We landed at Dulles Airport last month with only one interview confirmed for our overnight stay in Washington D.C. I turned on my cell phone and listened to a voice mail from a spokesman for the U.S. Security and Exchange Commission. He had cancelled the interview about the Monsanto case.
I returned the call as soon as possible. This is how I remember the conversation.
"Hey, I thought this interview was a sure thing," I told the guy.
"I'm just the messenger," he said.
"That's convenient for you," I said. "But I had e-mails confirming this interview. Then, I get on the plane and it suddenly gets cancelled. Are you kidding me? How does that happen? Why does that happen?"
I was building steam as KMOV photographer Bill McCormac and I walked toward the escalator.
"I'm a dead man walking through Dulles, spending a large sum of my company's money for an interview that's not going to happen. How do I explain that to my boss?"
"I'm just telling you what I was told," he insisted. "I'm sorry. There's nothing I can do about it."
We stepped on the escalator. According to Bill, nearly every person on the escalator turned and stared at me as I shared my concerns with the public servant absorbing my verbal assault.
"I can appreciate your situation. I really can. Someone just handed you the knife, but it's still stuck in my back and now you're twisting it."
There's more, but you get the idea.
We loaded our gear into the car and I started calling everybody else on my short list of phone numbers.
Bill called his wife Kim.
"How's it going?"
"Good, we're on the ground," he answered. "We're in the car and Cheatham's only interview just cancelled."
"Oh my gosh," she responded.
"It's good to be a photographer," he said. "My biggest concern is where we get to eat lunch."