1. I hear about the Amtrak Residency program through a friend’s post and immediately apply with spastic, hopeful glee. Wheee! So fun and so romantic! I’m goin’ on a train! I’m the little engine that could! Choo choo!
2. I begin seeing analyses of the program on Twitter and fb, and my guts seize with fear.
What? Absolute, worldwide, irrevocable? Including my writing sample?! [*insert bloody implosion here*] My dream train slides up to the platform, opens its mouth, and gobbles my children. That shiny new train in my head morphs into a completely different type of train, one that involves a long line of users waiting for their turn to screw me over.
3. I can’t sleep. All night long, I hear trains hooting in the distance, mocking me. What have I done? What can I do? Nothing. I’m trapped forever on a train going nowhere, with no window and no door, nailed inside a coffin on wheels.
4. I read the fine print over, searching for a way out. In a feeble attempt to nullify my application, I break the rule and apply again. (See this? I’ve applied twice! That means my entire application is null and void. Right?) I apply a third time, attaching someone else’s work as a writing sample. (This writing is not mine. I stole it. It’s plagiarized! That means the agreement is off, right? Right?!)
5. At this point, I’m just trying to figure out what I can get out of this experience. Help me out. Insert moral of the story here:
BTW, applications for Amtrak’s residency are being accepted until March 31st. You still have time to join me!
* (Fine print: by inserting moral of the story here, you are hereby relinquishing all rights. That’s right, I will own every word you say forever. Every word you think, even. Plus, I will say your words and act like I made them up myself. I will sell your words to any scumbag who’ll pay. Aren’t I a smartie? Shut up, you don’t get to speak for yourself anymore.)
(The only way to get out of this is to send chocolate. Send chocolate or cheese and give me a foot rub or maybe do something about my lower back and I might let you out of the deal. )