Tommy McNamara is a fantastic stand up, NIGHTMARE GIG contributor and lover of all things alternative. He’s bringing his alternative lifestyle to D.C. this Saturday for a show at Big Hunt at 10 p.m. Consider going. He’s a very nice man. He is not a soccer player. That’s a different Tommy McNamara. -ed.
Here is a story about me quitting an internship I really liked because I am (extremely loud and incredibly) dumb. The summer following my sophomore year of college, I got an internship with WFNX, Boston’s alternative radio station. It was the perfect internship for me because at the time I was a total “music head” (I’ve since grown up and no longer listen to the stuff). I loved it there, it would have been perfect except that this was the summer Mumford and Son’s “Little Lion Man” broke and they played it so often I almost threw myself into the Atlantic.
The internship was going well, but I was spending most of my time stressing about money. For some reason, in 2010, an unpaid internship two days a week at a radio station was not enough to support living in a major metropolis. I was forced to *gasp* seek another job in order to maintain my lavish lifestyle (mostly 7-Eleven Double Gulps of Diet Coke and smiley face shaped fries—it was a weird summer). My job search was not going well, despite using the best method I had at my disposal, which was walking around Boston aimlessly and feeling sorry for myself because I couldn’t find a job. After all else failed, I decided to go to the bastion of Internet hope: Craigslist.
Craigslist offered a multitude of magnificent opportunities, from “XX CAM GIRL WANTED XX” to “XXX CAM GIRL WANTED XXX”, but nothing seemed right for me. Then I found one post that looked appealing. A family was coming from England to Boston and would need a nanny for the rest of the summer. Anyone who knows me knows I’m a sucker for helping out British families I’ve never seen. We had some email correspondence, and wouldn’t you know it, they were looking for someone just like me (a 19-year-old with virtually no babysitting experience or street smarts)!
After a few weeks of back and forth, their arrival was only a week away. Everything was set, there was just one issue: They needed some money wired to their realtor, and were hoping I could help them out, because apparently money cannot be wired across the pond. They would send me a check and if I could just transfer the money (via Wal-Mart transfer) to his realtor in Florida. YES I KNOW HOW THIS SOUNDS IN RETROSPECT. Keep in mind: I was 19, I’d never lived on my own, and I’d always relied on the kindness of strangers. The reason I’m telling this story is because we as a society need to de-stigmatize me being an idiot. You can probably guess how it all panned out. After I transferred the money, the check bounced, which left me accountable for the money that was transferred to the “realtor”.
I had to quit the job at the radio station and head back home to Chicago to sort things out. I didn’t know how to tell them, so I chose the words of forgotten poets: “It was not your fault but mine, and it was your heart on the line, I really fucked it up this time, didn’t I my dear.” With that, I cased up my banjo and hit the road. I learned a valuable lesson from the experience. Now, I never go through shady sources like Craigslist. Even if I’m getting an escort, I go straight to Backpage.com. Telling this story may seem like an exercise in self-flagellation, but it has a happy ending: Mumford and Sons became very successful!!!!