When, in one of her characteristic blackout drunken stupors, staff writer Neeyati Shah accidentally compiled a promising application to the honorable campus publication that shoved a newspaper in her face at some indeterminable intervals of time (every two weeks? four?), she wondered, “Am I really funny enough to earn my place here?” But after three years of sort-of hard work and occasionally-adequate articles, she can say with confidence that she is not.
“I mean, the one thing I can say for myself is that I’ve mastered the subtle art of slipping in cliché penile innuendos that pretty much just fill space and don’t bring anything new to the table,” said Shah. “But that skill only came about after years of not having any better ideas.”
Sure, Shah confided, her mother’s blank expression after reading one of her articles—riddled with the kinds of cheap drug references and vaginal puns that she has relied on for years—and the way her mother turned wordlessly back to her wholesome Indian soap opera might still sting the second-rate writer down to the depths of her very soul. Still, despite her own failures, Shah reported that she has thoroughly enjoyed riding on the coattails of her fellow staff members’ talent, flushing with pride whenever some loyal reader of the publication comments on the “awesome work” she–but really, everyone else–is doing. She thanks the staff for making her appear cool and respectable by association.
At press time, Shah confirmed that she is aware that she’s overplaying this whole self-deprecating bit she’s got going on here; but she is just truly, sincerely grateful to her editors, fellow staff members, and readers, and she’s obviously not great at this whole writing thing so she doesn’t know how else to say that.
Originally published: Apr 2014