By MICHAEL DAVIDOW, Radio Free New Hampshire
It has been a while since I checked in with my old friend, Chloe Schlagobers, lifestyle and politics reporter for my favorite newspaper, the New York Hours and Minutes.
Ordinarily, we interview each other for our respective publications. She is now too busy for that. As we were chatting, though, she mistakenly forwarded me an email chain from her work account. These appear to be comments by one of her editors to one of her friends, who was trying to write up a story.
News item: It’s wintertime! Overshoe, New Hampshire, will soon be covered with snow. “Never seen it this cold before,” commented Clem Whippersnap, whose family has lived in Overshoe for seven generations. “Ayup.” Expect a new blanket of white with another storm on Tuesday.
Editor: Okay, why no global warming angle?
News item: The ice caps are melting, but weather remains locally variable. In fact, Overshoe, New Hampshire, will soon be covered with snow, etc. etc.
Editor: Why are we featuring Clem, who seems to enjoy a huge amount of privilege? Please find someone else to interview.
News item: The ice caps are melting… soon be covered with snow. “Thanks for bringing me up here,” said Twinkles Delight, a genderqueer performer from Brooklyn, getting a cup of coffee at a donut shop by the highway. “Is it always this cold up here?” “Ayup,” replied Clem Whippersnap, whose family etc. etc. “I am not that privileged, by the way. My family has been poor forever.”
Editor: I thought it wasn’t always that cold. You quoted him before as saying otherwise. Please get your facts straight. Or is Clem just a liar?
News item: …. “Nope,” replied Clem Whippersnap, whose family etc. etc.
Editor: Using the word “white” to describe snow seems problematic. Also factually incorrect. Is not white itself the sum total of all colors in the spectrum? Also, tell him he is privileged no matter what he thinks.
News item: …. Expect a new blanket of every color in the spectrum with another storm on Tuesday. Also, Clem Whippersnap is privileged.
Editor: Needs more human interest!
News item: “Nope,” replied Clem Whippersnap… seven generations. “Say, are you new around here?” “I am new everywhere,” Mx. Delight replied slyly. Mr. Whippersnap was duly impressed. “I hope you don’t mind that I’m poor,” he said.
Editor: Can we get a picture?
News item: Clem Whippersnap, whose dirt-poor family has lived in Overshoe, New Hampshire, for seven generations, took advantage of his privilege this morning by being arrested when he assaulted a news reporter for taking photographs of himself and Twinkles Delight, a genderqueer performer originally from Miami, as they were sharing a cup of coffee at a local donut shop. “Leave this woman alone,” he screamed, as Mx. Delight hid under the table. “Can’t you see she’s an artist?” In other news, expect a new blanket of every color in the spectrum…
Editor: We have lost our focus a little bit. Can’t we just get rid of Clem?
News item: The ice caps are melting, but it can still get cold outside. Twinkles Delight, a genderqueer performer of every color in the rainbow, tried to get warm over a cup of coffee at the local donut shop in Overshoe, New Hampshire. Mx. Delight, who was “just passing through,” has now decided to stay in Overshoe. “The snow is so pretty and white,” they said. “But where did that funny little man go?” “I’m right here!” came a muffled voice from underneath the table. “That darn reporter tried to kick me out of my own favorite donut shop! I need to go plow some roads, too.”
Editor: There you go again. White snow!
News item: … “The snow is so pretty. And fluffy. But look, everyone needs to relax. Can’t that funny old man sit down again? He works pretty hard, and he’s tired.”
Editor: They are causing trouble. Find someone else.
News item: I can’t. Nobody else is here. Also, they won’t talk to me anymore.
Twinkles: You don’t listen to us! You just write what you want to write! You’re driving me crazy. I like this funny old man. Nor am I a plural! There is only one of me.
Clem: It’s so frustrating! I suppose that I am privileged. But I am also poor!
Twinkles: Things are complicated. Have a muffin. And you are very privileged. Thank you for admitting it.
Editor: Oh well. Nobody cares about Vermont anyway. Or Maine. Whatever.
News item: Chloe Schlagobers has been named editor at the New York Hours and Minutes.
Michael Davidow is a lawyer in Nashua. He is the author of Gate City, Split Thirty, and The Rocketdyne Commission, three novels about politics and advertising which, taken together, form The Henry Bell Project, The Book of Order, and his most recent one, The Hunter of Talyashevka . They are available on Amazon and Barnes and Noble.