Not a job creator

The Gazette Telegraph, May 14, 1978

And you people thought I was kidding about (a) having worked for actual newspapers and (2) having worked for the Gazette. Barry and I had a chat in 1978. Read it and weep.

Jesus, but I can be an asshole to no particular purpose.

A youngish newspaper carrier pops round this evening as Herself and I are enjoying some adult beverages while watching Bill Maher fence with Chris Matthews, and he offers a free copy of the local cage-liner.

I say politely, “No, thanks, we don’t like the Gazette.”

Then he asks why. Bad idea.

“Because I used to work there,” I snap. “It’s a right-wing rag and the sooner it’s gone, the better off we’ll all be.”

Except for the poor sods who write it, shoot it, edit it, lay it out, print it, sell it or deliver it, that is. Ass-hole.

Kid looked like I just shot his German-shepherd pup with a 9mm KGB-issue Makarov. I wanted to confess that I used to deliver that neo-libertarian piece of Randite shit when I was his age, but it was too late. You can’t wish the round back in the pistol.

I should order up a subscription to be delivered to Namaste Alzheimer Center, where my mom snuffed it. The editorial page might make some fleeting sense there, and if nothing else, it would serve as a handy fluid-absorption tool.


22 Responses to “Not a job creator”

  1. Libby Says:

    Did you smirk when you said it? I thought Romney was smirking a bit when he spoke today.

    • Patrick O'Grady Says:

      Libby, actually, no. I have a deadpan expression that invades my face in situations such as this, just before the brain-tray selects an entirely inappropriate CD: “Oh, so you weren’t aware that your mom swims to troopships?” It’s a reflex, like flipping the bird at a Focus on the Family sign or accepting a free drink from pretty much anyone.

  2. BenS Says:

    ‘Asshole’ and ‘no particular purpose’ are the same thing. Stupid shit happens, which is why it is generally best to go about the commons unarmed or at least with the safety on and the clip in your other jacket.

    Then again no one is completely innocent of their employer’s actions. It is good to remind the young ones there are consequences.

  3. khal spencer Says:

    I’ve got to confess that I’ve done pretty much the same to those tele-polsters, and my better half has reminded me that they are just working stiffs slaving away for minimum wage for some asshole company that hires itself out to the powers that be.

    Me: Hello?
    Them: Hi, would you mind if I asked you a few questions about the upcoming election?
    Me: Yes, I do mind. Have you heard of the secret ballot?
    Them: Well, um…fluster…I wanted to ask you how you feel about (fill in the blank)
    Me: Well, how would Gus Hall feel about it?
    Them: Who is Gus Hall?
    Me: If you don’t know, then don’t bother anyone till you get an education and find out. Goodbye and take me off your phone list.

    • brokenlinkjournalism Says:

      Khal, I have never heard of Gus Hall until now. Thank you for the education.
      BTW~ I just tell them that I already voted OR that if they continue “I won’t be voting for (fill in the blank).” They may be making minimum wage but they are calling on my time, so then….

    • Jeff Cozad Says:

      My Dad enjoyed getting calls from the tele-droids. He especially liked the ones that were looking for donations. He’d listen to the spiel and then respond, “I’d love to help, but I’m unemployed”. That generally got an embarassed pause on the other end and them quietly going away. He was three times retired and doing quite well. I still smile when I think of that… Thanks for helping me start my day in a good mood.

    • Patrick O'Grady Says:

      Ah, Comrade Hall. How we used to vilify the old Stalinist when I was a young Red, first with the October League and then with the Communist Party (Marxist-Leninist).

      He and the Communist Party USA were a clique of rank apologists and lick-splittles for the social-fascist Soviet Union (and yes, we Maoists really did talk like that).

      Of course, none of us worked in steel mills, got the shit kicked out of us, went to jail or fled the country for our beliefs. That would have been inconvenient and decidedly unromantic. No dope, beer or hippie chicks in the hoosegow.

      • khal spencer Says:

        Right on, Patrick. Few of us have the balls that Gus Hall did.

        For that matter, just got back from visiting some of those Greatest Gen folks. My uncle is 93 and finally slowing down. He dodged bullets and tank shells working for Patton in Europe. My aunt is in her eighties and just saw her benefits cut out from under her by Kodak as part of its reorganization to make sure it has enough money to pay huge corporate bonuses. No one seems to remember that it was folks like my uncle and aunt who were the wealth creators in the USA. Another reason I’m pleased that Mr. 1% lost. Good article here my brother pointed me to,written by a SUNY emeritus professor.

        Back to People Who Gave A Shit About The Working Stiffs, Old Gus, orig name Avro Halberg, was usually on the ballot in NYS when I was a kid. Omitted from that short Times obit is that Hall volunteered and served in the USN during World War II, which is more than some of our more right wing chickenhawks have done.

        Gus did his time for being a commie. Nowdays, one can advocate the overthrow of the government with impunity as long as one is on the far right.

        I learned more about old Gus from a close college friend, Phil Comstock, at the U of R. Phil went on to earn a graduate degree in labor relations at Cornell and last I heard, is a well known labor consultant to unions.

        Good to be home, except for the blinding sinus pain I’ve had since getting off the plane.

  4. Pat O'Brien Says:

    Patrick, go nuke a gay whale for Jesus. It will make you feel better.

  5. larryatcycleitalia Says:

    To those seeking donations my usual quip is “I’m so broke I can’t even pay attention!” We dropped our local fishwrapper for pretty much the same reasons you outlined OG but I managed to hold my tongue as to the real story – same with the Boy Scouts when they come knocking on the door…I try to get away with a simple NO rather than rag on their organization and make the poor kid feel bad. But I too tend to go off on rants like yours way too often…just ask my wife!

  6. Steve O Says:

    Perspective is the difference between a leaky faucet and a zen waterfall. It’s one thing to be a jerk to someone who (1) initiates the conversation and (2) doesn’t realize your history with his product.

    I wouldn’t put it in the same category as folks who are rude to waiters or check out cashiers.

    The newspaper kid, I’m betting (or at least hoping) was given a little training in what to expect. I’m betting you weren’t the worst he saw that week.

    Waiters, of course, always get their revenge. Always.

  7. Steve O Says:

    Good ol’ Barry G. Classic conservative, in that he called himself a conservative, but in Patrick’s interview, he seems totally cool with a new one-size-fits-all federal program, without a clue how to pay for it.

    But try to point out to a self-proclaimed conservative that his interest is someone else’s special interest, and you’re lucky if all you get is deer/headlights.

    Of course, it goes w/o saying, I’d take Goldwater over 99% of the guys out there today.

  8. Derek Says:

    I have a friend who lived with me for a while, we ended up agreeing that he was not to use the phone (my significant other at the time was a school teacher and parents would often call). He would often answer” Garden of the Gods, this is god, how can I help you?” or “Rick’s Mortuary, you kill’em we chill’em.” I always wondered who Rick was.

  9. Grumbly oldguy Says:

    My much loved & recently departed father would most often answer the phone with

    “Stanley’s fish market…we sell ’em you smell ’em”

    which would alternate with other even more abrassive, ribald or rude fictional businesses.

    I am sure his thick Hungarian accent shouting

    “Uncle Joe’s Bikeshop…Bikes for the People!!”

    back in the 50’s got me into trouble before I even understood what might be going on.

    He is missed

    • Derek Lenahan Says:

      My friend Marc, who hopefully is not still employed in our industry, as he is much too smart for us, used to respond to telemarketers in french, which they would occasionally understand (then) so he would switch to Flemish, it was fun to listen in on.

    • Steve O Says:

      “Thirteenth precinct, Sgt Mallory speaking” usually works. But I’m going to steal the fish market line next time.

      • khal spencer Says:

        I pissed off my college suitemate by answering the phone “Gleck’s Abortion Service: You rape ’em, we scrape ’em, no fetus can beat us”

        Unfortunately, it was his Italian grandmother calling….

  10. Derek Lenahan Says:

    A little late on response time, but being an asshole to no particular purpose is what the Irish do best. It is part of our particular charm. Irish diplomacy and all. Good work.

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