I recently argued with co-worker Peggy Fletcher Stack, religion reporter, feminist and all-around mean woman. Whereas, I’m just a regular guy who reports on science, human behavior, politics and other ways to get hurt.
#shouldaknownbetter. In my 25 years at The Salt Lake Tribune, I have been physically assaulted by three co-workers — all of them women, including Peggy, supreme Editor Jennifer Napier-Pearce and food writer Kathy Stephenson.
I don’t blame Kathy. She’s Greek and genetically can’t help being easily provoked. And, given how much I bother her, I’m lucky to be alive.
My flare-ups with Peggy happen a lot. In the newsroom, my desk is next to hers. I write about science, psychology and the universe at large. Meanwhile, she scribbles about religion, faith and even witchcraft.
Peggy • “I interviewed the Dalai Lama last week.”
Me • “Sonny and I built a catapult for accordions.”
Peggy • “Hmph. They probably don’t fly very well.”
Me • “Neither would the Dalai Lama.”
Given our respective personalities and interests, it’s only natural that we differ over, well, pretty much everything. Our most recent debate was which of us is a greater draw for The Salt Lake Tribune.
My argument — and I believe it to be a sound one — is that far more readers are interested in science, culture and human insight than they are in religion.
From this argument emerged a wager: Who could drum up the most subscriptions to sltrib.com?
If this sounds like an advertising ploy, you’d be right. However, it didn’t start out that way. That didn’t happen until editorial cartoonist Pat Bagley, who had been eavesdropping on my efforts to make Peggy cry, decided he wanted in and took it to an editor.
So the gauntlets have been thrown. Whichever of the three of us wins, the other two must, in some fashion, publicly abase themselves.
The contest starts Friday — a three-way involving Peggy, Pat and me. If you want to subscribe and give me credit for it, go to https://www.sltrib.com/subscribe/?tpcc=kirby. We’ll monitor subscriptions from March 2 and announce the winner Sunday, March 11.
Those of you who already follow my thrice weekly columns on the state of the world, know that I’m essentially bad. While not exactly the Prince of Darkness, my attitudes toward matters of faith, reverence and worship are skeptical at best.
Call me the Prince of Dimness. I can live with that. Peggy, on the other hand, is more upbeat and incisive about her reporting. It’s straightforward, fair, honest and wins awards.
Indeed, it can even be said that she is a virtuous woman with impeccable ...
OK, she’s gone now. That was close. For a moment there, I could feel her reading over my shoulder.
Sign up for me if you like. If, on the other hand, you prefer Peggy’s contribution, I won’t feel bad if you choose her.
I don’t know if I’d be able to handle losing to Bagley, though.
This easily could degenerate into a duel.