gather round, folks, that i may pass down the tale of Fuck-It Jonn, because that dude is just the GREATEST FUCKING CONMAN in the WORLD, and he WASN’T EVEN TRYING. he absolutely fucking STUMBLED ON ACCIDENT into THE SCAM THAT WOULD DEFINE HIS ENTIRE LIFE. the lie that transformed his ENTIRE EXISTENCE out of SHEER RANDOM BULLSHIT.
and his sole motivation was to EAT FINGER FOOD.
in the Wayback Days™ before i was born, the people who would later become my parents had this friend named… yeah, let’s say jonn. i’d rather not say his real name. bitches not snitches, and all that.
so. france in the late 80s. jonn and my parents had just finished school and all found jobs in computer engineering. (not that they STUDIED computer engineering, mind you. no, they were all studying how to become fish farmers or some shit. but those were simpler times, when knowing how to turn the fucking screen on got you a comfortable salary at the ripe old age of 24 years old.)
except that jonn, who was a chill hippie kind of dude, was bored to death by his desk job. so bored that he decided to just up and quit. “fuck it”, was basically jonn’s motto. fuck it, he’d find something better! fuck it, and things would work out! EXCEPT (as you may have guessed) THEY DIDN’T. for months and months he didn’t find another job. and so he ended up depressed, struggling, and eating dinner at my future-parents’ tiny apartment, three times a week, so he wouldn’t literally starve.
time went by. jonn was still unemployed. so before his resources hit rock bottom, jonn did the only logical, reasonable thing. what’s that, you ask? begged for his old job back? went back to school? crawled home to his parents? ha ha! obviously you do not share jonn’s ADVENTUROUS AND ENTREPRENEURIAL SPIRIT. and also you lack his BIZARRE LOGIC AND PLAIN WEIRD APPROACH TO LIFE.
what jonn did was: say “fuck it” (again) and leave for thailand.
because you see, thailand was cheap by french standards. so cheap that even a penniless dude on unemployment could live there for weeks on end, spending much less than he would have in france, as long as he didn’t mind roughing it. and jonn didn’t mind! “fuck it”, he’d said. and by god, he would stand by his words!
so jonn gamely scrounged up the money for the plane ticket and then… yeah. basically bummed it out in thailand. for two months. seeing the sights. sleeping on the street. making new friends.
and one of these news friends turned out to be very adept at FORGING PAPERS.
huh, jonn said to himself (probably high at the time) this sounds not at all shifty and more like a ONCE IN A LIFETIME OPPORTUNITY; what could POSSIBLY GO WRONG. my new thai best friend is even offering me a FAMILY DISCOUNT. for fake papers. fuck it! let’s have some!
as far as i can tell, jonn… didn’t even need fake papers?? like, he was literally just trying not to pass up on an opportunity here. so he smoked some more weed (i can only assume) and got A BRILLIANT IDEA. fake ID card? LAME. fake driver’s licence? HACKNEYED. fake medical degree? PEDESTRIAN. no! jonn got himself a fake press card.
well, OBVIOUSLY, just so he could get into cultural events for free – conferences, art premieres, etc – and eat all the finger food. that was his grand plan. stroll into press-only events, wave his poorly-made card around, and gorge himself on canapés. no more going hungry! ever! jonn would live off tiny slices of toasted foie gras and flutes of cheap champagne for the rest of his life!
so now jonn, Very Obviously Fake Journalist™, is back in france and he’s DOING THE THING. and guess what? this was before google. before facebook. before linkedin. impersonating a journalist was very easy. if people asked where you worked you just said you were freelance, then steered the conversation to current politics and stealthily devoured the entire buffet while everybody was busy debating.
and so. this is what jonn is doing. his monumentally stupid plan is actually working. this is how he eats. with thai-made fake papers and sheer fucking confidence. and of course people start noticing him eventually! jonn is always fucking there! at all and any events in paris! because, again, THIS IS HOW HE EATS! but it’s always the same people running around in these circles, anyway. so nobody’s surprised to see the same dudes popping up over and over again. jonn blends in! and jonn is very good at making friends. and changing the subject. and eating canapés.
and then ONE DAY
one of jonn’s newfangled journalist friends (a REAL journalist, mind you, who has NO IDEA that jonn isn’t What He Seems) basically goes: “dude i’m so swamped rn. everyone wants everything all at once. fuck. shit. are you swamped too?”
“oh, for sure,” jonn says through a mouthful of his twenty-ninth serving of canapés that night. “not a second to myself”
“god. fuck. tell me about it. shit. i’m just so damn swamped.” Real Journalist shakes his head. “if i could only find someone to cover for me on this one article.”
now, i know i said before that jonn was smoking weed. but i must confess now i said it for humorous effect. i have no idea if jonn’s ever been within five hundred yards of a blunt his whole life. but what you must understand is that jonn is Chill™ on like. a soul-deep level. his whole mind is one long exhale of smoke followed by the words “fuck it”. this is a man who left his job for no reason, lived in thailand on a tourist’s visa for two months, got fake papers there for the lol of it all, and is now living off press-only events in paris. jonn was BORN HIGH.
SO. when RJ asks him: “dude. jonn. you said you were working freelance. i know you’re busy but don’t you think you could maybe cover for me? just this once?”
jonn NATURALLY answers: “fuck it. sure”
then goes to an unemployment center and applies for one of their free one-week classes. on journalism. jonn spends ALL OF ONE WEEK learning How To Write An Article Like A Real Journalist With A Real Press Card. then writes the article. basically bullshitting his way through that thing. half-assing the life out of it. faking his heart out. because why not? FUCK IT.
i have NO IDEA if he actually did a good job or not. but it was in fact good enough for RJ who really must have been truly swamped, and was so truly grateful that he told all of their mutual journalists friends. who were ALL SWAMPED. i’m given to understand it’s the natural state of the journalist in the wild.
and so jonn is now REGULARLY COVERING FOR ALL SORTS OF JOURNALISTS.
not making much money i assume. but still, not bad for a dude who studied journalism for five whole days.
and well, it’s kinda fun! better than moping around at home waiting for the next free canapé press-only premiere. so jonn keeps at it. and eventually it occurs to him that hey! he spent two months in thailand. why not make an article out of that? so he writes himself a lil paper, retelling his Bumtastic Adventures in the Land of Thai People, Cheap Living and Forged Papers (That Last One Having Nothing to Do With Him Personally of Course). and he’s kinda proud of it. so much that he gives it to his journalist friends. can they maybe pass it around? see if anybody would be interested in publishing it? for a modest fee and some more canapés?
and yeah. someone was in fact interested in publishing it. and that someone was:
so jonn got a REAL press card. got a FULL-TIME JOB at the national geographic. and spent the REST OF HIS WORK LIFE traveling abroad for six months, then going back to paris the rest of the year to write about his wacky journeys. he’s retired now, having published several books full of his articles and photographs. he’s bought a b&b in the french countryside with all his money. and continues to say “fuck it” to any problem that comes his way like the absolute fucking legend he is.
as far as i know, none of his journalist buddies nor his boss ever found out about any of this.
I suspect they probably found out when they read his autobiography about how easy it was to get into places with a press card. My parents have it at home.