The funniest preface I’ve ever read

16 Dec

Holiday spirit caught me up faster than it should: I am not in the mood of continuing the assignment.

To avoid the guilty feeling of not having any progress, I sat in front of computer for hours, doing everything but thinking about Dell. Daydreaming, singing along the old songs in iTunes, checking celebrities’ fashion, checking people’s blog, updating my blog, chatting, you name it.

But, the moment of fun came when I decided to reach a library book My Trade by Andrew Marr that have been on the shelf for months. Out of boredom, I read it. I only finished the preface, but I was laughing my ass off. It was hillarious how he stumbled into journalism and even more hillarious how he described it.

Despite having a first-class degree and having read an unfeasibly large number of books, it began to dawn on me that I couldn’t actually do anything. I couldn’t sing, act, tell jokes, play any musical instrument, hit, kick or catch a ball, run for more than a few yards without panting, speak another language, or assemble things without them falling apart immediately. I was a scientifically illiterate innocent with the entrepreneurial instincts of a thirteenth-century peasant and the iron determination of a butterfly. Journalism seemed the only option.

And also the fact that, although he crossed out almost every sentence I wrote, Gary is not that cruel afterall. This was what his editor did.

George (the editor) would stop behind a trainee and stand silently as one did one’s best with the white fish catch from Peterhead or a missing car in Aberfeldy. Then he would reach over with one brawny arm and, without uttering a word, remove the paper from the typewriter, scrumple it into a ball in front of the trainee’s face, throw it over his shoulder and – wordlessly – carry on walking. You knew you were getting better when he allowed you to finish the paragraph before he destroyed it.

And he did give a little tips for our production next semester.

…we were taught how to get a simple local story… That meant slowly scrubbing away any natural shyness, banging on vicars’ doors, stopping shopkeepers and pleading councillors for anything – anything. Stray dog? Upset at the Guild? Oldest villager? Proud parents of footballer?

The first few pages are entertaining and encouraging. It can be a good holiday read. šŸ˜€


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