You! Don't you harrumph at my second place. Second place is not so bad. It's not every day that the least-ambitious journalist has a statewide award plop in her lap. A 1970s-looking plaquard, to be more specific. It's not every day that one wins an award for doing 2.3 seconds of (headline) writing while the reporter next to her gets a similar award for writing an in-depth investigative piece that single-handedly saved mankind or some shit.
Indeed, it's not every day you get a free, bland, mini-sized meal at a hotel along with a $7.50 glass of wine that tastes like equine urine. Nor is it every day that your arrogant, multi-award winning, journalist husband has to be your Plus-1 because he did not win an award.
So second place, I'll take it. It's like to be the only award I ever win, besides some lame "World's Best Mom" certificate my son may draw up with some crayons when he's 5. Only I won't think it's lame. I'll think it's awesome. And I'll clutch it to my chest as I cry when he tells me he hates me when he's 13. (UPDATE: I won another! Fancy that! I won third place, headline writing, Best of the West for calendar year 2014. UPDATE 2: I just found out I took second place in headline writing in Top of the Rockies, too.)
Wait -- it seems I did win an in-house excellence award one time years ago. I got a free dinner worth $75 wherever I wanted to go. Only nobody ever bothered to tell me, so it just didn't ring of the same excitement when I got a call from the newsroom secretary asking if I was ever planning to use it. And I'm like, "huh?" And she's like, "Oh ... didn't anyone tell you that you won like a year ago?"