Wednesday, December 19, 2018

The Rejection(s)

by 'Mean' Mike Duffau (writer), I'm the boss!, January 28, 2009


An Odyssey Tale.

Most of this is true, whether you believe it or not. The person's name in this story has been changed to protect its guiltiness. If you do your research you'll know who I'm in reference to. This person is the maverick Editor in Chief of three of the biggest magazines mentioned below. Enjoy.

It had been raining most of the morning in Los Angeles when I decided to drive to my post office to check my mail. I had no major addenda on this gloomy Friday, except write and I was taking a break from that. I took my time getting there because as we all fellow Americans know most of you cannot drive when the pavement is slippery when wet, among other things.

It was during lunch time and the parking structure was crowded with the usual business attire zombies, whose wallets show more of a bulge than their regular package. I squeezed my little KIA mobile into a tight space which was custom made for a small car such as mine. “Forget you Porsche driven mothers!” I said to myself out loud. They can afford to look for another spot.

Even though it was raining I took my time walking in the rain. I had on my Dickies shorts, a thick black jacket that’s covered with AC/DC buttons, and a flat newspaper men’s hat much like the one Brian Johnson of AC/DC wears. Everybody around me seemed like little ants running about the area of the post office as if the rain was going to melt them. I was like a soldier ready for battle. What was my battle? I was a rebel without a cause.

Walking to my rightful box I grabbed the stack of mail and casually walked back to my car as I’m stuffing the bulk of mail inside my jacket. Once I’m inside the car I inspect the usual crap of chopped off trees in order to make the postal workers waste their time. All my mail wasn’t worth the advertising they were sending me, except for one.

The envelope was one of my own that was self-addressed to myself from Rolling Stone Magazine. This was the second attempt of submitting several stories to the editors. “This could be the break I’m looking for” I said confidently. The first time was a bomb and that’s normal. In fact, I’ve been bombing for the last ten years. The struggle was all I seem to know or rather all I was dished out on the platter for my choosing. “Hmmm, who is going to say ‘no’ to me today?” sarcastically thinking to myself.

I opened the letter as if it was a gift from Santa Claus. I read the short paragraph:

Dear Mr. Duffau,

We passed along your letter expressing interest in writing a review for Rolling Stone. Unfortunately, despite its value and insight, it does not fit our current editorial plans. We appreciate your interest in the magazine, however, and hope you’re able to find a good home for your manuscript.


The Rolling Stone Editors

“What a load of crap to say ‘no thanks’!” This was the same exact letter they sent me the first time. “I bet they have a stack of these rejection notices already typed out and ready to be sent off.” Be original, will you?

The depressing part was that it is dated on my birthday, January 14, 2009. “Gee, Rolling Stone… Thanks for the belated birthday wish.” The day for me got gloomier. Now I was a rebel with a cause.

I was about to take an unexpected trip to the Big Apple to see this Janet Wormsworth who rejected my submission(s). I’m used to the rejection side (somewhat) that I’ve became accustomed to it but of course it hurts me inside, it’s like a break-up and your heart is crushed or in this case it’s drowned with rain water.

As if nothing happened I started the ignition and exited the post office so the awaiting Porsches can have their spot. When I got home I was lucky that my room-mate was not there. I wasn’t in the mood to have a conversation with any other human other than Janet Wormsworth. I packed a small suit-case with the necessities for the trip.

The rain subsided while I was driving to the LAX. Maybe this was a sign from God? Maybe this was meant for me to do to give Janet a piece of my mind? Regardless of the weather, I was going to do this. I had to do this! Man can only take ‘no’ for so much until something has to give, and I took enough of beating to go down but not this time.

“I want the next flight to New York City,” I said, to the lady at the counter. I booked my flight with the last remaining credit on my Visa card.

Five hours later I touched down at LaGuardia.

I was fortunately enough to have a friend working at a hi-rise building on 57th street which is about 6 or 7 blocks away from my destination. It’s very cold here in the Big Apple and this jacket of mine is somewhat keeping me warm. I took a taxi to building 400 on 57th street, and surprised my good friend, Harry.

“Hey, what’s up Harry,” I said, like if we just saw each other ten minutes ago.

“Mike, what the hell are you doing here?”

“I’m here on business. I’m going to be here for one day. So do you have a spare room for the night?”

“Yeah, sure,” Harry says, with his heavy Brooklyn accent.

Harry was kind enough to let me stay the night for free at the residential building of his place of work. Where I stayed was basically a cell-type of a room. It was smaller than a studio apartment located in the basement. All it really had was a single bed off to the corner. It was used as a locker room but I didn’t care I just needed someplace to lay my head down for the night.

I’m practically broke with a one way ticket back to Los Angeles.

Harry gave me some fruit and a couple of protein bars along with a bottle of water. This was enough supply to last me for tomorrow’s big day. I needed all the nourishment I could get, and I got plenty of rest to go with it.

The time has now come to face the nemesis of a Janet Wormsworth.

Before leaving to my quest I briefly thanked Harry for letting stay the night at his building. I walked out into the cold morning of 57th street. I walked as fast as everyone like I was going to work, but I wasn’t going to work. I was keeping myself warm, or at least trying to. Inside my jacket I brought with me the two rejection notices from Rolling Stone. My small suit-case was getting heavier step by step, but I was focused. I didn’t let the cold get the best of me.

I double checked the address when I got there. “This couldn’t be the place,” I thought. Rolling Stone Magazine is nothing more than a brick building that is in badly need of restoration. If you weren’t looking you’ll pass this place up like it didn’t exist. And I almost did.

I walked inside and it was like walking in an art gallery. It was a complete contrast of the exterior. There was a hallway leading toward the main office of the Editor In Chief, Janet Wormsworth. Every time I took a step it echoed down the hall. On both sides of the walls, there was Rolling Stone Magazine covers from the 1960’s to the present. Many doors in-between every couple of issues as my guess is where they pump out stories for every issue of the highly successful magazine. I am definitely in the nerve center of the most popular medium ever known.

I walked on down the hall until I could reach no further. The one that stood in my way is Janet Wormsworth’s assistant.

“I like to see Janet Wormsworth please,” I said in a pleasant manor.

“Do you have an appointment?” The assistant said coldly.

I pulled out the two rejection notices from my inside jacket.

“Yes, I do.”

“This is not an appointment letter."

I tried to smooth talk the assistant as best I could but she wasn’t falling for my tricks. She was as cold as the long hallway of the magazine covers. I had to leave or the bimbo was going to call security.

Once outside the Rolling Stone building, I asked myself which is colder? Being outside or inside? Either way I’m sure to get frost-bite anytime now. I had nothing better to do but wait outside in the freezing temperature. I bought a large coffee from the nearest Starbucks, and held it like a piece of gold that gave feeling to my hands.

I waited outside which seemed like an eternity…

Two executive dudes stepped outside for a smoke. They looked at me like a bum carrying a suit-case.

“Excuse me gentlemen, I lost my appointment letter to see Janet Wormsworth. Could you tell me what time she goes out to lunch?”

“There’s no set-time. She leaves whenever she wants,” says one of the executives.

“What does she look like so I won’t miss her,” I said.

“You won’t miss her, believe me,” said the other executive as he took his last drag. The two men walked back inside and left me in the cold.

It’s very typical of business people like my two smoking buddies that just left. They’re never specific in their answers, and I’m not a mind reader over here! What was I suppose to look for? “And these are the type of idiots they hire?” I thought to myself, “They’re under-qualified.”

Hours have passed.

People have been leaving the Rolling Stone building in the masses and it was very hard to tell what I’m suppose to look for. I saw one of the smoking buddies walk out.

“Hey man, where’s this lady at?” I said.

“She’s still inside.”

He walks away like he has somewhere to go. In reality these executive type of species act like they have something to do, but they’re eager to go home and masturbate all over themselves into a quick nap. Then they wake up to milk and cookies. The good life!

The temperature is getting colder as the sun is setting. I have no money for coffee, and I’ve ran out of ways to keep warm. Where do the homeless hang out so I can keep warm by their hand-made fires out of steal garbage bins? My mind was racing for ideas, then…

I saw two people walk out of the Rolling Stone building. One looked like the bitch assistant and the other is covered in layers of thick material. They seemed to be saying good-bye to one another as they left separate ways. The wrapped up figure walked towards me. The lower part of her face was covered by a scarf and she ignored me as she passed by.

“Janet Wormsworth?” I hollered.

She turns around and tilts her head to the side much like a dog when they don’t recognize a person.

“Do I know you?” she asks.

“Oh yeah, you do! You sent me these rejection notices and I traveled all the way from Los Angeles to confront you about it!” I explained.

“Can you come back in the morning and set an appointment.”

“I’m not dealing with that bitch secretary of yours again and I don’t have any more money to come back tomorrow!” I blunted out. “I came here on the spur of the moment and I’m not leaving empty handed.”

She caught me by surprise when she asked me if I wanted to get some coffee. How could I refuse free coffee from a rich dame? We walked to the Starbucks across the street. It was near empty and it was a perfect setting to speak my mind without being judged. She ordered our coffee, and we sat down. She started to uncover her scarf and revealed her identity. What a horrendous site! Her face was marked up with deep scar tissue like if she had a battle of acne all her life. She was the female version of Charles Bukowski and she was hard to look at. I’m surprise that I didn’t turn to stone.

I kept it very professional.

“So what the hell is this all about with these rejection letters?” I demanded. “What the hell is this crap about ‘it does not fit our current editorial plans’ mean?”

I was really laying it to this Wormsworth broad. (Not in a sexual way in case you thought I was picking up on crater face over here.) I was giving her a piece of my mind which I was in the right to do so and she was in the right to take it. (No pun-intended.)

I ranted for a few moments about the stories that I submitted on AC/DC, Keith Moon, and Mitch Mitchell.

“We’re reaching out to a younger audience and the times and musicians have changed” Wormsworth explained. “The kids nowadays are into the Jonas Brothers and Miley Cyrus, and etc…”

“They’re a bunch of pussies!” I lashed out. “The musicians are weak and the music is soft like a penis. Rolling Stone needs to get its balls back!”

She put up with it like a champ. Then, there was a moment of uncomfortable silence as she stared at me and I looked into my coffee for comfort.

“Why can’t you look at me?” she asked.

“Your looks terrify me.” I answered honestly.

“How would you like a job?”

“Are you freakin’ playing with me lady?” I snapped back.

“Your straight-up, no holds bar attitude is the edge we need at Rolling Stone Magazine,” She said. “What do you think about having your own column with the freedom to write what’s on your mind about the direction of today’s bands and their music?”

Janet Wormsworth is not getting the best of me by sweet talking her way into my heart! It’s funny how these rich people can just buy their way into anything to escape any type of hassle. I believe in being tough and firm with everybody. Everybody gets the same treatment regardless if you’re a hot blond with big tits and a bubble-butt.

I was going to bluff her game.

“I’m sorry babe, but I have a better offer writing for the Men’s Journal,” I said arrogantly.

“I’m sorry to hear that. I wish you the best of luck,” she said.


With that said, I walked out of the Starbucks without shaking hands with that nasty looking beast. I felt like I put one over on ‘the man.’ (Well, in this case ‘the woman.’)I felt proud that I was able to speak my mind and get off my chest the things that I needed to say. I hope what I said made her think a little more about giving a chance to talented unknowns, like myself. We all deserve a chance.

Little did I know that Janet Wormsworth is also the Editor in Chief of the Men’s Journal and US Magazine. Looks like ‘the man’ won the battle of rejecting me once again. (More like ‘the woman’ won.) So much for it being a man’s world.

This is dedicated to my Father. Today is his 74th birthday. Born on January 28, 1935. Happy Birthday Old Man! 

About the Writer

'Mean' Mike Duffau is a writer for BrooWaha. For more information, visit the writer's website.
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17 comments on The Rejection(s)

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By travelingseth on January 28, 2009 at 08:33 pm

Great writing.  If this is actually true though (not just a name change), you acted tragically stupid and immature.  The editor of Rolling Stone gives you the time of day (and coffee!), and instead of learning from her you call her ugly and leave?  Also, please spend half an hour researching the magazine game so you can redirect your rage into something more productive.  You can't just mail in stories.  It just doesn't work like that.  Not even for Hunter Thompson when he was there.

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By 'Mean' Mike Duffau on January 29, 2009 at 02:30 am

thanks for the comments and the points of view from the both of yous...i really appreciate it!

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By icanluvulongtime on January 29, 2009 at 11:28 am

we gotta talk and i HAVE to have the inside track on this story... good work champ.  hb to your Dad.

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By Kim on January 29, 2009 at 12:05 pm

I really enjoyed reading this story. Thanks Mike for sharing and yes.... Superb writing:)

Keep on keeping on, Champ:)

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By 'Mean' Mike Duffau on January 29, 2009 at 02:04 pm

mark the champ!!! we'll talk...

kim- punch on punchin' on...i will!

thank you!

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By DeeAnn Day on February 16, 2009 at 03:12 pm

Nice work of fiction here.  IF this is actually true then you are one of the biggest douches to wake up with a fistfull of underserved entitlement that I've ever encountered.

Keep the face.

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By Ellie M on February 16, 2009 at 03:19 pm

DeeAnn, YOU said exactly what I've been thinking.  KEW-DOS!

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By 'Mean' Mike Duffau on February 16, 2009 at 06:41 pm

ouch, ladies... its all up to you whether its true or not....but i advise you not to cross the line with the name callin'....

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By DeeAnn Day on February 16, 2009 at 07:12 pm

Hmmm.  Is it that I'm calling you out on your bullshit or is it that I'm a woman calling you out  on your bullshit.  Judging by the amount of respect you display for women in your trite little revenge fantasy I'm going to place my bets on the later.

Thinly veiled threats make me weak in the knees.  Please sir, can I have another?

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By 'Mean' Mike Duffau on February 16, 2009 at 07:18 pm

whats your problem anyways?? whats with the sexist remarks for? you didnt call me out on nothing...and you being a woman has nothing to do with it...if you cant dig the story for what it is...dont swing by...why did you send me a friend request if youre gonna knock my work??? did i knock what you wrote? no, i didnt! grow up!

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By Brooklyn Anonymous on February 16, 2009 at 07:19 pm

Dude, I'm going to have to side with the girls on this.  It's weak in story and weaker that it's about seeking revenge on a woman you've never met.  GET HELP QUICK MAN! 

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By 'Mean' Mike Duffau on February 16, 2009 at 07:21 pm

its just a story bro!!!! it just happens to be a woman....big deals!

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By Brooklyn Anonymous on February 16, 2009 at 07:25 pm

OH because it's a story makes it NO big deal?  NOW that delusional.

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By DeeAnn Day on February 16, 2009 at 07:25 pm

Some of your stuff is good.  This isnt.  I commented.

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By 'Mean' Mike Duffau on February 16, 2009 at 07:31 pm

you commented...fair enough!...i can handle that....but the name callin' is takin' it alittle far....i have nothing but respect for others on this forum, and ive been on here for a while and i never called anybody here a name or an insult....ask anybody here whose been on here for a while...

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By Lady D on May 17, 2009 at 10:59 am

Good story! I wish it were true and you had taken the job offer. They could use some fresh perspective at the Stone.

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By John Donnely on August 08, 2009 at 06:29 pm

“Do you have an appointment?” The assistant said coldly.

I pulled out the two rejection notices from my inside jacket.

“Yes, I do.”

“This is not an appointment letter."

I'm gonna remember those sly lines!

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