain as the tone of voice in those that tell me my humor articles are funny. But regardless of what happens, I will always have a soft spot for our fantastic Editorial Board, the Humor section and that rancid lentil loaves headline.