Crisis: Local satirist experiences writers block

Newsroom shocked as writer’s sarcasm reserves run dry

ANNA YOUNG, Evergreen reporter

There was a crisis Wednesday in Murrow Hall on the WSU Pullman campus. Production in The Daily Evergreen newsroom stopped when local satire columnist Anna Young could not think of anything to make fun of.

This is the first time this has happened, as Young reportedly has almost endless stores of casual mockery. A study from WSU’s math department earlier this year determined that Young’s capacity for sarcasm is in the 99th percentile on the bell curve. Another study determined that, despite having poor vision, her eye for satire is 20/40.

Young’s editor, Jennifer Ladwig, expressed distress over the situation. By 5 p.m., she still did not have a draft from Young in the newsroom.

“I’m not going to be out of here until the middle of the night at this point,” Ladwig said. “And where is Anna? She’s obviously not in here doing a readout or getting that satire piece done.”

Young was found crouched in a dark corner of her dorm, binge-eating Nutella and trying to watch “Stranger Things” over her roommate’s shoulder. A blank Google Drive document was open on her laptop, with Young a safe distance from the glow of the screen. Young declined a photo at the time of the interview, saying she refused to be exposed to any kind of light source.

“No one understands how hard it is,” Young said. “I have to make fun of something every single week or else I don’t get paid. The pressure is immense!”

Young blamed several difficulties for her writer’s block. She claimed that some topics were too sensitive, though they made themselves easy targets. The biggest roadblock, however, was that there were some weeks where nobody did anything ridiculous.

“If somebody doesn’t do something outrageous in the next few hours, it’s going to be my job on the line!” Young said. “It doesn’t have to be anything too complicated. I’d take an unfavorable budgeting decision, at this point.”

Young, a freshman, has been working at the Evergreen for less than a semester. She started the satire column in October.

“I’m concerned about the future of Young’s career,” Ladwig said. “I mean, she started the column a month ago, and now she’s already out of ideas. Imagine what will happen next week.”

WSU’s math department is running another test on Young’s sarcasm levels, as they are now concerned their previous results may have been flawed. Meanwhile, Young plans to hide in her dorm until Thursday’s edition of the Evergreen is on the racks. Her lockdown procedure includes blocking Ladwig on Facebook and turning off all of her electronic devices.

This story may or may not be updated as it develops.

Anna Young is a freshman creative writing major from Helena, Montana. She can be contacted at [email protected].