I sat my daughter down for one of those heart-to-heart Dad talks that invariably begins with five simple words:
"Stop looking at your phone."
"Absolutely," she replied, much to my amazement. "I'm going to be on television."
"Television, as in a TV personality? Are you qualified? I mean, you haven't done anything yet. Your resume is, for a lack of a better word, blank."
"That didn't stop the Kardashians."
"True, but . . ."
"Dad, I've got it covered. I've already been in touch with the local TV station."
"Fantastic," I said, admiring her tenacity. "What are you applying for? A summer internship?"
"No, the station is running a contest called 'Join Our News Team For a Day!' I just have to 'like' them on Facebook and then I'm qualified to win. I spent all night creating a bunch of alternate Facebook accounts to increase my chances."
"That's very nice, but even if you, uh, win, you're still going to need to interview with the station manager. You know your dad used to be a TV news reporter. The first thing you should say is . . ."
"Young lady, WHAT did you just say?"
"I said . . ."
"I HEARD you. Where did you learn to talk like that?"
"That anchordude in North Dakota. He said those words. On the air."
"Yes, and they fired him."
"Right. And the next day he was on Letterman. And 'The Today Show.' And 'Live With Kelly and Michael.' Sounds a lot better than North Dakota."
"I won't argue with that," I said, as memories of a weeklong business trip to Fargo came flooding back. "Still, sweetheart, you can't talk to your prospective employer that way. Mark my words, in a week that 'anchordude,' as you call him, is going to have nothing."