I looked back at my last few columns and decided they were just too serious. I don’t want to give the wrong impression about journalists. We’re serious about our jobs, but at the same time, we act kind of goofy. I can see the evidence as I sit at my desk in the middle of the newsroom. Here is just some of what I am looking at:
Scoop. Our newsroom mascot, Scoop the betta fish joined the metro team several months ago after I told Jessica Prokop and Katie Gillespie that no, we can’t have a newsroom dog. Scoop is Columbian blue and thus remains “on brand.” And so far, he has not bitten anyone, growled, or pooped on the floor. I do wonder what he thinks about as he swims around and watches the editors. He can also see four televisions from his bowl, so that can’t be good for his education.
A small group of Hot Wheels cars and trucks, donated by Dave Kern, a retired assistant metro editor. He used them to thank people for writing “truckies,” which is our name for the little briefs that run on Page D3 of Saturday’s Community section. One of the little trucks has a biohazard sticker, and atop it sits a Hostess Twinkie from back when the original company went out of business. It still looks appealingly golden, if somewhat desiccated, although someone stuck a green plastic propeller through the cellophane packaging and into the top of the cake.
An inflatable beach ball and an inflatable chick, which sit on top of the speaker of our police radio. That seems kind of weird to me. Both inflatables have been there longer than the current occupants of those desks.
A small American flag. I brought that one back from Flag Day in 2009; they gave them to everyone who attended. I still remember that day; I covered two stories plus the cops while substituting on a weekend shift.