It was during an editorial meeting, while we were all sitting around making excuses for why it had been so long since anyone had published a story, when Paddy, our intrepid intern, said, “We should get the toaster a blue tooth.”
“What!” exclaimed Angelina, Karen rolled her eyes, and I said, “Why, I hate those things. They look like tusks or bug antennae. Besides, Karen doesn’t drive and she hates talking on her cell in public.” You see, we call Karen our “toaster” because she has a tech implant.
Paddy was insistent. “She should have one, she’s been upgraded and rebooted. She needs new hardware.” He grinned and I was very nearly blinded by the mischievous glint in his eyes. Karen continued shaking her head, and began laughing.
“And how much does a blue tooth cost?” I asked. “We are in a recession after all.”
“Nothing,” replied Paddy. “All you have to do is win a contest. You shoot pictures, enter them in a Lenzr photo contest then sit back and wait for the good news. Simple, no? And while we’re discussing upgrades we should consider ramping up our office phone system too.”
“Forget it Paddy,” I said, “I’m no photographer. Your plan could work for someone who takes decent snaps but photography’s not my thing.”
“Nonsense,” he said to me. “You shot a designer’s boutique about a week ago and the photos were fine. You really should look at Lenzr’s site. There’s another photo contest running and you could win a winery tour with the Wine Ladies.”
“Who?” I asked him.
“The Wine Ladies; they write a wine blog and they’re sponsoring a gourmet food photo contest. Photograph one of mine or the toaster’s culinary creations, enter the contest, win, and you and the toaster can go to some farm and get blasted.”
“Yeah, right. I don’t think….”
“Wait a minute,” said Angelina. “I’m the wine drinker in this crowd. If we win I should go on the tour. How many can go if we win?”
Paddy shrugged his shoulders. “Check the site,” he said.
Gia’s fingers flew over her keyboard until she came across yet another Lenzr photo contest, Kids In Action. “Anyone hear have a kid tucked away somewhere?”
“I have three nieces but they don’t live in the city,” replied Karen. “Why?”
“A Toronto dentist is sponsoring a photo contest too, and you could win a tooth whitening kit and all kinds of other dental hygiene swag. Shoot a few winning pics of one of your nieces doing something cool and share the goodies.”
“Sorry Gia, they’re hundreds of kliks away.”
“Aah, too bad. What about you Paddy, any kids in your closet?” Gia asked with a wink.
“None that I’ll admit to,” he said. With Paddy we just never knew.
Our meeting was digressing and we’d lost our focus so I called it a wrap. As I shuffled a pile of books, magazines, and email printouts I noticed Paddy had produced our staff digital camera. “Planning a photoshoot?” I asked.
“Maybe,” he replied. “Someone has to keep on top of the opportunities as they come up.”
“OK Paddy, just keep me informed.” Whether he does or not will remain to be seen.
“Simples,” he said, grinning ear to ear. The glint in his eyes was still blinding.