Friday, September 01, 2006

Just Doing My Job

As a copy editor, one of my jobs is to make sure that a story is absolutely clear to the reader. I'm often calling up writers and asking questions like, "Was she really 'anxious' to go to college, or was she 'eager'?" and "Your use of 'he' is ambiguous in this sentence; are you talking about the police officer or the circus clown?"

But when I got up yesterday morning I certainly didn't plan on going to work in the evening and asking our crime reporter: "Now, when it says he hid the cocaine in his buttocks, does that really mean the buttocks, or does it mean...somewhere...further along?" And him saying, "Uh, what do you mean?" And me saying, "I'm talking about the rectum."

No one plans on a day like that. But in my job, it can happen. All in the service of you, the reader.


  1. So which was it—coke through the sphincter, or coke merely clenched in buttocks?

  2. According to the police report, it was in his crack.

  3. Boy has the news in Duluth changed...

    What has happened to the classic Northland stories of moose on the loose downtown, bears terrorizing trash cans in Woodland, drunken mayors who lie, and evil golf course developers?

    I mean...what about the children???