I can't say I liked being journalist because it was an ego trip seeing my name on the front page. Byline excitement wears off after a few weeks in the job, unless the story is a massive exclusive.
That's me at the table; that's me in the spotlight losing my religion
But journalism was certainly a way of life rather than just a job. You never turned off. We identified with the hard bitten hacks of years gone by; Tom Wolfe, Hunter S. Thompson. Hemingway and Woodward and Bernstein, even if the reality was something less; in fact the reality could be writing weather reports. Indeed I was once told my inane weather reports had something of a cult following in Australia where I guess they dont have much weather; just hot and hot again.
Still one of the things I miss about journalism is the ability to legitimately piss people off. There was nothing more satisfying that that clunking sound on the end of the line when you had caught someone off guard or in a lie or a confession and you heard them shuffle off to get a change of pants.
The wonderful world of legal marketing is less a vocation than something you do. To my knowledge there were no legal marketers grabbing a rifle and going over the top with Hemingway in the Spanish Civil War. The other drawback is marketing makes me think of Richard E. Grant in How to Get Ahead in Advertising, a film in which the marketer's obsession with a boil cream campaign, results in a large talking boil taking over his neck and eventually his whole persona; yeah really - the career people never told you about that did they?
But I suppose one has to keep the cat in cat food in the interim before the great unfinished novel is finally finished, the film makers are vying for rights and I'm facing a dilemma between snapping up a villa in Cabo or the OC.
With my final goal in mind I turned up early on Saturday armed with a table, a couple of bags of marketing materials and a recalcitrant toddler.
I stepped into my marketing persona to the extent that I wore a decent pair of pants (no I still can't write that without thinking underpants), and had found some object that vaguely resembled a comb, although it turned out to be a whisk.
I was directed to my spot and got ready to schmooze when I tried to open up the table and promptly ripped a shed load of skin off my finger. Instead of schmoozing I was hopping around and yelling.
It took me a good 20 minutes more to get my marketing hat on. All the time I was keeping my right hand in my pocket that had filled up with bloody wet wipes.
Still I feigned an air of cheerfulness, as I handed over whizzy flashlights with the law firm's logo on, with my one remaining hand. Unfortunately I pulled out a glossy brochure at one point and accidentally drove it into the wound fixing a couple I was talking to with an expression they won't forget for a couple of millennia.
It was just as well that the event had a Halloween theme, even though it had been rescheduled to November by the hurricane.
I survived the rest of the morning but only just, narrowly avoiding handing over to one guy my wad of bloody wet wipes.
Them I watched the runners come in and thought "This is fun. Maybe my life will begin one day soon."
The good news is I have just spied a rather well paid legal marketing position in New York City which sounds a good deal more city slicker-esque. I'm not sure if the fact it was posted in September, 2007 is a problem here. Maybe I should just keep plugging away at the unfinished novel.