There are certain things I do here as an intern: I write little blurbs about upcoming events; I transcribe the occasional interview; I fact-check phone numbers, addresses, and web links; I upload photos for part of the website; I post things on Blogtown and the MOD blog.
Then there are the things I have to do for Patrick Alan Coleman.
1. Cut donuts. There is a box of assorted donuts at the office today. Of course, Patrick doesn't want a whole donut and might, in fact, want to sample several pieces of several donuts. This is natural; who wouldn't want to sample all the delicious donuts? I know I do. Because then you can have little bites that add up to probably more than a whole donut, but you can tell yourself that you've been good by not eating a whole donut. But can Patrick cut up his own donut into pieces? Oh no! He can't deal with the disgrace of being the person who mangles the donuts. So he comes up to me, real sly-like, and says, "Supposing there were donuts in the other room... would you want some?" "Duh," I respond. "And would you perhaps want to cut them up to see what's inside the various donuts?" This is sounding suspicious. "Yes...." I say. Patrick stares at me imploringly. He can't even ask me straight-up.
FOR GOD'S SAKE, PATRICK, JUST TELL ME TO CUT YOUR FREAKING DONUTS! ...Or come to think of it, cut them yourself. The office might shun you because of it, but at least you can hold your head high.
2. Think of balls. "What kind of ball is slightly smaller than a golf ball?" Patrick asks me, making a circle with his fingers. "Like one of those little bouncy balls?" "Yeah... I'm trying to think if there's another kind of ball that size." "A ping pong ball?" Not good enough. "One of those fiberglass marbles I used to have growing up? [There was a fiberglass plant in my hometown.] An eyeball?" None of my suggestions are good enough. Apparently eyeballs are insufficiently palatable to compare to risotto fritters.
WHAT THE FRICK, PATRICK? DO I HAVE TO THINK OF BALLS ALL DAY?
3. Turn down my music. So I'm listening to a great mix I just compiled the other day. Now, I can make a great mix. This one includes TLC, The Blues Brothers, Dr. Dog, and A Tribe Called Quest, so it's eclectic and all-around awesome. But Patrick has no taste for it and asks me to turn it down. He has to concentrate hard on his risotto balls, I suppose. I put my headphones in. Sarah Mirk likes my music. Sarah Mirk appreciates my iTunes library and sometimes listens to it from her own computer. Sarah Mirk even asks me to put on my music so we can all hear it and enjoy it together.
WHY AREN'T YOU HERE TODAY, SARAH? WHERE ARE YOU?? IT'S JUST ME AND PATRICK IN HERE!!
4. Write blog posts about him. I tell Patrick I'm going to write a blog post about all the things I have to do for him. "Make it ridiculous!" he says. "Say that I make you give me compliments and taste test my donuts!" No, Patrick. I will do no such thing.
BUT HE DOES MAKE ME BOW DOWN AND SAY "WELCOME, LORD PATRICK, GRAND MASTER OF FOOD AND RISOTTO BALLS" WHENEVER HE ENTERS THE ROOM, AFTER WHICH I MUST LICK HIS SHOES, JUST IN CASE REMNANTS OF THE RISOTTO BALLS HAVE SOMEHOW GOTTEN ONTO THEM, AFTER WHICH I MUST BRUSH HIS SWEATER VEST FREE OF CRUMBS AND DELIVER HIM A GILDED GOBLET OF HOT CIDER AND A PLATTER OF BUTTERMILK BISCUITS.
Geez, it's tough being an intern.
Also, I feel that I should mention that I apparently cut up the wrong donuts the first time, so in a fearless display of bravery and initiative, Patrick cut his own jelly donut. We're still celebrating.