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Ink Stains

In the summer of 2004, an article was written for Forbes magazine. However, as a result of an erroneous delivery, the editorial department at Hustler magazine received the article instead. The piece, although not Hustler’s typical expose, was accepted, for reasons unknown, and was then scheduled to appear in the September 2004 issue of the widely distributed adult magazine.

The editorial staff at Hustler used, what I’ll loosely term, liberal doses of creative licensing. In fact they completely ignored the introductory paragraph, reworded the foreword to spell foreplay, and replaced all the original photography with photographs the magazine shot themselves, images they felt were more appropriately suitable for print.

Meanwhile, months had passed and the author of this article had been trying to reach the editorial department at Forbes magazine. He was extremely proud of the work he had done and was quite astonished he hadn’t heard back as of yet. It was then, a few days before the article would appear in Hustler, that a check for $1500.00 USD arrived in his PO Box. The author found the sum to be on par with what he had expected, but was taken a bit aback by the Hustler logo being not only on the receipt stub, but also on the check itself, with no association given whatsoever to Forbes. But, as most things in this world, bills were due and the money couldn’t have arrived at a more opportune time for this author. He had been getting by with what remained of the last few articles he had written for Business Week, The Wall Street Journal and oddly enough High Times, but was certainly feeling the crunch of a downtrodden economy. Work was hard to come by and with regurgitated articles being recycled by editorial staffers, the check was a blessing he could not question. After all, he simply assumed that the companies were in one way or another related.

The evening of publication, an anonymous blogger, who happened to be both a subscriber to the adult publication and a big admirer of this author’s work, received his copy, hot off the press, in the mail as was the case each month. The blogger and this author’s had yet another connection, they both followed one another on twitter and had at one point or another both liked each other’s facebook pages, with the blogger providing many more likes than what the author reciprocated.

The anonymous blogger saw his “friend’s” article and was stunned, as this was not simply an oddity to see the author’s article in a magazine like Hustler, but also that the style of writing that he had grown accustomed to reading in this magazine, didn’t quite mesh with this style of composition.

So instantly the blogger decided to get the scoop. He direct messaged the author on twitter while simultaneously liking the article on facebook. He even went so far to assist his “friend” by sending out a tweet declaring his “friends’ contribution to this magazine. A tweet that his 40,000 or so followers would then receive. To do his “friend” one more gesture of free promotion and publicity he decided to compose a short blog entry regarding the admirable merger of the two contrasting styles. An excerpt from that entry read:

“…’s newest article is featured in this month’s issue of Hustler magazine. This union of the ultra-conservative author and the liberal adult publication. The article itself is a drilling expose on the injustices and atrocities handed down to….proving that no trader is above the exchange commission. The article consists of 1947 words, with 114 being the, the most widely used definite article of them all.

The blogger went to sleep quite proud of himself. The next morning he found that this was all a mistake. He learned second hand that his friend’s good name had been sullied in the overnight hours. He also learned he gained quite a large spike in followers, yet he didn’t find out until much later in the afternoon, that he had lost a friend in the process, for he no longer was able to direct message this author.

The author, a recovering alcoholic, was seen slamming V8’s from his car, as he awaited for the local 24 hour grocery store to open its doors. When they finally did, he noticed a help wanted sign, where more information could be had by inquiring within. The man purchased some cat litter for his 13 year-old Maine Coon Jasper, a $2.00 Corky Romano DVD, a day old donut and five bags of Ramen noodles. At the counter he asked about the job position, but before the clerk could hand him the application to fill out, a woman from his local church looked intently at him, only mustering a “tssk, tssk,” look. The author left the application and left the store at a loss for words.

Seven years after publication, the anonymous blogger is now operating as a high-priced freelancer for TMZ. The author, in a weird twist of fate, met with the model who appeared in the photographs that replaced the photos he submitted with his original article. The two had a great laugh and to his surprise, the author found the woman refreshingly gorgeous and intelligent. They are now married with two children. The woman at the grocery store is still “tssk, tssking” every person and everything, that acts in any manner that contrasts those ideals that she has been and is currently told to believe.


About hobgoblin2011

I'm a poet and aspiring screenwriter/songwriter with a passion for film, art, photography, philosophy and heavy metal. I love reading, mainly non-fiction, comic books, graphic novels, myth and reference. Family always comes first for me. I'm a proud father to two wonderful pups and two curious cats. I'm also a glutton for punishment aka the life of being a diehard Buffalo Bills and Sabres fan.

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