I have written my feature. It is 1545 words of chocolately goodness. In essence, it is a thinly disguised pop at the council for being a visionless bunch of twats. I like it very much. If the newspaper doesn't want it - which is significantly more than highly likely - I may even post it up here.
I spent a small part of Friday night working it. Then a small part of Saturday night. Yesterday, I treated myself to a whole evening off, and lounged around eating chocolate. This morning - the deadline is tomorrow - I thought I'd better get cracking.
So I prised myself out of bed early. I sat down at my desk. I cranked up the laptop. I spread out my notes. I flexed my delicate little Weasel paws. Then there was a knock at my door.
Somehow, and I don't know how this happened, my female housemate has got the idea that she and I are best buddies. I think it may be because I have an inexplicably high tolerance for idiots, and can nod in all the right places when they are banging on about their latest bout of meaningless, self-inflicted crises.
Today's crisis was that she still doesn't have a job. She hasn't had a job since she chucked in two perfectly good ones in Invercargill in June to move to Auckland to look for a job. When she got to Auckland she found she didn't like it there, so she came back to Invercargill three weeks later having spent all her savings. She has no money, and she does not qualify for a government benefit because she is from overseas, and there is no work, no work anywhere at all. She's already had money sent from home three times. She cannot go on like this. What is she to do!
As we were talking, her phone rang. It was the employment agency, the one she's been bombarding with phone calls and visits for weeks, pleading with them to find her work. Bombarding to the extent they had to tell her politely to quit bugging them.
We have a job for you, they said. We need people immediately, today - can you get here right now?
The agency is a ten minute walk away.
No, said my housemate, it is raining, and I cannot walk in the rain because I get a fever. Perhaps lunchtime when I can get a lift? No? Okay then. Bye.
Without missing a beat, she hung up and carried on talking about how terrible life was. For a moment I contemplated killing her and burying her in the garden, but in the end I began shuffling my notes and chewing my pencil and saying things like "Well, that's interesting, but I really do have a lot of work to do."
"Oh Weasel," she said, "Can I just quickly borrow your laptop? I know you are busy, but I will be very quick."
I handed it over in silence - silence for me is always a very big clue I am thinking "YOU MORON" - and started re-reading the tutor's 'how to write a feature' handout. After a couple of minutes, I glanced over. She was browsing through her emails. Then I heard:
"I show you a picture of my brother!" I was treated to a tour of an online family photo album. Followed by a quick tour on google maps of the place she grew up.
Eventually, I managed to wrestle her out of my room. I wrote the feature. As I was doing so, I had the realisation I really, really like writing. Then I walked into town, and went to the letting agency, and gave three weeks' notice on my tenancy.
I am outta here.