Editorial: The Absentminded Editor

Trent Ernst, Editor


If I actually felt like I was getting older, I might use that as an excuse: sorry, about that, getting old.

But I still wake up shocked that instead of heading off to high school, I’ve got a job these days.

Here’s the deal. I’ve always been a little … absentminded. Just ask any of my teachers from back in the day about homework.

These days, it typically manifests itself thusly: I’m walking home and, as I’m listening to a book, an idea hits me for another award winning editorial (another? Yes, I won an award last year. Did I forget to mention it? I think I did.)

And I think to myself, “Trent, write that idea down before you forget it.”

And then I think, “Pfft, of course I’ll remember it. It’s an awesome idea. Award winning. I’m going to write it and it’s going to be nominated for a Pulitzer. Are Canadians eligible for Pulitzers? And I’ll be flown to New York…are they held in New York? Anyway. I’ll fly to New York and there will be a crowd of women wanting to meet the writer of such a phenomenal article and offer themselves up as muses, and I’ll be all like, ‘sorry, girls, I’m already taken,’ and there will be a great deal of weeping and gnashing of teeth, so I’ll have to comfort them, and they’ll ask me how I came up with such a great idea and I’ll tell them as I was walking home one day, it suddenly hit me that… that….blast.”

And thus, another award winning article will not get written, and instead, I’ll write about how I forgot what I was going to write about.

Another example. Last week, we started a contest in conjunction with Shop Easy, in which I was to hide a turkey somewhere in the issue, and you were supposed to find it.

Did you go looking for it? I hope not, because having put the turkey in, I then proceeded to take it out again, forgetting that I needed to move it somewhere else.

So, um, sorry about that. There are two turkeys to find this week to make up for it. And no, I don’t qualify as one of them. Har har.

I also wrote that I first heard about David William Shearing back in 1988, when I first walked by his cabin on the way to Flatbed Falls. I pointed out that it wasn’t actually his cabin. I should have also pointed out that it was on the way to the dino footprints, not Flatbed Falls, and that I would have heard the story in 2001 or so, which was when the trail was built to the Flatbed tracks. I helped build the trail.

It was a group of teens that told me about the tracks, as I was supervising a group that had just graduated. But you get something in your mind, and you know it to be true, until you realize it’s not. Life. It is always more interesting in hindsight.

One last example. It was my brother’s birthday earlier this month. (Or is it coming up? I can never remember).

His wife called to ask if I had any pictures for his party, as it’s the big five-oh. I said that I didn’t think so.

She asked about the slide show that I had created for their wedding. I said nothing, as I couldn’t remember anything about creating a slide show. I know they got married, and I know I was there, but I can’t remember anything about it, other than it was in Alberta and I spent their wedding night in the hotel room with them. But that’s another story for another time.

It’s been this way my entire life. So for all the times I forget your name, or forget to write that story I said I would, or stop halfway through a sentence and ask “what was I talking about again?”, well, now you know why.