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    In 2004-2005 I was living in Newport, Rhode Island, waitressing, slowly driving myself crazy and drinking myself to death. I took it upon myself (and someone actually hired me) to terrorize the town and vent my misery. My mouthy little opinions appeared in a local weekly paper, creatively named, Newport This Week. I called my column Gephyrophobia: Fear of Crossing Bridges, because no one ever left the island.
    It ran for 20 weeks. I was paid $50 a column. In that time, I went through 3 editors, received countless angry letters and mortified my family. It was a blast and probably the only thing that saved me.

    I’m archiving the column and all the subsequent Letters to the Editor online just because I can. It’s good to remember where you came from. Go ahead and laugh at how miserable I was (I do) and if you’re in a similar rut know this:
    if I can get out—you can too.

    "Breakfast Sins"
    After months of trying to push buttons--I never in a million years would have thought this would be the incendiary piece that polarized a small town and focused all local attention my stupid opinion....I was sorely mistaken.
    I learned a valuable lesson though: Whatever you think will piss people off, won't. And whatever you think will pass by unnoticed, will be the most controversial.
    When it comes to small-town public opinion...expect the unexpected.

    "Dreaming of SINS"

    Most of these jokes won't make sense unless you are a Newporter; basically I finally caved to my editorial pressure and started writing about local stuff. He lived to regret that.

    "Prepare For SINS"
    This whole idea of making a summer survival guide for Newport started innocently you will see it gets a little out of hand.

    "HOME Is Where The Heart Is"
    Ummmm...let's just say, the entire town felt sorry for my then-husband after this one came out.

    "A Bridget Walsh Haiku"
    I had to fight hard with my editor to get this one in the paper. It's ironic how many words I needed to use to make sure one haiku was published.

    "Apron Goes Global"
    I actually managed to write this article and get it to my editor when I was in Tokyo. I was totally impressed with my self-disipwine.

    "Time to put on the APRON"
    I was clearly in a mood when I wrote this one. And this was the point where the cracks really started to show and I realized that my editor never read a single word that I had ever written.

    "A Whale of a Tale"
    Mid-way through writing this one, the whale was removed. I like to think I had something to do with it.

    "Something Stinks Around Here"
    And so it begins. This article marks the turning point of the column. It opened the floodgates and the deluge of angry letters poured in from this point on. It was an eye opening experience for me who hadn't realized that anyone was reading my column at all.

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