We Read America's Worst Columnist, Sam Fulwood III, So You Don't Have To...
This week's episode: Sam learns that some humans share a bond that's deeper than any he's ever known. Incredibly, people actually spend time together, he finds, because they like each other.
Headline: Police heap praise on a good friend
February 20, 2007
In the wake of his triumphant series exonerating Frank Jackson from any part in the city's larcenous Kinsman land deal — well, at least as far as he and an 84-year-old with a bad ticker are concerned — you'd think Sam would be exhausted. But corruption doesn't take a day off, and so neither can he. Sam thunders right into the next mystery that's been baffling his readers: Why some Bratenahl police officers are such good friends with the third-shift clerk at a nearby gas station.
7/10. Sad, but this might actually be the most exciting story ever to come out of the Bratenahl Police Department in Bratenahl, which has stayed busy for years by lobbying for new laws covering crimes against fashion.
3/10. The clerk, Shelly Haralson, is a reluctant source. She dodges Sam. But by shaking down "friends," "admirers," and the plaque Shelly gave the Bratenahl cops, Sam skillfully reconstructs this epic of unbreakable friendship.
Sam Gets Poetic:
"The job was risky, given the sort of people who might stumble through in the dark hours of the day. But Shelly endured the dangers of the night to pay her bills and provide for her daughter, Emily." A tenner says Sam cribbed that first sentence from himself. Editors confirm it's the line he feeds them when they complain how rarely he comes to work.
The Master Has Spoken:
"They've volunteered so much glowing praise about Shelly that I'm convinced she's a fine person. Others should know her inspiring story. I won't keep it a secret any longer." Here Sam offers a glimpse of the incredible moral strain he overcame to script this, his first unauthorized biography.
What Sam Reveals About Sam:
That he's pushing editors for space on Sundays. It's getting harder and harder to limit this kind of brilliance to the workweek. Take this gas-station friendship racket, for instance -- so much was left untold. With a little more time, Sam easily could have exposed how hard Shelly works to keep the coffee fresh.
What? I should talk to your friend Shelly? She's down with five-o? Free coffee... broke some rules... yeah, gotta blow the lid off this mother! Works late, too, huh? How late — past eight-thirty? Aw, man, third shift? Jesus, you want me to work after 11 just to talk to her? Are you outta your mind? Let's just skip the interview. She's only the central character. Just email me what you wanna say and I'll get one of the interns to write it.