It was raining cats and dogs, not exactly the kind of weather you'd want to be out and about in, but just as I walked into the centre of Skien yesterday, a place I'd never been to before, I was approached by a weary looking guy with a worn leather jacket and an impressive camera:
"Excuse me, could I possibly bother you for just a few minutes. I'm a journalist from the local newspaper and was wondering if you could possibly answer a quick question for this vox pop about today's events," he said, and whizzed out a notepad from his pocket.
Me: "Events?" (thinking hard now, been buried in my deadlines before I jumped on the train in the last minute to get her, events?)
Local journalist: "Well, the minister's resignation, you know"
Me: "Aha!" (yes, I heard something about that, Åslaug Haga finally being forced to step down, on the radio at some point). "Okay, now I'm with you, but we have to strike a deal: you have to tell me where the venue I'm heading for is, and where I can grab some lunch on the way, and I'll try to say something sensible for your vox pop. If you really want to interview a fellow journalist, that is."
Local journalist: "Okay, where are you heading?"
Me: "For a conference at the Ibsen Centre"
Local journalist: "Oh, I thought you were heading for a funeral, all dressed in black as you are. What's the conference on?"
Me:"Open Source Software, it's the biggest conference of its kind in Europe I'm told." (black is actually very handy: suited both for the conference and the prize cermony in the evening, not expecting to find time to change for the latter)
Local journalist: "Open what?"
Me: "Open Source Software, like Drupal"
Local journalist: "Brutal?"
Me: "Drupal. It's an online publishing platform, but I guess it is a bit techie: for the specially interested."
Local journalist: "Oh, now how about Haga. Do you think this story has been exaggerated and is out of proportion with what she did, or is it justified?"
A few words about practising what you preach rolled off my tounge. I said it wouldn't be such a big story if the Government she was a part of hadn't championed the regulations she violated (how very unoriginal, but my mind was on something else entirely), and I got my directions both to the venue I was heading for and a decent lunch place on the way. Value for value, I say...