Friday, August 08, 2008

In which my past and present life collide

On Wednesday, while my mom was babysitting Benevolent Dictator so I could go out for a few baby-free hours, she took it upon herself to begin researching carpet cleaning companies (which is needed because our carpets have several interesting stains from pre-baby parties, baby messes and general everyday life).

In any case, she got a number and a quote from one person who claimed he could do the job and within the week. When I got home, she gave the number to me and told me to call him. The number and the name tickled something in the back room of my memories, but I didn't think twice about it.

I called the number, asked some further questions and thanked him for his time. After I hung up, it hit me who I just called.

Picture it, Dane County, 2000. /Sophia Petrillo.

I was a new reporter interviewing candidates for an upcoming election. I had interviewed this person and we endorsed his opponent in the primary. Furious with that, he refused to grant an interview in the general election. My boss wrote an editorial against him, calling him out for his refusal to do an interview.

Fast-forward a couple of years and this man ran again for the same office against the same person. Again, I contacted him, but this time he refused to grant an interview from the get-go. I wrote my candidate profile and said that he refused my request for an interview.

This person then followed up with a letter to the editor saying that he had a terrible time with his interview and the endorsement two years ago and that's why he decided not to grant me an interview. If I remember correctly, he called me a "hostile and agitated reporter." That phrase still amuses me to this day. I kept saying I was going to make a pink girlie shirt with the word "HOSTILE" written across the chest in pink glittery lettering.

Anyways, after I talked to the carpet cleaner, I realized who I just spoke to. This was the same man who refused me the interview and was furious with our endorsement of his opponent. I remember him saying he owned a carpet-cleaning business and that he lived in the area where the phone prefix was from.

I'm glad I decided not to go with him. That would've been a tad bit awkward.

And now I still want to make that pink "HOSTILE" shirt. I wish I did that years ago.


K. said...

You still should!

It's funny, I always say you should treat people with kindness and respct as you go through life as you never know in what way your paths may cross again.

Do you think he would have remembered your encounter?

Viv said...

I probably will make the shirt. I just need to get the stuff together.

I don't know if he remembers me or not (or at least by name), but I remember him because it's one of the very few times a source got pissed at me.

And I also didn't go with him because I didn't like his answers regarding carpet cleaning, so it wasn't just our past.

QuietlyGoingMad said...

I think you should make the shirts and sell those suckers! I'd buy one!