My career scoffs at my weekend plans

* I’m fading fast boys and girls.  I went back home to Michigan for the weekend and tried to flip over to a normal human schedule (sleeping at night, awakening in the mornings).  This means I’ve been awake since 8 a.m. yesterday.  I will have been awake a good 22 hours before I can crash.  My eyes hurt, I’m exhausted and I think I may not be wearing pants.  No one’s said anything if that’s the case, but I think it’s out of politeness.

* Sounds like I picked a good weekend to be out of town.  Thirty-eight people were shot this weekend and eight died.  Did Al Qaeda open a branch office in Englewood or something?  Hey, jerks, quit killing each other.

* Today was another substitution-heavy rotation.  Arch Nemesis Producer Jim is off celebrating his birthday, presumably with his made-up fiancée.  And the booming voice that IS Dick Johnson is filling in for Rob, who is in Vegas, presumably having married and divorced an entire chorus line of showgirls by now.

* Italian man sentenced for staring at woman on train too intensely.  Glad I don’t live in Italy.  I’d be put away for life.  Though to be fair, I not only stare at women on the train, I also whisper “I love you” over and over, so I think that’s probably less off-putting. 

* On a whim, I checked our ratings for Friday’s show.  I figured if an earthquake can’t make viewers tune in, nothing can.  We had respectable numbers – 1.2 and 1.1 for the 15-minute halves of my show.  Meanwhile, an “Andy Griffith Show” rerun notched a 2.8 for the whole half-hour.  If an “act of God” can’t make the blue hairs flip to the news, nothing can.

My hypothesis: The real Andy Griffith has blackmail material on a majority of Nielsen families.  He forces them to watch or else he’ll spill their secrets.  And nothing can end this reign of terror until the 81-year-old actor is dead.

So here’s my formal command to my readers: I want Andy Griffith’s head on a pike by midweek.

* Highlander Producer Carol says she blew a tire on the way in to work.  And she claims to have had a 101-degree fever on Friday.  I think she’s just angling for sympathy.  Sorry, Carol.  My life sucks far worse than yours.  You will not steal my thunder!  There can be only one (miserable wretch of a producer)!

* Forbes Magazine delivers a list of reasons it’s better to work this godawful vampire shift.  Among them, more money (not exactly), more autonomy since the bosses are sleeping, and more opportunity for advancement since there’s less competition.  I wonder who wrote this article and exactly how many horse tranquilizers he snorted before sitting in front of the keyboard.

I quote, “Some TV and radio news writers earn 15 percent more (for working overnights).”  Really?  Show me these “some TV and radio news writers.”  Do they carve Bill Gates’ personal daily family newsletter on gold-laced tablets?  In what fairy kingdom do writers make more for working zombie hours?

* Today we ran a story about how gas prices have never been higher.  I experienced this firsthand as I purchased enough fuel to make the 300-mile trip from Chicago to Michigan and back.  It now costs more to fill my tank than to stay in a hotel for a night.  Good thing I’m making so much money from my overnight shift.  Money is no object to me.  I shove $50 bills in my gas tank, then light them on fire and walk away, “No Country For Old Men”-style.  And when my car explodes, I merely laugh and throw a fistful of hundreds at the nearest car dealer and drive off the lot with a full tank in a new car.  ($3.71/gallon in Chicago?  That’s almost enough to make me want to go out and shoot someone on the weekends.)

* Things I learned about Executive Producer Wendy today…

  • She hates Meg Ryan.
  • Her “favorite snack is sunflower seeds and beer.”
  • She only likes movies rated “R” because they’re more realistic.
  • She thinks anesthesiologists are boring.

 * Having cured cancer, AIDS and Alzheimer’s, scientists turn their attention to an ocean of urine.

* More than 4 in 10 UK employees are considering quitting their job in the next year.  Probably because they want one of those high-paying overnight TV writing gigs.  Suckers.

* I hate the Subway $5 foot-long commercials.  I hate them.  More than Andy Griffith. 

* If you thought today’s blog signalled a lack of sleep (and discretion), wait until next week.  I’m going back to Michigan for another weekend jaunt, this time to run a 5K in my new, high-tech running shoes, courtesy of my best friend.  So one week from now, I will be several hundred dollars lighter (thank you, Exxon), physically exhausted and mentally fried from a lack of sleep.  The anchors will be lucky if their scripts consist of anything but the result of me mashing my face against the keyboard until airtime.

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2 responses to “My career scoffs at my weekend plans

  1. You know, you have to let me beat you on Sat. since I got you those fancy new shoes. That was my Master Plan all along. ;)

  2. The UK story leads to a story on how to suck up to your boss. Tips that you, Ben, can use. The key is being sly. Make it seem like Wendy’s idea. “That was a great pizza you ordered last week.” I put together some ideas on tomorrow’s pizza. Or “Can I give you some ideas on toppings that might enhance tomorrow’s pizza?” Consider the never fail, “Would you be open to pepperoni and sausage?” Just trying to help.

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