Who's afraid of Christi Paul? I am!

When I first moved to Phoenix in 1998, I started watching the Channel 3 news a lot, mostly because it repeated all day long on cable. Much of Phoenix has a love/hate relationship with the Channel 3 News; it acutally provides pretty good coverage (for television news), but it's got some of the goofiest on-air talent of any station I've seen: At all hours of the day, they're either being too talkative, too self-important, or just plain ditzy.

Firmly in the "ditzy" category sat one Christi Paul, a blonde flake who mispronounced names (and words) more often than an anchorwoman should, and made especially laughable faces when trying to to convey bad news. What I always found especially hilarious about Christi was her ever-changing hairstyle: a mass of bright blonde hair permed, piled, sprayed into unusual arrangments normally only considered acceptable by Midwestern sorority girls.

After about a year of mocking Ms. Paul's hairstyles, I opened my college alumni newletter (which the University kept sending me, despite the fact I never paid for it), and Christi Paul was right there on page 26. I don't know about the "sorority girl" part, but she's definitely a Midwesterner, and we went to college together.

So, I checked with a few friends, and a couple of them actually knew Christi back then. (Why nobody mentioned this when I was mocking her, I don't know.) One even insisted that Christi had worked at the Student Union snackbar, which, if true, means I probably bought a lot of Snickers bars from her, but my recollection is that all of the snack bar workers were too short to work in television. (That probably tells you more about my memory than it does about the snack bar staff.) Checking her biography on Channel 3's website, I even discovered she was working for a station in Cleveland when I was living in Kent, Ohio, so I may even have seen her on TV there and blocked out the memory.

Not that being alumni would change my opinion of a person; I continued to joke about Christi Paul's vapid delivery and ditzy hair (although she's worked on the hair some). I even ran into her once, when I was registering people to vote in a plaza next to the Phoenix Symphony. I asked her if she was registered, and she looked really confused by the question.

Anyway, my life was blissfully Christ-free after leaving Arizona, until I turned on CNN Headline News a couple of weeks ago, and discovered they've hired Christi Paul. She's apparently working weekends and mornings, which I means I don't see her much, but I now have this strange feeling that Christi Paul is inescapable. In fact, I'm developing this weird paranoia that, should I ever do something newsworthy, Christi Paul will show up.

Die in a horrible plane crash? Christi Paul will cover the funeral. Survive a tornado? Christi Paul will suddenly be working for the Weather Channel Commit a horrible crime? Christi Paul will get a job with Court TV. Run for President? Christi Paul will moderate the debates and get a job on CSPAN. It doesn't matter where I go or what I do, there is no escaping Christi Paul.

Posted at 11:56:54 PM EST on 13 November 2003 from Trenton, MI