It's such BS. They didn't give the job right off. First, I had to pass this interview thing and then wait a few days before they called back and said I was one of ten final candidates.

  Mum and Dad were so happy, you'd think I'd won the lottery or got a job testing video games or something.

  Now we're all sitting here like sheep waiting for some sort of writing test, even though I got a B in my college creative writing class and it says so right on my CV thing.

  An old guy with glasses and a shiny head comes in and explains that he's going to play a short video for the ten of us, and then wants us to write about it.


   It's stupid to write about something that's already on video, isn't it?

   "This will test your ability to witness a scene and record it, as well as your imagination," he says. "As you know, we're a newsmagazine, which means you can write from either a reporting or human-interest viewpoint. Good luck."


    The video starts, and we're all looking at a videotape that's obviously filmed on a hand-held camera.

    First, a little boy and girl are playing with a brown cat on a lawn. The cat sort of runs away from them and is crossing the street.  One of the kids runs after it, but a lady runs into the street and grabs her. The camera shakes a bit, but then we see a bus coming. It swerves away suddenly from the lady and the girl in the street, runs over the cat, and plows over a fire hydrant on the other sidewalk.

    It's kind of cool, because a huge jet of water shoots up. The bus must be stuck on the broken hydrant, because the door opens and pasengers start scrambling off. Some of them are wet. Then I laugh a bit, because an old lady stumbles on the steps and knocks a couple of other passengers down and they're in like a pile.

   The camera gets really jerky, because whoever is filming is running to the little girl in the street, who's screaming over the flat cat.

  Then the camera turns, and we see this big guy with sunglasses and a hoodie reaching into the pile of passengers and coming up with a big leather attache case. He's running away now, and another guy's just getting up from the pile and starting to chase him.

   It's a real mess, and I'm kind of wondering what's going to happen.

  But then the whole thing just shuts off and the bald guy's talking.

   "That's it," he says. "You were on assignment, and witnessed this live. A photographer is with you. 

   "Feel free to assume certain details that you could readily investigate at the scene. You have a deadline, and must deliver your story in an hour."

  Then he just leaves the room.  Some of the other candidates are already tapping away on the laptops they provided.

    It's lame. I'm no performing seal.

    I decide to coast and get out of here. I write:

   (I'd get the photo guy to get a picture of the water.)

   There was a real mess on Melrose Avenue today when a city bus knocked over a fire hydrant and a column of water shot into the air. In the confusion, an unknown thief stole a big attache case, but nobody knows anything about what was in it yet.  

     And that's all I'm writing.

      It's just too lame. And the pay was nothing special anyway. And they never mentioned a company car or anything.  


The End

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