Emotional toy

Welcome to this week’s Reno News & Review.

Last Friday, the day after our March 31 issue had hit the racks, I received a phone call from a reader who didn’t identify himself.

“Where’s Brian Burghart?” the caller demanded, clearly already irate.

“Actually, Brian doesn’t work here anymore.”

“He doesn’t? Well, good! He keeps saying he’s going to leave the paper, and then he doesn’t go anywhere! He wrote an editor’s note saying he was going to leave the paper months ago, and then he didn’t go anywhere! The little bald picture of him was still in the paper. It’s there again this week! And now he’s going on saying he’s leaving again! He’s toying with people’s emotions!”

The caller didn’t explain why he was so emotionally invested in Brian’s employment status. And for a second, I kind of thought it was Brian, masking his voice to prank me—it was April Fools’ Day after all.

I laughed, but the caller made it clear he wasn’t joking.

“He’s messing with people’s heads!” he shouted.

“Well, Brian stepped down as full-time editor a few months ago and was just working here part-time,” I tried to explain as calmly as I could. “But now he’s fully resigned from the paper.”

“Don’t they check out the heads of the people who work there? Because this Brian Burghart is clearly nuts. He’s toying with people’s emotions! And I’ve read some of his stuff—all he ever writes about is himself! He’s nuts! There’s something wrong him—don’t you agree?”

“Well, I don’t disagree.”

“OK. Thanks for listening.”

“You bet. Have a good day.”

D. Brian Burghart, editor of this newspaper for a bajillion years, we’re all going to miss you around here.