ARMCHAIR MAYOR SAYS — I didn’t really want to get into it in today’s Armchair Mayor column in The Daily News, but I’m feeling a bit sorry for myself.
Word was released today that the final edition is Saturday, so tomorrow is the last working day for the paper. When last I heard, the deadlines for the production of the last pages hadn’t been confirmed but I expect they’ll be a little earlier than usual so as not to drag things out.
Anyway, I know this isn’t about me, it’s about those who still draw paycheques from the paper and about the impact on the community. I’ve been getting a lot of calls and emails from people who feel a part of their lives is being taken away.
I’m so much luckier than most of the Daily News staffers because I don’t have to worry about paying my bills. My pension cheques, though hardly impressive, will continue to arrive.
But, please, allow me to wallow in my personal misery for another day or so. Next week, I’ll try to move on.
I never expected I’d have the good fortune to take up space in The Daily News until the day I die. I figured either my health or the welcome mat would run out sooner or later, but I always figured I’d have the constancy of that newspaper appearing in the tube by the driveway each morning.
My soapbox has become considerably smaller as of now, and I won’t even have a daily paper to console me.
I had a morbid thought this morning. Despite advice to the contrary, we all take certain things for granted. I always assumed that, one day, my obituary would appear in The Daily News. That is the natural order of things. When you’ve spent most of your life being part of a newspaper, you just assume the end of your life will be tied into the newspaper. Don’t you?
I figured I might even rate a small item on page 3 to remind people who had long forgotten or never knew that the withered old fart in the mugshot was once the editor, and did a shift at City Hall as well.
It would be like coming home to rest. Now, I’m on my own.
I fear my spirit will forever wander, unfulfilled, seeking a non-existent newsroom, trying to stop the presses to get that bloody obit in at the last minute. Like Albert, the spirit who haunts Sagebrush Theatre, maybe I’ll remain a presence at 393 Seymour Street, rattling around a future parkade in the phantom of the International, or scribbling reviews at the new performing arts centre or whatever is built there.
Reserve a seat for the Armchair Mayor. He might miss the opening act but he’ll be there in time for intermission.