“Dude, where’s my stuff? Dude, where’s my stats book? What about Dude, where’s my clothes?”
“Stats book doesn’t fit.” [Grumbles of discontent]
“But I like stats book.”
“But it doesn’t fucking fit.”
“Make it fucking fit.”
“I’m vetoing it. Stuff it is.”
“Has anyone seen Azwi’s column? Are we going to get hate mail again?”
“You’re on your own Sean William Messham. These are the moments that make you a man.”
“Xan, are you drinking champagne?”
“Yes.” [Suppressed giggling]
“Xan, are you getting plastered?”
“It’s my last edition, I’m allowed to.”
[Giggling turns into snorting].
“You know what they say about
people who snort?”
“They’re good in bed.”
“Just once, I wanted to put the word penis somewhere in a story.”
How we actually managed to put out a paper every two weeks spider pig alone knows. And no, most of that doesn’t make sense to me either. Too be fair, any newsroom anywhere in the world is chaotic, but there have been moments, somewhere between midnight and 2am on a Monday when we’re putting it all together that I’ve questioned my sanity. Thursday mornings are worse. The hanging around the office waiting for the boxes of papers to arrive, hoping the pictures and text match, and that people won’t get too upset about Wallace talking about sex on page 3.
Of course, they never do. I’ve often had the feeling that I could’ve run the front page headline “Jane Smith (Athies) is bad in bed, says John Brown (Smuts)” and the only thing anyone would get upset about is whether or not Jane was black or white, and of course, did John use a condom?
At the end of my time as the Head Honcho of Activate, it’s been a weird experience looking about over the last 12 editions. We tried a lot, some of it worked – redesigning the pages, adding an Opinions page – and some of it didn’t, the Arb page, the Not My Mother’s Tongue story. For the first time this year, Activate had serious competition, and there was a lot gossip that went around about how we were going to sabotage The Oppidan Press, which of course, was just gossip.
We celebrated our 60th birthday this year as Rhodes University’s independent student newspaper since 1947 where Timmy and I were auctioned for the grand total of R150. For all the last minute stories, the hate mail, the 4:30am madness on a Monday morning –it’s been a good year. To Bianca and her new team of madmen, I have complete faith in you.