One of my colleagues was rooting around in the bowels of the newspaper building when she came across an artifact from another era.
It's an editor's rubber stamp that says “KILL”.
If that blast from the past mysteriously disappears from her work area, feel free to consider me a prime suspect. Because I am coveting the beejezus out of that primitive tool.
Of course, it wouldn't be the easiest thing to actually use in 2012. For one thing, there isn't an ink pad to go with it. And, perhaps more to the point, newspaper work long ago shifted to computers.
Still. If somehow the opportunity arose (assuming an ink pad materialized), and one had the chance to slam the “KILL” stamp down on some old-fashioned copy that just didn't meet our standards…well, that would have to be pretty satisfying.
“Hey, Paul, I'm almost done with my 60-incher on these book club women who are learning to love again by getting in touch with their…”
I suppose one could ink it up and then carefully press it against the computer monitor displaying someone's in-progress article or column.
But one thing I've learned in my 36 years of newspapering is that it's better if at least some of your newsroom colleagues do not despise you. Besides, that would be messy.
Plus, there's another issue. It's an old newsroom saying.
“Let he whose copy is perfect slam down the first KILL stamp.”