It’s late. We’re barreling toward 1 a.m. and I’m pushing the night’s last deadline. I’m really tired. I don’t want to play anymore. That kind of night.
I go to put the last story down on my page. I’ve been a journalist for 35 years or so, but this story is so horrific that I pause to wonder about a world in which such things I happen. It’s really, really terrible.
I send an email to Donovan, the wire editor, in response to the email he sent to alert me to this story. “I NEED A PUPPY REUNITED WITH FAMILY STORY. JEEEEEZ.” It’s part joke, part plea. I’m just at the point where I need something happy to happen. And the story he has given me isn’t it.
A minute later he walks over with that big Donovan smile. “Gotcha covered,” he says.
And a minute after that, I see a story attached to the page. It’s a story about a puppy reunited with its family. I assume it’s a joke and go over to congratulate him on whipping it up so quickly. He says he thought I must have seen his budget, because THERE REALLY WAS A PUPPY RESCUED STORY THAT WE HADN’T USED!!!! Puppy falls 50 feet down well, firefighters spend hours to get him back up, reunited with family, happy ending. It’s the perfect story.
But I’m too tired to care. The page is done. It’s a great thought, but no way I’m tearing it up to put in this story instead.
The copy editor working on a jump for the page says the story is MUCH shorter than I have dummied. About 10 inches too short. Which leaves me with a 10-inch hole for another story on the page. Cue puppy whining.
And that is how the most horrific story in the world became a little less horrible because it was next to a puppy being reunited with its family. Never question fate. Or the wire editor. Or puppies.