Wednesday, September 21, 2005

Another day in the life of...
Liz Armstrong - Girl Reporter!

Beep. "Armstrong!"

At the sound of the intercom, Liz looked up from the latest issue of UR and shuddered.

Beep. Beep.

She reached for her Sofia Mini champagne-in-a-can and found it empty. Pity. She had a feeling she'd need alcohol after she answered this particular summons.

Maybe she could pretend she was out. Hide behind the desk and let everyone think she was at some Ukranian Village art party, doing her "job."

Beeeeeep. "Armstrong. I know you're in there. ARMSTRONG!"

Sigh. "Coming." Leadenly, she made her way into the Nag Champa-steeped lair of her boss, Editor-in-Chief Alison True.

"Armstrong! Two words: Katrina. We gotta get some 'K' coverage this week," True barked. "What have you got for me?"

Liz blinked.

"Katrina? You want me to cover Katrina? Alison, I'm your social columnist. As in, parties and gossip here in Chicago. Not disasters in New Orleans."

"Don't give me excuses, Armstrong! We haven't got a lot of columnists here. Miner's high on the hills with a lonely goatherd, so that leaves Joravsky and you."

"But -- "

"You heard me. Get me something. Anything."

Three hours and eighty-one phone calls later, Liz dragged herself back into True's office. "OK, boss, I did my best. But I don't think you're gonna like it."

True kicked off her Day-Glo Birkenstocks and began massaging her toes. "No whining, Armstrong. Just run it by me."

"I've got a couple that moved from Chicago to New Orleans a few months ago. The guy is a photographer and his wife is an 'aerialist,' whatever that means. And when they fled their flooded apartment they made sure to grab a machete and a tarot deck."

"Good, good. Any tattoos?"

"I guess I could check..."

"Get back to me on it. What else?"

"Another ex-Chicagoan who plays music on an instrument he invented himself. His wife puts on puppet shows, and they used to run a kitschy nightclub in their basement. Before it filled up with human-waste-tainted floodwater, that is."

"I guess that's OK. What did they grab when they fled?"

"A ferret --"

"Golden! I knew you could do it. Write all that up, with lots of boho flavor -- do any of them have tattoos?"

"I'm going to check on that, remember?

"Oh, right. Well, Armstrong, you came through in the close. Get back to your keyboard -- I want the story in an hour." True leaned over and hit the intercom button. "Stop the presses, ladies and gentlemen! We have COPY!"



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