When I was your age, I used to walk through six inches of donkey shit to get a loaf of bread and a gallon of lard. And that’s what we ate for every meal. (It rained shit back then.)

Let’s keep going down memory lane.

Seventeen years ago I started working at the Colorado Daily. Once we add in 2020, that’s at least 29 years of service with the paper.

In 2004, I interviewed at 28th and Pearl (now one of Google’s many mansions), charmed the pants off the crew (as one does) and began the job as an underqualified layout editor (I designed the paper, layfolk. In Quark, remember that shit?)

The salary made me want to lololol all the way home but I thought I’d get an ass cheek in the journalism door and then maybe find something else by the end of the year.

Now, 17 years later my whole fat ass is stuck in there and I can’t get it out.

During my tenure I’ve chair-hopped, office-hopped, boss-hopped and bar-hopped all over the various newsrooms. I’ve worked for an independent crew, national media companies and hedge-fund owners. I’ve slept under the copy desk, drank dump trucks of shit-flavored coffee and tossed my pride in the trashcan for the sake of my columns. (Note: My pride’s bar is as low as the tide as it drifts out to sea. I’m a poet.)

I’ve had readers stalk me, trolls take me down and hate/love mail keep me up at night. I’ve got a permanent palm print on my forehead for wondering in the wee hours of the morning why I let that column go to print.

I’ve made friends with readers, soothed haters and ruffled the shit out of my extended Catholic family’s granny panties. I’ve met a dear group of fans, my Silver Foxes, who always knock the blush right back into my cheeks. Besides my actual immediate family — who is currently in the process of hanging, drawing and quartering each other — this is one of the longest relationships I’ve ever had.

Let’s hug. Not with our genitals.

I love the Colorado Daily. I’m the only one left standing. Let’s cheers to my 17th year, and take a quick trip through the early noughties. (That’s what they call the decade. Let’s punch “they” in the face.)

In 2004, I had a Motorola Razr and still used payphones to save minutes. MySpace and Facebook were just giving birth to oversharing. “Friends” ended after 10 seasons. “Napoleon Dynamite,” “Anchorman” and “Mean Girls” gifted us with one-liners we still sing today. Ugg boots hit the scene and never left. (Boo, you whore.)

Semi-fresh out of college, I was trying to break into journalism while enjoying my new town of Denver. It enjoyed me, too. Downtown swallowed me for years, pre-RiNo days. (When rent was $300 and my apartment sat among an abyss of dilapidated warehouses and Dumpster fires warming hissing nightcrawlers. Now it houses dumb-named restaurants like The Preservery and Beckon or some shit with an ampersand.)

Now here we are. And I’m still here. Good goddess, Fantz. You’re still here.

“If your job was a baby, it could give birth and you’d be a grandma,” my pal Aimee said to me.

Bloody hell. Happy anniversary to me. I’ve nary budged monetarily. I’ve aged like a frazzled editor and I smell like processed cheese. (And missed curfew: vomit and bourbon.)