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Every so often, my job takes me to the Wakulla Education Center in Crawfordville. Whenever this happens, Nurse Judy begins pestering me to stop at the newspaper office and see if they would like to run my column. ‘Why should I do that?” I ask her.
“I have lots of friends in St. Marks, Alligator Point, Crawfordville, Panacea, and Shell Point,” she said. “I know they’d love to hear about me and my exploits.”
“I beg your pardon,” I said. “No one in those places knows you. Some know me, but they have known me as a professional nurse and as a serious person who works hard and has many responsibilities. They do not know that you are my silly alter ego, who constantly turns my life upside down.”
“Well, then they must be very bored,” she said, “because the professional you is pretty dull. I am the fun part of this partnership.”
This banter has gone back and forth for months. I finally ran off a copy of my resume and threw it and some old articles in my car. Then I did not go to Crawfordville for quite a period of time. Last week I was scheduled there once again. After work, I started home, and the pestering began, getting louder and more persistent by the minute. I finally gave in and stopped at The Wakulla News. I gathered up the resume, now dog-eared and stained, and threw some of the articles into my briefcase. Feeling extremely foolish as I stood at the reception desk, I tried to explain the purpose of my mission. The kind lady in attendance must have taken pity on me, because she ushered me over to the editor’s desk.
I handed the completely unprofessional looking resume over to Editor Keith Blackmar, and explained that I wrote a weekly column for The Havana Herald. He pushed the sad resume to the side of his desk and began asking questions about Nick Bert and about Billy Blackman, who used to work for the Herald. Apparently all newspapermen know each other and are friendly. We talked for a few minutes and then he asked what kind of a column I wrote. Now this is a difficult question to answer under any circumstances, but with Nurse Judy kicking me under the desk, and me wanting to make a good impression, I did not want to confess that it is simply the nonsensical ramblings of a mature lady.
At this point, Nurse Judy grew impatient and opened my brief case so I could hand over some columns for the editor to look at. They were poking out awkwardly in all directions because of the way I had tossed them in. As I went to grab a handful to give him, they squirted into the air and all over the floor. I was mortified. Nurse Judy laughed. Mr. Blackmar and I scurried around retrieving them.
Quickly he said, “Send me a column and we’ll give it a try.” I tried to make a graceful exit, but it was difficult with stray columns floating around and Nurse Judy chortling happily in my wake.
Back in the car, Nurse Judy said, “That went well didn’t it? I think he liked your writing.”
Since I had never seen him read a word of those scattered columns, I was doubtful. I rather thought he was trying to take control of the chaos in his workplace by getting rid of the two of us. I did not mention this to my beaming alter ego, however. After all, I was beaming myself, because, without even being prompted, Mr. Blackmar had promised to pay me exactly the same amount that Nick Bert does. You can’t get a better deal than that. Or can you?