dramain the office
Sabrina F. Ahmad
read their work, some of which made you smile, others laugh, and some
probably irritated you to tears of exasperation. Perhaps you've wondered
about the lives of the lunatics who bring you issue after issue of the
Rising Stars. What goes on behind the scenes of this teen magazine of
ours? Well, read on, fair reader...this is your peephole into the weekly
drama in the RS office.
INTRODUCING OUR CAST OF CHARACTERS FOR THIS WEEK:
³ The Mood Dude
³ The Girl Next Door
³ Da Big Boss (The Editor)
Also presenting our additional stars for today's episode
The Unforgivable Singer: The guy's got a rad voice, really. Somehow,
it just fails to warm the icy cockles of our Editor's heart. US doesn't
mind, really...he literally gets a kick out of it.
Solitary Sniper: That's what he calls himself. If it were up to me,
he'd be the Solitary Snipee, since he's so often the sole recipient
of our violent attacks.
Psychedelic Psycho: One look at his clothes, and you'd know what I'm
The Boycott Babe: Hint: she tried to boycott all 'phoren' goods without
much success. Ring any bells?
Bonhomie: This is the Web Waltzer that waltzes into the RS every fortnight
to hand in her two bits for the centerfold (or should that be two 'bytes'?)
Last week, we nearly had a murder in the office when Mood Dude got ready
for the kill, only to be thwarted by MoJo's secret weapons. We also
had the girls in the office blanking out for no reason...something that's
still going on, by the way, and only they know what's going on, and
they don't want to tell. Humph! Khelbo Na! Anyway, when the scene opens
this week, we see The Girl Next Door eagerly waiting for Wicked Sinner,
who's been missing for a while now. Mood Dude seems to be in a good
mood again, and we have a fuller crew for once, with Riyana, the Solitary
Sniper, and the Unforgivable Singer being back after a brief absence.
(Enter Da Big Boss)
DBB: Kids! Into the conference room...now. You people remember her signature
Darth Vader voice, I hope?
Well, in three seconds flat, the little cubicle is empty as everyone
makes a mad dash for the conference room.
DBB: "Long time since we had such a meeting...let's get to the
point. What is wrong with you lazy layabouts? I don't pay you to download
stuff from the Internet and post it under your by-lines.
(All eyes turn towards The Girl Next Door) TGND: "Hey, why are
you looking at me?"
Solitary Sniper: "Here's a hint: Ctrl+C, Ctrl+V..."
TGND: "Here's one for you: Ctrl+knuckle-sandwich"
Riyana: "Now, now...let's not get violent here..."
TGND, SS: "It's not your problem"
DBB: "Children! Be quiet! Next issue...we have too many reader
columns here...The Connection has Got to Go!"
TGND: "Noooooooooooo!" This is followed by an Ally Mcbeal
like moment inside her head, where you can see dozens of taka notes
flying out of her pocket.
DBB: "Third issue...I want some more field assignments and cover
stories out of you people. Any volunteers?"
A deathly silence prevails...gradually, you can hear that "Mawth"
song from the movie Kaante starting to play in the background, and everyone
looks at everyone else.
DBB: "Thought as much. I'll have to start delegating assignments
then." She stops and smiles and everyone breaks out into sweat.
"Mood Dude and Unforgivable Singer, I've got the perfect job for
the two of you." She then proceeds to outline the project, the
nature of which I'm not permitted to disclose, since the threat of a
very painful death hangs over my head, but feel free to use your imagination
here. When she finishes discussing the assignment, her two victims look
like lunch is the farthest thing from their minds.
DBB: "Finally...I need some more ideas for both RS and LS...and
if you don't come up with a few...well, let's just say you don't want
to know what I'll do otherwise."
Let's step out of the conference room for a moment, outside those frosted
glass doors. Everything has been nice and quiet for the past twenty
minutes. Someone comes in with a stack of papers. The people of the
Star City Section in the next cubicle are seated quietly at their computers.
Say this was the situation right before DBB said those cataclysmic words.
Suddenly something explodes inside the conference room. The building
shakes. The lights flicker. Papers go flying everywhere. The Star City
people jump in their seats. What's going on in there? All right, I'll
tell you. Desperate to preserve their jobs, their lives, or whatever
is at stake, all the RS members start booming ideas at the top of their
lungs. Sheesh! What did you expect? This is a newspaper office, not
a munitions factory.
DBB (slapping the table) "Okay, okay...meeting adjourned...you
can leave now. If anyone sees the Boycott Babe, just let me know, okay?"
the Boycott Babe)
BB: "Hey guys, what did I miss?"
RS Crew: "Boss! She's here!"
DBB: "Alight, tell her to come and see me...and tell Bonhomie to
see me too."
Mood Dude: "Sure thing, hey Bonhomie...Bonhomie?" (Looks under
the chairs) "She's gone!"
TGND: "I think she went...eek!"
Her statement ends in a squeal as a brightly clad thing walks in. The
rest of the team turns around, and they start shrieking too.
Psychedelic Psycho: Guys, come on, it's only me.
TGND: My eyes can't take it, I'm leaving.
BB: Me too.
Riyana: Me three.
What is this secret assignment that has the Mood Dude and the Unforgivable
singer so uptight? Where did Bonhomie disappear? Find out next week,
same column, and same teen magazine...
Not Your Problem Anymore
I go on to the problem for this week I have a message for a wonderful
11-year-old girl Mou. I'm very sorry that this message is going in so
late but my PC was out of order and I received your e-mail on Thursday,
June 12, 2003. Thus I am very sorry for disappointing you. I hope that
your Appendicitis operation went very well. I want you to listen to
me. Everyone has fears. Some people are afraid of bugs, some of horror
movies, a maximum of dentists and yes even of doctors and their big
needles and yucky medicine. Never feel ashamed of being afraid. Treat
it like a game you would play in which overcoming your fears is how
you win the game. And so what if you had to rely on a sister to overcome
it? As long as you win in the end, that is all that matters. And as
for your parents, with a brave girl like you, I don't think they will
ever have anything to be afraid of again.
In last week's column, you might have read that I declined an offer
of e-mail correspondence with a girl called Hany. I want to share my
experience with you. When I was around fifteen I started e-corresponding
with a person who I thought was very much like me and we got on famously
until the person and I actually met and I discovered to my shock everything
was a big fat lie. Now, Hany was upset and she e-mailed me again bombarding
me with questions like why I couldn't mail her, didn't I have friends
and didn't I mail them etc.
Now, Hany (and readers) if you are reading this, you will know of my
experience and after that I learned something. Virtual friendship is
like a fog. Everything has an apparent look and you can't grab and keep
the fog in your hand. I strongly believe in meeting people in reality,
then making friends and then e-mailing. Not the other way round. And
Hany, yes I do have friends (too many to count) and no I don't mail
them (except for those living abroad) because I see them everyday. And
one other thing, I'm not in a jail although you might perceive it that
way. It's a question of confidentiality. Every profession has some bindings
e.g. doctors take the Hippocratic Oath and lawyers take a similar vow.
Similarly when we work for a newspaper, especially writing for an Agony
Aunt column, we are even more restricted in how we proceed. I don't
even talk about my work with my real friends. Most don't know about
it. And, I make it a point not to print the problems of people who don't
want them printed- I simply try to give solution like I did last week
with SR. By the way SR, I got your e-mail but couldn't open the attachment
so if it's important please resend it in the text form.
Hany, I hope you understand.
is Raven. I just want to inform you that I and my girlfriend having
a very bad time in our relationship. And the main problem is the family.
The family desperately trying to disconnect our relationship and they
are performing it by giving wrong information over telephone. And this
creates misunderstanding between my Cynthia and me. So, I request you
to solve my problem. I will eagerly wait for your reply.
Whenever you see that there's some sort of misunderstanding or confusion
you'll know that it isn't each other's fault, Talk it out and you'll
be fine. I'd advice you to get cell phones so that you can talk directly.
They now have cheap deals for students.
Mail your problems to firstname.lastname@example.org and we'll try our best
to solve them. Due to limited space, I'm afraid we're only able to print
one problem at a time. Please have patience and give us ample time to
reply and print your problem.
The Girl Next Door
Hope you're all enjoying the rains after the blazing heat of the past
fortnight, although I'm pretty sure the local weathermen must be really
embarrassed, having predicted another sunny week, only to get a downpour
that very night.
Right, I know my mailbox has been packed to full capacity, so a lot
of your mails must have bounced back. I truly apologize. I deleted
all the junk, so you guys can mail me again. For those who are still
going through their A levels, I wish you all the best.
Well, Father's Day is coming up, and I hope you all have some nice
plans for your daddies. If you have any interesting Father's Day anecdotes
to share, please mail them in. It's always nice to hear from you.
I suppose you might have noticed our new mini-series "Rising
Soap". We've started it off by dramatizing the little events
that actually take place in the RS office. Here's an opportunity for
all you budding playwrights out there though: if you have any script
ideas you'd like to share with us, please feel free to send them in.
You might find your ideas being posted as the "Script of the
Month". I'll be waiting to hear from you. Harry Potter fans,
be on the lookout. I'll be doing a special section on the rumors very,
very soon, and we'll have a special HP "Conspiracy Theorist"
telling us his ideas. So keep your eyes peeled.
Okay, that's all from me this week. Take care, and stay cool!
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