Okay, so you know how I ended my last column with the admission that I know nothing about which apples are good for baking and that such advice would have to come from a different columnist? Well Igor — that’s the editor’s name — loved that suggestion. In fact, he wrote me back and said exactly that: “Nice suggestion. I’ll get in touch with Norma.”
“It wasn’t a suggestion,” I wrote. “But I’m glad you liked the column. Who’s Norma?”
He wrote back: “I didn’t like the column. It was much too flip. But I’m hiring Norma as a columnist for baking apples.”
I replied, “Who’s Norma?”
For two days, I didn’t hear from him. Then he emailed again saying that he wanted to have a conference call with me and Norma. I said fine. They called Saturday.
Norma’s the woman who almost got my job last week. She lives in Ohio; Igor lives in Maine. And Igor has a huge crush on her, which was painfully obvious during the conversation.
Here’s approximately how it went:
Igor: So we’ll probably put the two columns side by side. I’m thinking Norma’s will go on the left since, you know, pretty ladies first.
Norma: Whatever you want to do is fine with me, Igor.
(pregnant pause full of disturbing fantasies on Igor’s part, no doubt)
Me: I could care less.
Norma: By the way, Tim, it’s a pleasure to talk to you. I really enjoy your column. Say, I just tried a new apple the other day called a Jonagold. Ever tried one?
Me (choking on my Ashmead’s Kernel): Uh, yeah. Cross between a Jonathan and a Golden Delicious? Yeah, I’ve tried that one.
Norma: Kind of a honeyed, aromatic flavor, really crisp and juicy.
Me: Mm-hmm. So they say.
Igor: Honey? I just love honey. Now pay attention to me, Norma. You’re column’s going to be great. I can’t wait to fawn over it some more. And maybe someday we can meet at a hotel in New York and make out.
Well, that’s an approximation, but it’s more or less accurate. I had to sit through 30 minutes of that crap.
But whatever. I shouldn’t be complaining. After all, I still have my job with Apple Enthusiast magazine. Here’s the column.