On Monday, The Oklahoman published this article by Jenni Carlson, about how tough it is to be Whitney Hand whenever her husband Landry Jones plays the sport of football terribly. In response, TLO sent our newest contributor — Fake Jenni Carlson — to TLO co-founder Tony’s house so she could report on what it was like to be Tony’s girlfriend when he reads a Jenni Carlson article. Fake Jenni Carlson’s dispatch follows.
Oklahoma City — The day started off completely normally. Tony Hanadarko, one of the three co-founders of the local blog The Lost Ogle, got up, brushed his teeth, poured a bowl of Cheerios, and opened up the paper.
“He just loves those Cheerios,” Tony’s girlfriend Samantha said. “Every day it’s the same. Cheerios, Cheerios, Cheerios. Hey, whatever makes him happy, right?”
After glancing at the front page, Tony turned to the sports section. Instantly, his eyes went straight to the byline: “Jenni Carlson.” He winced.
Samantha threw her hands over her eyes.
She’d already seen too much.
You think it was hard for you to read a Jenni Carlson column? You think it was hard for Tony’s co-workers to have to listen to him complain about it? Let me tell you this:
No one has it harder than the blogger’s girlfriend.
“Usually I try to hide the sports section when I see there’s a Jenni Carlson column,” Samantha says. “I just put it underneath the editorial page, because I know he won’t read that. I’m not sure why I forgot to do it this morning.”
“You gotta be shitting me!” Tony suddenly exclaims, dropping his spoon into the bowl. “She wrote an entire story about Whitney Hand watching a football game?”
Samantha sunk low into her chair.
It was going to be one of those days.
Tony is animated now, pacing back and forth with his hands flailing in the air. “They published a whole column about Whitney Hand getting her feelings hurt because Toby Rowland stated factually that her husband played bad? What planet am I on?!”
The more incredulous Tony got, the more concerned Samantha grew.
“It’s nerve wracking,” she said. “It’s hard sitting here and watching him. You never know what he might do next.”
She then stared blankly at the bowl of Cheerios. A glow of concern warmed her face.
“It’s just that you have all these emotions as a girlfriend, and you want to help or do something, and you just can’t. I just feel really helpless sometimes, just like I did when…are you writing any of this down?”
The spittle is flying now. Tony has turned a disturbing shade of red, and Samantha curls up into a ball, just hoping this episode will finally be over.
“I mean, at least it’s not the usual treacly crap, but this is ridiculous! She seriously talks about the beer lines in the stadium! Is there even an editor that reads this stuff? Unbelievable…”
As he rants from the other room, Samantha tries to rationalize the situation.
“Really,” she says, “he’s a good boyfriend. He really is. He treats me well, my family loves him, and we have a thoroughly mediocre sex life! It’s just when he reads a Jenni Carlson column that he turns into a completely different person.”
Her willingness to forgive is one of the many things that makes Samantha such a role model for little girls everywhere.
It’s late in the afternoon now.
Tony is passed out on the living room floor, exhausted from the hours of trying to rationalize how such an article could possibly be published in a major newspaper.
For Samantha, the tears and the fear have finally subsided, and she’s moved on to doing what she does every other day of her life: writing letters of recommendations to papers across the country about Jenni Carlson, in the hopes that someone will hire her away and she can return to a normal life once again.
And watch Tony eat his Cheerios.
This was a fictional story by a fictional person about a fictional girlfriend and one actual person, who has been fictionalized. Next week, maybe we’ll send Fake Jenni Carlson to profile John Rohde and some of his favorite Bleacher Report blogs. Seriously, the guy cited Bleacher Report in one of his columns. He’s just as bad — if not worse — than Jenni.
And you can follow Tony on Twitter here.