Sunday, I was having Father’s Day dinner with my two sons (all my daughters being out of town), my daughter-in-law and two of my grandchildren at Yesterday’s, and my phone rang.
It was The New York Post. If you’ll recall, I represented that paper at the infamous Mark Sanford confessional press conference in June 2009, and they have called me since then from time to time when pursuing a story in SC. I’m generally glad to help when I can. Working with those folks can be an interesting change of pace.
This time, when the editor heard I was having Father’s Day dinner, he said he’d let me go, which I appreciated. But my curiosity was piqued.
A couple of hours later, he called me again, and asked if I could do a job for them. I asked what job.
Basically, they had heard that someone in this part of the country had advance copies of Rielle Hunter’s book. They wanted me to obtain a copy, read it quickly, and file a story that night.
I declined, and offered them someone else who might be interested in doing the story for them.
Part of it was that I was behind on some stuff I had meant to get done during my week off, and needed to get done before heading back to the office on Monday.
But part of it, I confess, was… well, you know the adage, You couldn’t pay me enough to do that? I’d rather have my gums scraped with a rusty screwdriver than read a single page of a tell-all book by Rielle Hunter. Every second I would spend doing that, I’d be acutely aware of all the good books out there that I probably won’t have time to read in my lifetime, and the sense of wasted time would be like a physical pain. I don’t even want to spend time passively listening to someone sum up her book in 25 words or less, much less spend any of my finite time on this planet reading anything that she might have to say. Just the thought of the exertion required to pick up such a book made me recoil.
I see they got somebody to do the story. Good. Especially since it wasn’t me.
I hope this doesn’t mean they won’t call me when they have something I would jump at (like the Sanford thing — I was burning with curiosity to know where our gov had been). But if so, having dodged any contact with a book by Rielle Hunter would have been worth the loss.