I am mid-20s. I am a cub journalist for a tiny local newspaper with a circulation of about six. My biggest dream is to write for the Tallahassee newspaper someday. But it’s not working out. They’ve turned down all my work.
But I’m still trying, God love me. Namely, because I am an idiot.
Today, I am at a small-town nursing home near Tally, doing an interview with someone exceptional. My hope is that the said Tallahassee publication will recognize my immutable genius and publish me.
It’s a pipe dream, yes. But hey, if a writer doesn’t dream then he is a CPA.
My interviewee today is an elderly woman who doesn’t even know I’m here because she has Alzheimer’s.
She used to be a tenth-grade teacher. She has changed many students’ lives. She is nothing short of inspirational.
The woman sits in a wheelchair, watching “Jeopardy!” and blurting out answers along with gameshow contestants.
Which makes it a little hard to concentrate.
I ask my lead-off question.
But I am answered with: “Who the [deleted] are you? And where’s my blueberry yogurt?”
is a writer,” the dayshift nurse explains. “Remember, I told you? He’s trying to get published with the ‘Tallahassee Democrat’? He wants to interview you?”
“I don’t care who he is,” she says. “Where’s my yogurt, you [deleted deleteds]?”
So we are off to a great start.
I ask another interview question. She answers without breaking eye contact with the TV.
“What is the Treaty of Tordesillas!”
After several minutes, I am about to give up on my interview effort altogether. Mostly, because I’m too distracted by Alex Trebek’s episode du jour.
Truthfully, I’ve never been a fan of “Jeopardy!” It moves too fast. By the time I’ve figured out the first question, the show is finished and the 18-year-old from Sheboygan who designs nanotubular probes for NASA has won 12 thousand dollars. Roll the…