Wednesday, April 1, 2009

New Kid on the Blog

Hi. My name is Alan Orloff. I'm the new kid on the blog.

Throughout my life, I've written all types of things, including newsletter articles, technical reports, business plans, press releases, users manuals, Website content, direct mail packages, performance reviews, PowerPoint presentations, advocacy articles, editorial pieces, business correspondence, reference letters, grocery lists, technology abstracts--even Twitter tweets. But never a single blog post.

Not ever. Until now. This is my first, so please, be gentle.

Today's topic: How the post-WWII suburbanization of the country changed the way southern literature was viewed by the northeastern cognoscenti.

But first, I need to vent a little.

When I joined this group, I was thrilled to be associated with such a great bunch of writers. They seemed nice (in the blogosphere, at least) and they welcomed me with a host of friendly greetings. Everything was peachy. But…

I guess I'm just a little surprised at all the stuff a new blogger has to do. I mean, I understand I'll be toting around everyone's laptops and book bags at conferences. And I get that I'll be buying drinks for a while, at least until my new guy smell wears off. I'm cool with all that. Because it means I'm part of the gang, for better or worse.

It's just that some of the stuff I'm supposed to do seems a bit…extreme. (GM, I might be a little late coming over tomorrow to wash your windows. It all depends on how long it takes me to reseal JB's driveway. She says she wants it done right this time. And Tom, I've never been a sparring partner before. It won't hurt, will it? I'm allergic to pain.)

Don't get me wrong, it's nice to have so many people pay attention to you. But I'm getting some weird vibes that maybe things aren't what they seem on the outside. For instance, one of my new blogging buddies compared me to a guy named Marx (and not in a good way, I don't think. Of course, I couldn't really tell what he was talking about--he used a lot of big words). Another wanted to flat out get rid of me--before I'd even written a single post! And I'm not sure what to make of the fact that the email messages welcoming me to the group all had the words "FRESH BLOOD" in the subject line.

Here's the last straw. Keith wants me to come over and cut his grass. But how high could it be? It's only APRIL FIRST. What kind of FOOL do they think I am?

I need your help, InkSpot readers. What advice do you have for me, the new guy, about how I can fit in with an established bunch of bloggers? (Please, in addition to your comments, let me know when I can come by to powerwash your deck. I do good work, just ask the gang.)


[CONFIDENTIAL to my mother: Chillax, Mom. I'm just kidding here. It's April Fools. Remember how you used to put whipped cream in my Chucks? That's what this post is like, except this is how adults do April Fools Day. Don't worry, I know how to play nice with my new friends, and they all seem very likeable. (Except for that one mean lady who wants to throw me overboard. I think I'll keep away from her.) One thing is certain--next year, I'll make sure the NEW new guy has the, um, pleasure to post on April First.]


Jess Lourey said...

Sorry about that, MIers--I was busy working on edits for the next novel when Alan used a combination of ear wax, velcro from his shoes, and printer toner to escape from his cell. I managed to hit him with the "Fresh Blood" tranq dart, but not before he got this blog posted. Shouldn't happen again.

(To Alan's mom: We would never do that to him. We really like him and are happy he's blogging with us AND I don't think he's had velcro shoes since 1978 but you'd know better than me.)

Sue Ann Jaffarian said...

And so another blog cherry is popped! Good work, MIers, on landing a new victim.

BTW, Alan, when you get done with Keith's grass, just motor on down to So. Cal. I have a few chores for you myself, but seeing that I live in an apartment, it'll be easy. I have no yard, no driveway to seal, no windows to wash. I'm thinking you could shampoo the carpet and paint the ceiling. Of course, that's after you clip the cats' claws, change the litter box, and index my writing notes from the past 10 years.

G.M. Malliet said...

Alan - you knew the rules getting into this. Well, maybe we weren't all that clear, maybe on purpose, but still...I'll expect you tomorrow at dawn. Oh, and bring your own Windex. What am I, made of money?

[Seriously, welcome to the team!]

Cricket McRae said...

Alan, it's obvious you fit right in with this crew. Welcome to the jungle. Oh, and I left the rototiller over by the garden beds so you can get started right away. Make sure you pick up a couple yards of steer manure on your way over.

Whipped cream in your Chucks? Nice.

Alan Orloff said...

OK, I'm packing up the van now.

Let's see. Windex, kitty claw clipper (say that 3 times fast), cat litter, paper grocery bags (for filing writing notes--works for me!), and steer manure (I hope other types work, too. I'm fresh out of steer poop.)

Sounds like I've got a fun spring break ahead of me.

And btw, all my clothes and shoes fasten with velcro. Saves time!

Keith Raffel said...

Alan, (with a hit of my hand on my forehead) now I remember why you got April 1 for your first posting.

jbstanley said...


Welcome to the funny pages! I believe my driving needs to be resealed because a very large gum tree root is growing beneath it.

Didn't you say you needed to rent a wood chipper to see what it would be like to kill off a victim Fargo-style?

Deb Baker said...

Ha, ha. I miss this group! Alan, welcome. They aren't as scary as they appear. BTW, are you picking me up at the D.C. airport for Malice? Please bring a bottle of wine.

Alan Orloff said...


Red or white?