Tuesday, October 25, 2011

My Adventure with The Onion

I'd like to interrupt your regular reading of Hobbit Heartache to tell you a tale.  It is a tale of a journey I am currently taking, a journey that most likely will not have a happy ending.  After embarking on this journey, well, I can certainly understand how the hobbits feel in their quest to Gondor or wherever the hell they're going.   Or how Jessica and Elizabeth felt when they went to Malibu to be au pairs for the summer.   Or how Bilbo felt when he went to the sexy Land of the Elves.  Or how the twins felt when they went to Paradise Spa and there was a murderous spa director and she...

Sorry.  I'll stop.

(You'll have to forgive me; my mind is kind of stuck in those two worlds as of late and will continue to be so probably until 2013.)  

Seriously, this is what the inside of my head looks like these days, but with less hobbit beer and more cat puke (Money is sick).

AHEM.  Back to my journey.   Well, it all began when I learned that the satirical newspaper The Onion was heading to Canada.  Writing for a paper like The Onion comes pretty close to my dream job, which involves starting up cereal-based letter writing campaigns, wearing costumes in public and petting dogs (I feel like craigslist is my best bet there).  I knew I couldn't waste this opportunity like I did with the Harry Potter job.   Or like when I sent my audition tape for America's Next Top Model: All Stars Season to the wrong Tyra Banks.  Or when Squash Ontario refused to sponsor me in the World's Largest Squash Casserole competition.   No, I really had to nail this.

You thinking what I'm thinking?

Time for a barrage of letters displaying my multifaceted personality and unwavering-to-the-point-of-fear-provoking persistence!

Note: It's a fine, fine line  between "you're hired" and "our legal counsel has issued a cease and desist." 

Like any hopeful applicant, I began by doing a little research.  I closely examined The Onion's policy on receiving resumes.  It is as follows:  "Please do not send/e-mail resumes concerning listed positions unless specifically told to do so in the listing. Any unsolicited resumes will be immediately discarded."

Well. That seems open to interpretation.

They did not discuss their policy for sending resumes for unlisted positions.  Nor did it discuss their policy on receiving acceptance letters.

And thus, the adventure begins:

A month goes by.  I hear nothing from The Onion, not even from Matt at the office.  I start to fret a little bit, because, you know, I'd asked some important questions that needed answers. Time was of the essence, which is why I had marked the envelope as "URGENT" two  (2) times.  I wanted to shop for my new uniform clothes while the summer dickey sales were still going strong. I also wanted to print a few mock business cards to distribute before the official ones were made because you know I'm all about networking.

The zebra one is perfect for "Casual Friday," right?  That's what I was thinking, too. Now, if only The Onion would write me back so I could figure out how many I'd need for my new job.   I took a guess and bought six (6).

I kept my head up and continued to maintain my extensive exercise regime. In the midst of a squat series which involved the use of both wooden planks and steel buckets of boiling water, the answer hit me: of COURSE they hadn't replied!  I forgot to send them my references! A rookie mistake, one that I really should have known better.   But one that can be easily fixed.

The adventure continues.  And since all of my previous references have politely asked me not to contact them again, I had to go a different route.

I also remembered to include my resume and "Books Read in 2009" list this time.  I wanted to make sure that they knew I could write articles about all kinds of things, like senior cats and kids that live in boxcars and also monsters (both in mythology and real life).

I also of course included my headshot.  It's a bit outdated but I think it still accurately conveys my intensity for The Onion.

(I have new headshots that feature both my roommates and my cat Money but getting rid of the red eye has taken longer than expected.  Fingers crossed for January 2012!)

Possibly 2013.

I sit and I wait for another month, checking my mailbox daily with growing frustration.  I try to stay positive but I can't deny that my exercise regime is slipping.  I'm down to lifting five (5) gallon buckets of water instead of ten (10).  My dickeys are gathering dust in my closet, my fanfiction work is taking a turn for the morbid, and yeah, my hygiene is suffering as well.  I've been down this road before with previous letter writing campaigns (Francine Pascal, I'm looking at you right now), and it's neither healthy nor good for me.

My deepening depression luckily did not affect our evening spinning classes. 3x a week will do wonders!

To make matters even worse, The Onion prints their first Toronto edition, and sure enough, my articles have not made the front page.  In fact, they're not printed at all.  I am filled with shame.

shame [mitchell] Pictures, Images and Photos

(Is two (2) gifs per post pushing the limits?  I'm still testing the waters here.)

I reach out my vulnerable and increasingly untoned arms once again.

... And still, nothing.  NOTHING.  Not even from Joan after I included the first six (6) chapters of Hobbit Heartache, the Sweet Valley High/Lord of the Rings erotic crossover fanfiction especially for her. I'd like to blame it on the postal system, but as I just received a new SVH shipment from Amazon, (Wakefield Legacy: The Untold Story, I warmly welcome you into my life), I know it just can't be.

For when you're in the mood for an epic.

But those who know me know that I do not relent easily.  I'm in the midst of a 5,600 word article debating the merits of gray cats over orange ones so I can prove to The Onion that I can be topical as well as informative.   And after that, I'm mailing them a collage comprised of both dried and moist onion skins (mostly red, but also yellow and white onion skins for accent) to show my versatility. 

It will be five (5) feet tall and bring tears to the eyes of all who gaze upon it.

(If you have any extra onion skins you'd like to contribute, feel free to drop them off at my house anytime, night or day (preferably dawn).  My roommate Heather is in charge of the collection, so you can just slide them right under her door or throw them at her window. I will need at least 300.)

Are my letters/handmade projects/half-finished novels most likely being thrown immediately into the garbage, you ask? Oh, almost certainly.  Is that going to stop me?  Well, probably, yeah.  Eventually. I got erotic fanfictions to write! But there is a part of me that really hopes something comes of this, even if it's just a standard rejection letter from a truly awesome newspaper.  I really don't want to have to toss my five hundred (500) new Onion business cards. I'm still getting through my Samantha Clark: ANTM All Star ones.  

It's sad because I was fairly certain we would hit it off.

You can bet your bippy I'll be keeping you updated of any progress with this adventure, and I gladly welcome any advice or encouragement.   But for now, it's back to Middle-earth with me, where I shall emerge only briefly to create my Halloween costumes.  Does anyone have thirty (30) cats I can borrow?  (Feral preferred.)


  1. Maybe you should just show up to work. Clear a desk for yourself, show them what you're made of. By the end of day, your degrading but hilarious jokes will win you a permanent spot in their Onion hearts.

  2. Sorry Sam, but my I couldn't read the letters, print was too small. Anybody else have that problem? Or maybe it's just my 8 yearold laptop. Hmmm.

    Dan Murphy

  3. i feel like i just read a little novella and agree with velvet, you should just take a desk there, the onion needs better writers and you deserve to be published already.

  4. I could make a new outfit for your first day on the job made out of onion skins. I am sure grandma would set aside politics (and her severe allergy to onions) for an hour or 2 (two) and help. If they don't like it- the outfit would be perfect for ANTM or the Canadian version of Project Runway.

  5. All right, it's settled. I'm going to my new work at The Onion on Monday. And I'll bring Timbits so they'll like me and wear my "first day" dickey so they'll think I'm professional and I'll just make jokes about Matt and Joan and Bob and they'll think I've worked there a long time. It's so simple!

    Dan, blogspot is doing a new photo-viewing format where a black box opens with the pic that you clicked on. You should see "View Original" next to the picture--try clicking that and then clicking once more to zoom in. Hopefully that should help. If not, I can always email you the letters if you'd still like to see them!

    Zak, you forget that I'm already a published author. I've had several newsletters and employee memos printed at work. One even had an eggnog recipe that I made up all by myself. Didn't even test it!

    Papya, could the onion dress be ready for my first Casual Friday? I would also like to wear an onion on my belt.