Rogue Rules

Posted on February 2, 2011


For well over a year, I’ve been writing a humor column for an online newspaper.  The newspaper has rules it wants their writers to follow, and I’ve been pretty good at ignoring virtually all of them.  Until recently, it didn’t seem to matter.  I posted my articles, they got printed, and very occasionally someone might actually comment.  Even more occasionally, an amount of money equal to the cost of a Big Mac would be deposited into my Paypal account.

Recently though, there have been some changes, chief of which has been that about half of my columns were being returned because I didn’t follow The Rules.  There was always the same attachment included, containing The Rules. I deleted the emails, spewed a few epithets, and moved on to more pressing matters in my life like my gynecologist telling me I needed to start using a hormone cream twice a week, inserted vaginally with a sort of large plastic syringe-type device.  I asked him if it was dangerous (the hormone cream, not the method of insertion) and he asked, “Do you think I’m trying to kill you?” which I’m thinking more doctors should ask their patients, because in some cases, the answer might be “Yes.”  But I digress.

Then, a few days ago, when my latest column was rejected, I decided enough was enough.  I wrote to the Diva in Charge and told her that perhaps it was time to find another person to fill my slot.  The chief reason was that the paper wants me to write about local events.  Most of what I write isn’t about local events, unless one considers me to be a local event.  They also don’t want writers to write in the first person.  Since “I” is my most favorite word in the English language, this didn’t work.

I told the Diva in Charge that I was more suited to be a national columnist, rather than a local one, but I assumed they already had one.  They didn’t.  She told me if I could clean up my act and play nice with everyone, they’d consider me for the national position.  National pays the same Big Mac wage as local, but the word sounds better, I guess.

I considered this for awhile and decided I’d give it a shot, mostly because writing a book about my experience would have to be called “Going Rogue” and although I can’t swear to it, I do think that title has been recently used.  So, I’m going to write a few posts without the word “I.”  There will also be a couple other requirements that I’ll follow. After each post, I’ll send it on to the newspaper to see what they do with it.  I’ll start with my next post. Until then, I only have one more thing to say: I, I, I, I, I, I, I, I.