THE life of the humble newspaper scribe can be a lonely one at times, frequently punctuated as it tends to be with rejection by one's fellow human beings, if not downright open hostility.
You get hung up on, shouted at, cursed, occasionally threatened with physical injury or worse and get accused of having all kinds of weird and wonderful agendas and associations in the course of just doing your job.
Let's just say a lot of people have fertile imaginations when it comes to that type of thing and don't worry too much about getting their facts straight.
In case you think I'm complaining, I'm not - in fact I couldn't really care less - and there's always the option of finding some other way to earn a living if one isn't able to take the heat. Which I generally can. It's just that sometimes you get a little bit of a complex about it all.
Like, for example, when you're talking to a friend or a neighbour or someone up the street and they start to tell you something interesting and then remember where you work and the mouth clamps shut like a well-lubricated rabbit trap.
"Oh," they say, with a worried look and a shake of the head. "I'd better not tell you that, you'll only go and put it in the paper."
As if. Anyway, all I'm saying is that reporting the news doesn't always make you everyone's best buddy. It's probably part of the reason some in the Fourth Estate ending up leaving it for the greener pastures of PR or why some with a certain aptitude for the written word never go in for journalism in the first place. …