DATE: 6/23/2002 08:16:00 PM
Last night was quite the swashbuckling adventure.
I was sitting here on my ass as usual, surfing inappropriate sites on the net and having inane conversation with friends who were lucky enough to be at home with a beer in their hand over IM when Kim stood up from behind his bank of TVs and police scanners and said to me with that funny faraway look he has in his eye, "Beth...you have a car, right?"
Ah, and now we are at an impasse. Do I say yes and submit myself to whatever punishment lies in store? Or do I say no and get caught in a lie later?
Being the hopeless goody two shoes that I am (at least outwardly), I said yes. "Oh, good," Kim said, his face brightening in a way that spelled only trouble. "How about you take a ride down to Stoughton to check out this sniper on a roof down there?"
That is really hilarious, I thought to myself silently. Phrasing it as if I had a choice.
Of course to the layperson, various questions spring immediately to mind, I would imagine, such as: where in Stoughton am I going? How do I get there? I was frantically trying to print MapQuest directions when Kim shoved an atlas, a reporters' notebook and a pen into my hand and gave me a boot to the ass out the door.
About half an hour later, after a wrong turn and a stop for gas, photo intern Dina and I pulled into Stoughton center, which was lit up like the Fourth of July with flashing blue lights and crowds of onlookers. Unfortunately, they weren't looking on much, since a police barricade was firmly planted between us and any of the action. We could barely see the shadows of SWAT team members moving through the trees. At this point, Dina disappeared.
Oh, by the way, I've never had to go out on a story for the Globe before.
I was patronized by cops. I was stared at dumbfoundedly by neighbors and rubberneckers. I was given terrible information by a FOX25 news cameraman. Finally when I located neighbors of the man who was currently creating the incident, I was assaulted by one of them bitching about the press' lack of regard for privacy. Personally, I think that if this man wanted privacy, he should not have been holding his 14 year old nephew hostage on the roof of a house in a Boston suburb with a shotgun. But what do I know.
My cellphone rang. It was Kim, demanding to know where I was. "I haven't gone anywhere," I told him somewhat grumpily. Kim then chewed me a brand new asshole about how Dina couldn't find me. Finally we met each other on a street corner and ran back to her car, at which point Kim promptly telephoned again to demand why we hadn't asked so and so such and such a question as we were attempting to make our way out of the mobbed town center.
At this point whatever twisted product of nuclear deformity is currently governing our universe decided that we hadn't had enough yet, so as Dina and I slowed down while getting off at the Morrissey Blvd. exit on our way off of 93 (like we tend to do in America), a guy in an SUV (isn't it ALWAYS some asshole in an SUV?) literally drove Dina's Volvo's trunk into her backseat. She and I were unhurt, but significantly inconvenienced, as the film she had shot while climbing trees, trespassing, jumping fences and being chased by cops should have been delivered, developed and dropped into the layout, oh, about fifteen minutes ago. A passing tow truck stopped to ask if we were ok, and before the poor guy could get a word in edgewise Dina had bundled me and her film into the truck, which had dropped me off at the Globe building before the driver had really figured out what was going on.
Then, of course, there was no one to develop the film while Dina was back dealing with the asshole who hit us, so I had to make calls and try to track down a photo person at midnight (no easy task since Dina was the on-call person for the night). FINALLY, Dina and a photo guy named Dominic started developing the film and I was finally cleared to go home.
So. What do you do at your job?
Not that I'm gloating.