Friday, October 28, 2005

October 28, 2005
The Los Angeles Times’ Sunday Magazine is doing an upcoming feature on Wyatt Earp and a fact checker from the paper named Meryl called me to go over my quotes (Leo Banks of Tucson wrote the piece some time ago and they’re finally getting set to run it on November 13th). The newest twist on fact checking is they won’t tell you the actual quotes. Evidently, people often try to soften or change what they said to protect themselves. I understand the problem because we have sent articles to people mentioned in our mag, mostly to check for historical accuracy, and they invariably bridle at certain things and try to retract them, it’s only human. So Meryl’s job is quite tricky. She said things like, "Did you say something about Wyatt Earp and a jerk?" And I said, "Well, that depends on the context." I often tell the story of my grandmother in Kingman claiming “Wyatt Earp was the biggest jerk to ever walk the West." But that's her saying it, not me. And Meryl would say, “Well, that’s kind of what you’re quoted as saying,” and I would say, “read me the quote,” and she’d say, “I can’t.” And I’d say, “Then why are we talking?” And she’d go on and say, “Did you say something about Wyatt being a pimp and a long time offender?" And I said, "Probably. Can you give me any context?" And she’d say, "Not really." And I finally said, "Well, Meryl, I think I have to trust that Leo quoted me correctly and leave it at that."

One thing I did catch is we came out first with the story of Wyatt Earp as a pimp in Peoria, Illinois in 1872, not our competitor Wild West. So, it was worth the call to get that straightened out.

9•11 really played havoc with our newsstand sell thrus. It looks like we’re in for another bloodbath. We just got this news from our newsstand consultants:

Hurricane Wilma, the 12th hurricane of the season, struck southern Florida
from Key West to Daytona Beach on Monday with damaging winds, severe
flooding, power outages and tornadoes. The storm's effects on magazine
distribution in Central Florida, South Florida, and the Suncoast are still
being felt at week's end. Many shipment points remain closed or their
operation is seriously hindered.

Anderson Services' West Palm/Riviera Beach depot still reports no power and
no phone service, but little damage to the structure. Approximately 50% of
the stores serviced by the depot are refusing deliveries, with most
refusals concentrated in South Palm Beach County. A curfew is currently
being enforced outside of the hours of 6 a.m. to 7 p.m. and gas purchases
are limited to $20.00 maximum (approximately 7 gallons of gas).

Our January issue closed yesterday and our current sales staff is to be commended. Starting in a hole, because of the resignation of Mike Melrose, Sue Lambert, Joel Klasky and newcomer, George Laibe, worked overtime to bring the issue in 41% higher than last year’s issue. We promised them a steak dinner at Maestro’s, a very expensive restaurant down at Pinnacle Peak if they could get us to the winner’s circle and they did it! Really amazing. I came back from my probing physical Wednesday, and Trish had posted a big sign on my door, saying, "We did it!" with the final dollar number underneath. I went into the sales room, dropped my daytimer on the floor, fell to my knees and genuflected several times in their direction, all the while saying, "Thankyou, oh, Great Ones! Thankyou!" I didn't tell them about my rectal probe, but coming off that uncomfortable experience it was quite a thrill to come back to such a positive punchline. Not to beat a dead horse but I feel like we really pulled one out of our collective rectum.

“Rectum?! Damn near killed ‘em!”
—Old joke that Wonderful Russ enjoys running into the ground

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