On the carpet are the taped outlines of two dead bodies. When visitors come to my office, I love to watch the tension build as they uncomfortably step around the tape. They nervously glance down and back at me. Just when they are about to come unglued I tell them that a couple of cleaning ladies got in a dispute, killing each other with hand held dust busters. That usually prevents people from coming back to my office a second time.
The Bloomington Daily News is owned by a chain headquartered in Minneapolis. Occasionally, they like to send a suit down from headquarters to “check in” on us. Ira, my editor, gets visibly nervous every time they come. He usually has a horrible rash for the two days leading up to the event and drives everybody crazy. I’m usually ordered to clean my office and be on my best behavior. One of us is usually disappointed in the other.
On our last inspection day, I threw a cocktail party in my office. I convinced a 7 foot center from the Indiana University basketball team to dress up like Abe Lincoln and be the doorman. Inside the office were Red Steppers (IU’s dance team) serving drinks and hors d’oeuvres. For entertainment, there was a performance artist reciting Othello in an obscure African dialect while painting faces on ping pong balls. Ira was horrified, but the inspector didn’t seem to mind the Red Steppers.