Sunday, December 20, 2015
Dear Editor, Pioneer Press
Dear Editor, Pioneer Press Newspaper:
I take no joy in being the bearer of bad news, but, alas, you are about to be scooped by your crosstown rival, The Star Tribune. They are on the verge of hiring the the most exciting new columnist since H. L. Mencken, or maybe Judith Martin. Acclaim, notoriety, scads of Pulitzers, and the talk of the town are all heading their way.
But I am not writing you merely as a stormcrow. I am in sympathy with your little brother, underdog, eeyorish position among our cities newspapers, and I am uniquely in a position to do something about it.
Hold onto your hat because you are in for a shocker!
I am that exciting new columnist imminently to be hired by The Star Tribune!
But the key word is "imminently". It hasn't quite happened... yet. I wanted to give you a chance.
I know what you're thinking: "These greedy geniuses! Always with the bidding wars and the driving up the prices! How much money does Bob Dylan need that he stars in unfunny computer commercials? What will Van Gogh even do with so much money that he sells his paintings for 100 million dollars?"
But it's not like that.
As an artist who has long labored in obscurity and only recently hit my stride, it is not the fattest contract that I crave, it's understanding.
Anyone can see what a vital asset I would be to a publication. That's obvious. I want to be hired by people who appreciate me. So here's what I propose:
You, The Pioneer Press, and The Star Tribune, both send me a present. It shouldn't cost more than, say, $50, but it needn't cost anything. It could, for instance, be a piece of memorabilia from your newsroom. I will open these gifts without knowing which paper they are from. The winner of this little contest will be whoever gave me the gift I feel best understands me. Then that newspaper and I will proceed to rake in the Pulitzers and watch the circulation numbers, er, probably do nothing or go down. But I don't think that's my fault.
Anyway, I look forward to your gift, and I secretly hope you win.
Your possible future columnist,