Got an email, earlier this week, asking me to write a travel piece about a town about an hour from here.
"They'll gather everyone you need to interview, so you can hit them all at once. Just tell me when you can be down, and I'll set it up."
You know how Dad always told you that "if it sounds too good to be true, it is"? Well, that also applies to "if it sounds reasonable, it's too good to be true."
I showed up at the appointed place, a few minutes early. And as it turned out, "gathered" is not what I would have thought. "Gathered," in this case, meant that I was able to ride around town on a golf cart for the next 7 hours, going from business to business, explaining to each of them in turn who I am (the freelancer in charge of editorial, who is not going to be working on any of the future issues) and who I am not (the advertising staff who have been jerking you around and taking your money for months).
I then asked the same few questions, got, for the most part, the same few answers, took a few photos and moved on.
I ate lunch at one of the worst restaurants in town, because they offered me a free lunch--and because they pretty much insisted I avoid the places known for their food, because Those Places Hadn't Paid For Advertising. Why Should They Get Anything?
I then took a winery tour (and discovered I actually like a couple varieties of wine, MUCH to my surprise) and rode yet ANOTHER golf cart, this time around an actual golf course, looking for something to photograph which was not a rolling expanse of green grass. Because, you know, that doesn't look like much, in a small, black-and-white photo.
Then I rushed home.
Hubby was ordering pizza, THANK GOD. Because I had no desire to cook. NONE.
Sons #1, 3 and 4 were chattering continuously, while I tried to check my email and my cell phone messages (my cell battery died while I was golf-carting around).
I am a bit on the beat side, but I think I will be able to write a good article, and I may also have created some much-needed goodwill for the newspaper people, who had pretty much cheesed off an entire town.
Oh, and, "Hi ALF!"