In the back of my mind, I always knew this day would come.

After all, I can only think of one industry that can thrive selling for a buck or two a product that you can get for free anywhere and everywhere.

Unfortunately, I don’t sell bottled water.

As you’ve probably read elsewhere, for free, using a service that doesn’t require a fleet of diesel-belching delivery trucks to arrive at your home, this newspaper has declared bankruptcy.  Our printing presses, which provided the city with vital news and information for over a century, are being dismantled and sold to a scrap metal dealer.  The scuttlebutt here in the newsroom is that they will be melted down to make chains for the bridge over Arianna Huffington’s moat.  The newsroom itself will be converted into a “hot yoga” studio.  Either that or they’ve already stopped paying the A/C bill – we’re all schvitzing like crazy up in here.

Speaking of schvitzing, all of us at the paper are going absolutely mad figuring out what to do once our last paycheck has been turned into ramen and beer.  Some are already beginning second careers: auto reporter Jeremy Kennedy is in the parking lot painting the tester car BMW dropped off last week a bright yellow so he can drive it as a cab.

In retrospect, he should have asked to review the four-door.

As for me, I’m kind of useless.  Journalism lets you sample everything on the great buffet of life.  I’ve interviewed striking steelworkers, soldiers in Basic Training,  celebrity chefs, politicians both disgraced and soon-to-be-disgraced … the list is too long to recount.  A few years of this and I know a little bit about an awful lot, but not enough to do anything else very well.

That means I have but one solution: I’m going to teach the next generation of unemployable writers.  That’s right, Patel is going back to high school!  This time, instead of getting stuffed into a locker by a bunch of football players, I’ll be sending them to detention!

All for now,

- Patel