It started early Monday. It always starts on Monday, the yelling, that is. It doesn't stop until late Tuesday. It comes from downstairs, where the bulk of the Free Press work takes place. It's where the fellow who edits this publication plies his trade. He also startles our cats. Like clockwork, every Monday morning, we hear him holler out from below, “Godfrey Daniel!” he yells, but he doesn't really say “Godfrey Daniel.” What he does say I'm not comfortable typing. It's also the mildest of the expletives he spouts. He is crude and foul-mouthed, this editor person. “Mother Pussbucket,” he screamed 10 minutes after letting loose with his first audio bomb of the morning. Wobbles leapt into the air and ran under the bed. She doesn't care for the sound of his voice, not to mention the fact that he startles her with his cursing. “Son-of-a-Bitch!” he wails soon after. His outburst is accompanied by the sound of a fist battering a desk top. He calls out the name of one particular writer, who apparently makes the same mistake over and over. “I just f@#*&ing told you this s#$%t the other day, Godfrey Daniel!” he screams, as if he were talking to the person face-to-face. He is not. The writer is safely somewhere else, banging away at his own computer keyboard and probably having similar thoughts about the editor. He's a loathsome sort, this editor. It's little wonder to me that the writers do not often show their faces around here, as ill-tempered as this editor is. Only one person braves the Free Press office when he is in, the poor schlub who lays out the pages. He has all my sympathies. I imagine he is often as startled as Wobbles when the editor barks out in one of his fits. He sits in the same room with the loud mouth. “Coke sacking Mother of Pearl!” (not his actual words) he yells, some new underling is the object of his wrath. The outburst is followed by the sound of the squeaky outer door. The editor goes outside to smoke a cigarette. He does this often when he's angry. I sometimes see him out my window as he paces the ground below. When he is particularly wound up he will stomp the ground, as if he could pound away the problem. Each boot to the earth is accompanied by another outburst of a filthy phrase. As I said, he is crude, this editor person. The odd thing is, he is rather a pleasant fellow when he isn't fiddling with the work of others. I've run into him on weekends and he is cheerful as can be. But if you should be unfortunate enough to cross his path on a Tuesday, I fear for the outcome. He is at his raging worst on Tuesdays. “F%@*&ing piece of s%$t!” he bellowed this past Tuesday. He had just hung up the phone when he let loose with that one. I don't know who he talked to, but it caused the squeaky door to be flung open yet again. Mr. Hyde was outside smoking once more. “Godfrey Daniel!” he blurts out a while later, followed by the name of one of the writers. I don't know exactly who it is, but it sounds like Patrick. The editor is so steamed when he shouts the name it is hard to make out. This Patrick person's name is used in vain on a regular basis. It usually happens around lunch time on Tuesday. Once I've heard this Patrick person being yelled at from afar, I know his name will be called out again in short order. I am not left hanging long. “Godfrey Daniel, Patrick, what the fark is your problem?!” the editor shouts. Again the loud thud as fist meets desk top. The only good thing about the weekly dressing down this Patrick person gets, is that I know the shouting will soon come to a close. And sure enough, after one last shout to Patrick, Wobbles and I are at peace once again. The paper has been put to bed.

Appears in Issue: