As I've mentioned at least seven times before, I dabble in
journalizing as a contributing editor at Boston Magazine. Unlike the
stuff you see here, Boston Magazine is all about chronicling the
lives of other people in Boston, which means I don't get to speak in
the first person, which is hard for someone as talented AND modest as
I. Anyway, I wrote a piece for the May issue of Boston Magazine which
followed two young gentlemen whose interests lie in the pursuit of
making time with older women. The piece was titled "On the Prowl with
The Cougar Hunters."
Normally, when a piece I write comes out, I send my friends an email
via one of the Internets providing a link to the story and then sit
back and wait for them to feel guilty enough to send me a vaguely
complimentary email about general aspects of the piece. Inevitably,
one person--usually my mom-- calls to congratulate me, and in doing
so accidentally offends: "Oh hon, that was great! It didn't sound
like you at all!!!"
So you can be sure I was alarmed when--within the first 24 hours of
the publication hitting the newstands-- I had seven requests to go on
(FM!) radio shows, a comment war below the piece on the Mag website
accusing me of plagiarizing a blog post that came out after the
magazine had already gone to press, and two bowls of Frosted Mini-
Wheats mixed with some sort of organic maple granola . This is not
something that normally happens to me. In the past four years of my
journalism career, I had a total of no requests for radio shows
stemming from Boston Magazine work. No cries of plagiarism, no
organic breakfast foods, nothing. What could have possibly turned the
tide, I wondered. And then that night, as I lay in my Pima cotton bed
sheets, I realized: it had to be me.
"Have you seen the movie Almost Famous?" I asked the Big Cat the next
day, via phone, as he sat in his cube (probably) scrolling through
thesuperficial.com. "That's like me now, without the almost part. The
only question is how to exploit it. Do you think I should break into
television or movies first, or do them simultaneously like Jennifer
Garner did when she was on Alias?"
"First of all, you're even well known, let alone famous," he said.
"You just wrote about something juicy and gossipy. And second, don't
ever try to compare yourself to Agent Sidney Bristow. She was an
amazing independent but ultimately conflicted woman."
Hmmm. The fact that this short-lived time in the spotlight wasn't
about me was mildly troubling, but it did teach me several life
lessons, which I will display for you in alphabetical order:
1. It is factually accurate to say that the general public loves
stories about people of different ages making out in steakhouse bars.
2. Do not accidentally swear live on the radio, then swear again
while apologizing for swearing.
3. Don't get really, really angry about a plagiarizing accusation and
search the Internets for the anonymous person who posted the
accusation, especially if the thing they accused you of was
literally, physically, and socially-emotionally impossible.
4. Do embrace the fact that--no matter how many times you get
published--it is still always awesome to get that tight, nervous,
proud feeling in the pit of your stomach when you see something that
you created released to the general public. Even if they're only
reading it to hear about the tongue kissing.
May is upon us, friends, and I hope everyone is aware that--as John
Quincy Adams said-- April showers bring May flowers. Please direct
your opines, accusations of plagiary, Dancing With The Star guest
appearance invites, and links to baby panda bears sneezing to the
Commenting section located beneath your seat. In the event of a water
landing, the songs from 1988 double as a floatation device.