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I’m writing a column for PDN-Pix. It’s due today. My editor, Reuel, has already phoned to kick my ass, as he says in his gentle, British, Hugh Grant way. It’s about as threatening as a pouncing kitten. Nevertheless I need to finish the column today. So far, I’ve written one sentence: "Theft is good."

The phone rings. It’s Hettie, in from London. She’s an hour behind schedule. Can she speak to Joan? Joan has already gone downtown to meet her at Las Venus, a funky antique emporium on Ludlow Street. Can I call Las Venus so Joan will know that Hettie is running late? I can call the place. I look up the number, make the call. Matt at Las Venus wants to know who I am. I tell him. He tells me his name is Matt. Hi, Matt. I return to my column. "Theft is good."

The phone rings. It’s Joan’s studio mate. Can Joan call him about an issue in their studio? I will ask her to call him. Why hasn’t she called him already? She’s leaving town. She will call you. Goodbye, goodbye. I return to my column. "Theft is good." And the next sentence would be ...

The phone rings. It’s my client. A few days ago she was my potential client. Now, with this phone call, we begin nailing down final specifics on the proposal. This is a good phone call. Half an hour into it, my client is yanked away to a meeting; can she phone back later? Certainly.

I phone my partner Leigh to share the happy news about our new client.

I return to my column. "Theft is good."

The phone rings. It’s Carol, a reporter from Computer World. Is the Web Standards Project still in business? Yes we are, in fact we have just launched a new initiative. Twenty minutes later, the interview concludes.

I return to my column. "Theft is good."

I get up and stretch. I return to the column. "Theft..."

The phone rings. A friend was talking to another friend in Seattle when an earthquake hit. The phone went dead. It’s a 7.0 earthquake. People may be hurt. People may have died. My friend’s friend may be hurt. He may have died. We talk until she is okay. I hang up. The column no longer seems as urgent as it did.

28 February 2001
The author and his opinions.
Copyright © 1995–2002 Jeffrey Zeldman Presents
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