A lone man stood in his office, hands clasped behind his back, staring out of a large window to the bustling city below. The sun’s rays illuminated the dimly lit room He wore a white dress shirt, straight black pants, and polished shoes. He seemed to be in deep thought, though what he was thinking about was…
…interrupted by a quick rap on the door.
“You may enter.”
A stout, bespectacled man hesitantly entered the room. “My article is finished, sir.”
“Perfect.” There was a short pause. “…Tell me what it was on again, Simmons.” The man’s gaze was still trained out the window.
Simmons let out a quick cough before saying, “A transfer, sir. Well, there’s not concrete news, so it was hard to put anything with substance together…”
The man turned at this. “Hand it over, Simmons.” An outstretched hand beckoned the now-shaking man closer. “Let me have a see.”
Another pregnant pause. “What?”
“Y-you said let me have a ‘see’. It’s ‘look’.”
A glare. “…Are you talking back to me, Simmons?”
“N-no, sir. It’s just–”
“You know I don’t like no back talk, son.”
“I-it was j-just, uh…” Simmons quickly scurried towards his boss and handed him a single sheet of paper. “Here.”
With a huff, the boss began reading.
“Still No Confirmation on Alexis Sanchez to Barcelona Deal
Wearerumors – 17:18 Sunday 19 June 2011
Despite strong reports out of Chile that Udinese forward Alexis Sanchez has signed a deal with Catalan giants FC Barcelona, there has been no confirmation from either the player, Barcelona, or Udinese.
Chilean newspaper El Grafico have reported that the 22-year old Sanchez has travel to Catalunya tomorrow, missing Chile’s friendly with Paraguay on Thursday, to wrap up the deal between the two club.
However, Chilean journalist Claudio Bustios claims Sanchez is only traveling to Barcelona to convince Udinese president Gianpolo Pozzo to let him leave the Sicilian club. Bustios, who works for Canal 13 a Chile based news station who broke the news Barcelona and Sanchez would confirm the deal on Monday and the forward would travel to seal the deal, states “obsessive interest” from English club Manchester City has stalled the deal.
Reports from Catalunya believe Barcelona has signed Sanchez for a fee something in the region of 38 million Euros.
There seems to be strong connection, but there has been no confirmation with regards to the deal. It is still very much uncertain if Sanchez will join the club.”
The room was silent for a few moments. Then, “Simmons.”
The stout man took this as sign to start babbling, “I couldn’t find any q-quotes, sir! And no-nothing seeming to b-be concrete. In f-fact, y-you could s-say there were c-conflicting reports and I –”
“–really did the best I could. There’s just so much –”
“—lies. I don’t even know where people get half the stuff they –”
“SIMMONS. If you don’t shut your mouth this instant, I will strap you to a chair and make you watch the England national team for three hours and then Real Madrid for an additional two.”
“–write. It makes absolutely no–”
“With no breaks.”
“Now, I’ve written an article on this subject hours ago. It’s high time you’ve had a look.” He walked over to his desk, pulled out the first drawer and handed the now-sweating man a single sheet of paper. “Here’s how the pros do it, bub.”
“(Almost) OFFICIAL: Alexis Sanchez Signs With FC Barcelona
Wearerumors – 15:30 Sunday 19 June 2011
Udinese forward Alexis Sanchez has signed for European giants FC Barcelona. The deal is said to be in the region of 25-40m Euros.
Chilean newspaper El Grafico confirms this, stating the 5’6” winger will miss Thursday’s friendly against Paraguay to travel to Barcelona to seal the deal. He will be the first Chilean to don the famous blaugrana jersey of Barcelona.
“[Alexis] is very happy to start this new chapter in his career,” sources close to the 22-year old told Wearerumours. “They are the best club in the world, of course he’d love to join them. Money is no issue.”
Barcelona staved off “obsessive interest” [sic Claudio Bustios] from Manchester City to sign the highly touted winger. The English club offered a salary thought to be in the region of 200,000 pounds a week, but the Chilean had none of it.
“It’d be absurd to turn down Barcelona, what with a kind of football they play,” Sanchez’ agent told us. “He’d be a good fit for them. Hard working, versatile and very talented. I could see him striking up a great partnership with Messi.”
The deal is expected to be announced tomorrow.”
Simmons gaped as the boss rounded him to stand before the large window again.
“Look at your article, Simmons. Now back to mine. Now look at yours. Now back to mine. He gave Simmons a pitying look. “Sadly, it isn’t mine. But if you stop telling the truth and start telling some lies, it could look like it’s mine.”
“Look down. Back up. Where are you?” In your office, thought Simmons. “You’re in an office,” I knew that. “searching the internet for news articles you can copy off of. What’s in your hand? Back at me. I have it. It’s three quotes of that player and/or his entourage you’ve been looking for. Look again, my article has now generated three times as many hits.” It was true, you know. Although Simmons was at a loss as to went he posted the article on the internet in the first place.
“Anything is possible when you use a bit of imagination.” There was a pause. And then, a smirk. “I’m on a money train.”
“Sir! You can’t do this!” Simmons exclaimed. “It’s illegal!”
The boss gave him a withering look. “Sir, you can’t do this. It’s illegal.” He mocked, raising the pitch in his voice. He smacked Simmons upside the head. “What are you? Five? This is what we do unless they glossed over that part in university, which they no doubt did, the pansies.” He scoffed.
“Sir, they’ll sue us for libel! Making things up is a serious offense!”
“Which is why you make sure you don’t get caught.” He said, throwing his arms up in exasperation. “They don’t give us stuff to work with, we make sh*t up. It’s practically law.”
Simmons looked like he was going to cry. “But I can get arrested. My mom says I can’t have a criminal record.”
“Hogwash, Simmons. There is a method to this,” the boss walked over to his desk again, and pulled out a agglomeration of papers. “Ideally, you copy sh*t from other places. But in the event that you need to bring something original, we have a nice unwritten blueprint to follow.”
Simmons lit up at this. “Oooh! Like a journalist code of honour!?”
The boss gave a flippant wave of the hand. “Silly Simmons, honour is for the samurai. This,” He let out a wolfish grin, “is how not to get caught.”
“Wearerumors Guide on How to Make Sh*t Up and Not Get Caught”
Follow these easy rules and you will bullcrap your way to Silly Season glory.
First rule of making sh*t up is, you don’t talk about making sh*t up. Especially to other journalists.
Second rule of making sh*t up is, you do not talk about making sh*t up. Especially to other journalists.
Third rule is, don’t use your own name unless there is a grain of truth.
Fourth rule is, believe your sh*t.
Fifth rule is, when making up quotes, don’t name names. “Sources close to so-and-so” work quite nicely.
Sixth rule is, when in doubt, deflect the blame.
In the event you get caught:
First thing to do is, deflect the blame.
Second thing to do is, tell the masses it was misunderstood.
[Note, first and second thing generally go together.]
Third thing to do is, if you have not used your real name, perfect, just say it wasn’t you.
Fourth thing to do is, if you have used your real name, you’re in deep sh*t. Just say it wasn’t you.
Fifth thing to do is, if all else fails, take your money and leave the country. Upload a video via your twitter feed and tell everyone you have been kidnapped by the UEFACEF secret agents. Cry a little to gain sympathy. Maybe rough yourself up a bit for good measure.
If all of the above fails: you’re sh*t out of luck. Hope for the best. Maybe you can get bail or something, but it’s doubtful anyone will stick their heads out for you.
The boss put down his paper. “And that, Simmons, is how it’s done.”
“Sir, you’re insane.”
“How ironic. My mother said the same thing.”
Against his better judgement, Simmons retorted, “Coincidence.”
A pause. “What?”
“You said ‘how ironic.’ That’s not irony, it’s a coincidence.”
The room was silent. And then, “Simmons.”
“I-i was just s-saying, sir. A lot of people don’t—”
“–know the difference between irony and coincidence. It’s kind–”
“—a pet peeve, you know. I just had..”
“…to say it. …Sir?”
A beep and then, “Stella. Get the chair and DVD player, the ones with the English NT–”
Simmons let out a gasp. “No! Sir! I didn’t mean it. Honest!”
“And get the DVD of Cristiano Ronaldo’s Greatest Hits too.”
“Have mercy, sir!”
“….And a cup of coffee.”
“Nooooo—oh. Well.” Another pause. “Can I have one, too?”
“Why?! Sir, have mercy! I didn’t mean it! Honest!”
So, uh. The moral of the story is…uh…don’t believe rumors.
[Personally, I don’t believe a transfer until I see their smiling mug dressed in blaugrana, posing for the cameras.]