Memories don’t make memoirs

Picture: Thinkstock

Picture: Thinkstock

The life of a journalist is one big bore, so writing about anything significant is a misnomer.

Some weirdo suggests I write my memoirs.

Whatever for? And to whom? The life of a journalist is one big bore, so writing about anything significant is a misnomer.

In my case there’s a dull period at the start of my career. Banking. Nothing can be duller than working in an environment surrounded by folk whose lips are permanently stapled. Computers were still unknown, so cheques were physically transported to the Reserve Bank. Adding machines on wheels were used to balance the transactions.

To put some life into the office I hid the machines. The scurrying by panic-stricken staffers made my day. My escapades were shortlived when reported to the midget manager with the unlikely surname of Mr Long. He suggested, wisely, that I change career.

Nothing here for memoirs.

I’ve always been fascinated with print. During my school years I ran a “newspaper” run off on a duplicating machine.

The duplicating machine was housed in the secretary’s office, so I had to sneak in without her knowledge to do the “print run”.

To the delight of my fellows, I quoted sayings unique to each teacher in a column called, “Guess who said?” One of two teachers paid me back via the cane.

Still no justification for an autobiography.

Years later I was head-hunted by a newspaper publisher. The monosyllabic interview must go down as the shortest ever.

“Are you an editor?”

“Yes,” I replied.

“Do you live in Roodepoort?”


“Would you like to start a newspaper there?”

“Yes.” “

When can you start?”

“What’s the package,” I whisper.

“What are you earning now?” I tell him.

“I’ll double it.”

I joined his company and lasted until retirement. They were arguably the best years of my working life.

As an editor I rubbed shoulders with the good, bad and ugly. Boring stuff, like a mayoress went off with the mayoral chauffeur. Or, an orchestra conductor forced heavy operas on a mining public only familiar with braais, rugby and Chevrolet.

Conclusion: nothing to justify memoirs.

Cliff Buchler.

Cliff Buchler.

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