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Friday, August 7, 2009

The Laid-Off Journalist: Act I

Let's just cut right to the heart of this thing. My name is Christian and ever since Dec. 3, I've been on the eternal lunch break. No, my boss didn't send me out for a turkey sandwich in Bolivia. I worked as a reporter for a Gannett newspaper in Lansing, Michigan, about three clicks north of Thunderdome, when the executive editor told me that my department was being eliminated and my astute coffee making skills would no longer be needed. Remember the week after Thanksgiving? In Michigan, it was a little chilly. The football season was winding down. We had just elected a new president. That's when the lunch break started for me.

O yeah, and I'm 32.

Since then, I've broken my lease, moved back in with my parents in the bar fighting capital of the world, Rome, N.Y., and traveled the Northeast looking for a job and a new place to live. In the meantime, my Lazy Boy-ridden mother with the bad back lets me teach her the delicate intricacies of the Digital Cable remote control and my father keeps telling me that the customers are "going to start coming in droves" to the front room of the house, which now doubles as his struggling coin business. Need some coins? Don't surf the Internet or Google "coins," come to Casa De Christian, and the Old Man will sell you a quarter from the northern part of Cuba, circa. 1634.

The mind-of the laid-off journalist moves in many directions. That said, this is the weekend, my girlfriend and I invade Rutland, Vermont, a city known in some circles for its railroads and the nation's first polio outbreak. Maybe we'll get a nice breakfast out of the deal and get a few decent pictures from the Adirondack park. In typical Indiana Jones style, we're avoiding the illustrious New York State Thruway and opting for a winding trip through the Adirondacks.

I spent 10 years honing my writing and reporting skills, and I'm the type of bloke whose going to plow into Bigfoot in the Adirondacks, and that will be my claim to fame. "Yes Mr. Letterman, I hit him with my Honda Accord. I can't stay long, I have to sell his thumb on QVC in an hour."

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