The Last Two Journalists in America

Lovely WashPost column by John Kelly.

The last two journalists in America sat at a card table in the middle of their empty newsroom. They faced each other, about to flip a coin.

The coin was to decide which one would be the second-to-last journalist in America and which one would be the last journalist in America.

The last two journalists in America were dressed oddly; not poorly, as journalists usually dressed, but in what appeared to be costumes. The woman looked as if she’d stepped out of a black-and-white movie. She wore a tight-waisted woolen [sic] dress with angular shoulders. There was a seam up the back of her stockings. Two pencils stuck out of a bun of tightly-gathered hair at the back of her head. The man had on flared pants, a loud, collared shirt and a necktie as wide as a dinner napkin.

She was from "His Girl Friday." He was from ‘All the President’s Men.’

“Call it,” the man said, flipping the coin in the air.

They’d known this day was coming — had spent the past 10 years watching it get closer — but even so it was a bit of a shock to see it arrive. The newsroom that had thrummed for so long was vacant. The computers and phones were gone. The desks had been sold for scrap. Their contents — spiral-bound notebooks, computer printouts, government documents, letters from inmates, soy sauce packets, Freedom of Information Act requests, paper-clip chains, journalism awards, eraserless pencils — had been push-broomed into huge drifts that dotted the cavernous room like termite mounds on the savanna.

“Heads,” the woman said…