Hub #1600: In Praise Of... Paul Edmondson
Way back at the dawn of time when in order to access the internet you first had to hew out your keyboard from a solid piece of mahogany with a flint adze, I was scouring various online boards (we called them tablets) to find freelance writing jobs in order to pay for my penchant for brontosaurus burgers and to afford a new set of brake shoes on my feet. One of the listings I saw amidst the "Earn Big Stones With Googlemesh ArcheoSense" and "Chisel For GiantSquidoo" postings was a notice seeking writers with broad knowledge.
Hmm... broad knowledge, huh? Well, I'm certainly broad especially around the midriff and the gluteus megamaximus, and I am a master of cheesing people off in virtually every subject matter under the Jurassic sun, so I figured that it could be fun to find out more. The company wasn't listed and it was probably just as well. All I would have known about Hubs at that time was that they were the things you'd put cotter pin sticks into to keep your rock wheels from rolling away when cornering hard at the Boulder Derby.
Through my reply I got to know various people at the magnificent stone temple to the gods of Minna, including the Pontiff chief rock-et scientist himself, Paul Edmondson. As my faithful readers will be able to attest to, I didn't just fall off the turnip truckosaurus as I've been in this industry since before Australopithecus Africanus was a glint in some ape's eye, so I've had the misfortune to know and work for all kinds of "publishers."
Yes, I worked for some doozies in my time. There was S.B. who was only missing the middle initial of O. He was a real piece of work. He'd just gotten out of jail for massive embezzlement and fraud and still managed to write $100,000 in bouncing checks every week while accumulating condos in his daughter's name like baseball cards. I still have some his rubber checks that I'm keeping as a tender memory of those years of working my sizeable butt off while papering my walls with NSF bank notices.
Then there was M.D. who was an insufferably bombastic megalomaniac even on those rare occasions where he didn't have a snoot full of coke. Picture a male Amy Winehouse with a Mussolini complex and you're getting close.
And then, of course, there was D.Z. He wasn't just the strangest publisher I've ever known, he may have been the most outrageous hominid (if he actually did possess any human DNA): A senior citizen with the runaway libido of a teen rapist and a proclivity for scatology matched only by Seth MacFarlane. In our morning meetings the whole staff would avoid sitting down as we all had a pretty good idea of what had transpired on those couches the night before. This priapic satyr wasn't just a lunatic. He was living proof that the euthanasia of mutants at birth practiced in early civilizations might not have been such a bad idea after all.
Therefore up until that time, I reacted to the word publisher the way a 13th century Eastern European might have reacted to the word Mongol: "Run away and hide as they'll kill us aaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaalllllllllllllllllllllllllllll..."
Armed with this experience I had expected that if the relationship with this latest publisher didn't end the way my experience with D.Z. did (I was holding him by his lapels and threatening to toss him out the 23rd storey window onto Park Avenue) it was going to be considered an overall success. How could I have known that Paul Edmondson would turn out to be the exact antithesis of D.Z. and every other publisher I had known?
Paul Edmondson not only deserves, along with his superlative staff, all of the accumulated kudos in the solar system for building up HubPages to one of the top websites in the world, but also for his remarkable courtesy, keen intelligence, savvy business smarts, and seemingly infinite patience with the crazed antics of yours truly.
I'm not exactly easy to get along with, I'm not going to win any Mr. Congeniality awards, and have a well deserved reputation as being an acerbic and abrasive contrarian. Even with all that going against my prospects of living long enough to have a satisfactory business relationship with any biped let alone a publisher, Paul Edmondson has 100% of the time totally surprised the living daylights out of me with his unqualified support, brilliant insights, inherent entrepreneurship and willingness to let me run roughshod in his HubPages sandbox.
Tomorrow night on New Year's Eve, on the other side of the world from the carved granite gargoyles and sacred marble icons of the Minna temple, I'm going to drink a toast to Paul Edmondson. Homo sapiens just doesn't get any better than him. Cheers!