I never thought that my professional undoing would be brought about by a silver dildo, but here we all are.
I guess it proves that life always has a way of screwing you over, but having promotional sex toys in the mix can certainly push the process along.
Last week I headed over to Foxtel for a sit down with the cast of The Real Housewives of Sydney.
As far as interviews go, I knew this one was set to be a doozy. Not only were we interviewing seven outspoken personalities all at once, but we had to do it in a way that would result in some good, juicy content.
Preferably without anyone losing a limb in the process.
So the video team and I put our heads together and came up with a plan of attack.
We cooked up a loose, quiz style game called "Truth or Share" in which the ladies would be randomly asked a series of questions from a stack of cards and they would have the chance to share their own stories OR spill the truth on someone else.
Fun, visual and quirky, what could possibly go wrong?
That's when the silver dildo appeared and ruined my life.
LISTEN: Laura Brodnik explains why the interview went so very badly on The Binge. (Post continues...)
Why was there a silver sex toy lying around on my desk, I hear you ask? Well, the Mamamia team had been sent a whole box of Fifty Shades Darker themed goodies that we had planned to use for an instructional and not at all inappropriate video.
But before you could say "who wants to test the nipple clamps?" a sex toy starved Ninja appeared within our sparkly office in the dead of night and stole the whole lot.
Except for this one shiny, silver dildo. A dildo so heavy and dense that a little solo time with it would probably end with you having an uncomfortable conversation in the emergency room.
Which must be why the clever Sex Toy Ninja left it behind in the first place.
During our Real Housewives interview brainstorm, the main issue that kept getting flagged was that the women were liable to talk over each other throughout the interview. Making for great content, but very poor podcast quality.
"What we need," I said thoughtfully, not knowing the fate that was before me. "Is some kind of talking stick. You know how in primary school you would have to pass something around and only the person holding it could speak? That's what we need here."
"You are amazing," said the group (I'm not even adlibbing here), "but what would you use?"
And that's when my podcast producer Elissa grabbed the silver implement from my desk and brandished it in the air like she was auditioning for an angry villager role in Beauty and the Beast.
"We'll use this!"
I thought she was joking, but the rest of the team loved the idea so very much and assured me that it was funny and would break the ice between me and the ladies before we kicked off the interview.
So I reluctantly placed it in my bag of props and notes and headed for the studio.
Weighed down by both the emotional and physical weight of the women's self pleasure item straining the straps of my handbag, I entered the studio and headed for the room holding the ladies who would soon be splayed across our TV screens.
I was so preoccupied that I checked myself into the building incorrectly, and ended up spelling my own name wrong. I was then reminded of my shame for the rest of the afternoon, every time a publicist's eyes lingered too long on my name tag.
Introducing Laura Brodnij, the journalist with no backbone but a hidden dildo next to her hand sanitiser...
I walked into the studio and I swear you could cut the tension with a knife freshly pulled from someone's back.
For more hilarious tales of disaster, follow Mamamia Entertainment Editor Laura Brodnik on Facebook.
Now, I've done a swag of interviews and press junkets in my time and you can always tell when one of the journalists who went before you has pushed the talent a little too far. There's a slightly tense, wounded taste in the air, and everybody is on the defensive.
But time was of the essence and, as I knew these hard working women had been schmoozing press and filming interviews since the early hours of the morning, I plastered a friendly smile on my face, picked up my sexy prop and game cards and headed over to introduce myself.
I gave them my name and explained the game, but I doubt they heard a word I said, so preoccupied were they with the shiny object in my hand.
"What is that?" one of the asked, looking at me like I'd whipped out a tray of sausages at a vegan wedding.
"Why do you have that?" another asked.
"It looks like a dildo....." one claimed, shattering any illusions I'd had about passing it off as a very fancy pen.
"Why would would you bring that in here?"
If we all got one chance in life to press pause and then reset, I would have been very tempted to use it then.
They were very uncomfortable (read:angry) and I have to say I have never known real fear until I sat on a couch and faced off against seven Real Housewives, all glaring back at me and the dildo that had taken upon itself to ruin my life.
"We don't have to use it! I'll just get rid of it," I trilled, leaning down and shoving the offending object beneath my chair. "No worries at all! Look, it's gone."
I once again plastered a camera ready smile on my face, but the damage was already done. There few instances in life that you just can't come back from, and bringing an unsolicited dildo into a reality TV sit down is definitely one of them.
I don't want to say that what happened next was the most awkward interview of my career... but that might be a slight lie.
My deck of "fun question cards" betrayed me (on reflection, I feel like it was in cahoots with the dildo) and the first question it dished up was "what is the one thing you're worried about your husband seeing on the show?"
This would have been all fine and dandy, except it went to Victoria Rees, who coolly informed me that "I don't have a husband."
The question about the most expensive purchase they've ever made was met with disdain ("we don't want to look superficial") , no one wanted to answer the question about the craziest diet they'd ever embarked on and a question about the one time they'd ever done something they regret to someone caused a bristle amongst the group. One of them even stopped the interview dead by saying "that was mean, what a horrible question to ask."
After the fifth awkward pause I started to envy the dildo that was hiding safely beneath my chair. After all, it was the one that had caused all the trouble, and now it was reclining with ease and out of sight while I faced the reality TV firing squad.
With 15 minutes still left on the interview clock, and seven disgruntled housewives about to walk out, I decided to change tack.
I abandoned the carefully crafted cards in my hand, pushed the first part of that interview away like a bad childhood trauma and started throwing questions at random out to the group.
To hell with usable content, just let me get out of this alive.
And that'd when the ladies of The Real Housewives of Sydney really started to shine.
They told some tantalising tales about their trips away filming, and how in those moments far from family and friends they'd really bonded as a group.
They reenacted the moment they'd swept off in a plane to film on location and one of the engines had given out. Causing a few of the ladies to panic, while the others slept right through.
They said they knew they were going to be judged once the show aired, but they hoped people would take the time to watch and get to know them. To see them as a collection of fun, fierce and entertaining women.
They showed that they would be amazing TV.
And then, at last, the world's longest interview came to an end and the women bounded out of the studio like kids released from the last day of school.
Leaving me alone to pick up my notes, my dildo and my dignity and then hobble back to the office.
Broken, but wiser.
A woman who will never take a sex toy to an interview ever, ever again.
LISTEN: The full episode of this week's instalment of The Binge...