For the man who must remind you he’s an ex-big time journalist

Jeff “Podunk” Pelline feels the need to constantly remind the local bumpkins that he used to work for the San Francisco Chronicle, the former “Voice of the West” that is now owned by Hearst, renowned for the mediocre newspapers it publishes.

It could be an ego boosting maneuver–an ego as big as Pelline’s requires a lot of maintenance–or an attempt to establish gravitas with the local yokels so they’ll pay attention when he offers advice on how things should be done around here. After all, Podunk has interviewed important people and used to wear a tie when doing so.


But constantly reminding people of your former greatness can become off-putting, and even Pelline probably hesitates occasionally before raising the subject. Fortunately for him, there is now a way to prompt others to bring up the subject. Ironically, the solution is offered by his former employer, the Chronicle.

The Chronicle is now offering for sale sweat shirts, hats, coffee mugs and other items emblazoned with the Chronicle’s distinctive script “C,” or its online address, (Why anybody who never worked for the paper would want any of this stuff is beyond me, but if people wear hats with the logo of a farm equipment manufacturer, they’ll wear anything.)

I picked three items for Jeffy that I think would work well here in the foothills. They are in no particular order:

–A genuine Chronicle sweat shirt: Appropriate for those chilly fall evenings, it would work well for his walks through town when he’s looking for places to dispense his advice. When people glance at the C and say nothing, that will give Jeffy an opening to say, “You’re probably wondering what the C stands for…” Given his girth, the Chronicle “C ” would take on the appearance of a billboard. But it might be a stretch to get Jeffy into one because the biggest size available is extra large.

–A Chronicle scarf: Jeffy fashions himself a bon vivant and man-about-town, and the scarf would be an appropriate fashion accessory during those chilling winter days at his mountain retreat. The scarf would also work well in town, particularly when the flatlanders–some of them Chronicle subscribers–visit the area to check out the fall colors.

–A Chronicle wine cooler: Podunk’s all about the local wine industry, particularly those vintners who advertise in his “magazine.” The cooler would work particularly well at the outdoor concerts put on by Music in the Mountains, an outfit he professes to support even though local conservative  blogger George Rebane is on the board of directors.

There you have it: Three ways for Jeffy to prompt other people to ask him to tell his favorite story. Personally, I’ll stick to my old coffee mug from The Union, given to employees for putting up with a major remodeling of the building. It is still quite serviceable and–unlike Jeffy–there’s nothing pretentious about it.

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