Sunday, July 27, 2008

20 years ago

There was a party at Bar None last night to mark The New Paper's 20th anniversary. I'd known about it for weeks and although I never got an official invitation from the bosses, I knew I was going to crash it right from the start, along with my gang of TNP contemporaries. We figured that we 1G TNPers don't need official invites.

And that was the spirit of things all night long. The old gang hasn't changed. They're still irreverent, funny, and downright wicked to the point of being complete a**holes if you were on the receiving end. And they are still capable of putting away vast amounts of alcohol. Except for the one who doesn't drink because it sends him off into a manic-depressive dive. I would like to finally thank him now, 20 years later, for introducing me to Jim Croce during his dives.

There're plenty of photos but I can only update them into this entry next week because they'll all be sent to my e-mail at work and I'm on leave for a week. I don't think the current TNP photographer taking them had any idea who we were, much less that we were the pioneer batch of reporters but she was damn good in snapping away when there were photo opportunities -- mostly involving shrieks and hugs when someone familiar turned up. Apart from my gang, there were people I haven't seen in 15 years.

It was a great evening playing catch up. Old jokes were revisited and there was much recalling of old times. It's nice to know that some things -- and people -- don't change. It didn't seem like 20 years have passed. The only thing that forcibly reminded us that it's a new generation at TNP now is that a new reporter who just joined them recently is a student of my old TNP buddy who went on to teach mass communication at a local university. At least the youngster didn't call his former teacher "sir". That would have been too much to bear. For him. Not us. We would have doubled over with laughter. What, him, responsible and moulding young lives etc. And shake our heads. And toss back more booze. Which we did anyway. The first batch of TNPers has produced two PhDs and an MP. But looking at my own gang in particular, it's quite heartening to see that we're the most unambitious lot.

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