Please let me introduce myself…

On the field at Yankee Stadium after Game 6 of the 2009 World Series. I got pied.

HARLEMIt was the fall of 2005 and I had just been given a summer internship at The Washington Post. But to my horror, the paper demanded a personal bio. I decided that I hadn’t: 1.) Gone to a prestigious enough college 2.) Spoken enough languages or 3.) Fed enough Guatemalan villagers in my spare time, to write a straight bio.

So, I said “fuck it” and rolled with this*, figuring it was too late for them to fire me anyway:

***

A few days before I officially landed this gig, an editor at the paper gave me a ring. He sounded a bit confused.

“So, you’re 26, huh?”

“Yes, sir.”

“And you’re a graduate student at the University of Nevada, Reno?”

“Actually, undergrad, sir. I’m done in May.”

“Why the hell is it taking you so long to get through journalism school? Is there some prison time we need to know about?”

“Do four semesters of Spanish count?”

“This says you’ve interned or worked at five newspapers. Is that right?”

“Yeah, the Contra Costa Times, the Monterey County Herald, the Riverside Press-Enterprise, the Reno Gazette-Journal and the Boston Globe. I loved every minute.”

“This thing also says you want to be a sportswriter.”

“Yes, sir. I grew up watching the A’s back home in the Bay Area. The dream? To become the next Rickey Henderson. The problem? I throw like Florence Henderson. So, sportswriting seemed to be the natural fit. Like I said, I’ve loved every minute.”

“Favorite journalist?”

“You, sir.”

“Nice try. No, really.”

“Mike Royko.”

“And I also hear you’re a golfer. What’s your handicap?”

“Putting, chipping and driving, sir.”

“We’ll have to get back to you.”

***

* The paper ran this vignette in a booklet that they handed out in the newsroom. As I had suspected, many of my colleagues that summer had 1.) Gone to prestigious colleges 2.) Spoken multiple languages and 3.) Fed tons Guatemalan villagers in their spare time.

And I didn’t get fired. At least, not immediately.

— 30–

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11 Comments

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11 responses to “Please let me introduce myself…

  1. Linda (mikke!) Hemmila

    Confound you Marc Carig! You made me cry. I was trying so hard to read your into piece to Soren (who’s son rides endlessly through his tomato plants on anything with wheels) your mother has good reason to be proud of you–and you are lucky to have her.

  2. This is exciting man. My favorite bit so far:

    “Why the hell is it taking you so long to get through journalism school? Is there some prison time we need to know about?”

    “Do four semesters of Spanish count?”

  3. Megan

    We’re friends because of that bio, you know that? Seriously, I read it in the booklet, decided you were the only cool intern, and decided I’d make you be my friend. It went swimmingly. That was the only bio worth reading, so it’s definitely worth a repeat.

  4. I had the same trouble with my Pulliam bio. Mine wasn’t as funny as yours though.

  5. Marc Carig

    You guys are awesome. Thanks for checking in!

  6. Already read you in the Ledger and look forward to reading more here. Very funny.

  7. Brian Duggan

    Four semesters of Spanish should count as prison time. I dig.

  8. Marc Carig

    Glad you’re here guys. Thanks!

  9. Clarissa

    Wow. I’m bookmarking this for realzy.
    I love you Carig!

    And I want to hear more about your mom. But only in a good way.

  10. Pingback: State of the OTR Blog: Looking back, looking ahead | Marc Carig | Off The Record

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