Thursday, September 5, 2013

Morning Television


Here's  how it ended:  Mel racked the twelve-gauge and blew the television and some of the wall behind it into tiny pieces.  He never could convince anybody about why.  After the evaluation they let him go home, but they kept his gun.

     It started when the handsome morning news show announcer of indiscriminate late middle-age said, "Later this morning, after the break, we'll be interviewing Betty Booboobsky."  Betty was the star in a zany new comedy about drug trafficking and prostitution.  There was a nude scene and they were going to ask her about it.  The announcer told people they didn't want to miss the interview.  The same parent company who owned the morning news show's network also owned the movie company that helped propel Betty to fame.  If she survived, in about six years Betty would bemoan the fact that there were so few roles for mature actresses.  In the meantime, and in the remaining few days before the release of the movie, the viewers at home would be kept up to date on Betty's fashion choices.  Betty would try to help leggings and short scarves make a come-back.  Mel knew the choices weren't really  hers.  Her style consultant received freebies and checks from a clothing designer with tie-ins to the movie producer.
     After the interview with Betty, the morning show had a segment about the dangers from some type of bat in Baja California.  The morning news show went out to the entire nation.  But there was no reason for people in places other than those two towns in Baja California to worry about the bats.  The station pushed fear the way a casino-man pushed plastic chips.  There was a lot of fear in the world that didn't have to be there.
     Mel watched all this thinking about the topics the morning news show didn't report. Why didn't they talk about the NSA an how every email, phone call, and bank transaction from every person in the country were being logged and recorded and, on occasion, simply looked through by some employee somewhere?  And why didn't the morning news mention the spate of mob violence in five major cities over the weekend or about how more people died in the streets of Chicago  during the last three days than American soldiers died during the last three weeks in Afghanistan?  And how come, to hear it from the broadcasters, the nation was in the throes of early 1960's Selma, Alabama-style segregation and racism?  On it went.  These were some of the things Mel knew.
     When Mel told people these things they mostly looked at him and secretly wondered why he was such a critical man and how come he couldn't just relax, even in the mornings.
     He liked it quiet in the morning.  But his wife had it on for the noise; she had to have the noise.  "How about some music instead?"  She ignored him.
     He picked up his plate with the toast and with his other hand carried the cup of coffee to the living room where he could still hear the morning news show but at least he didn't have to see it.  They started an interview with some expert explaining how taxes were going to have to be raised in order to keep critical serves operating for the next five  months.  Mel thought of waste.
     He finished his toast and coffee and returned to the kitchen.  Some boy-band was playing on a stage outside the broadcast studios.  They wore ridiculous fedoras and strange combinations of facial hair.  They dressed in what looked like pajama bottoms and sleeveless vests.  They sang about having sex with teen girls.  The words were a bit lofty, but that's what it was about.
     Mel sat his plate and cup in the sink and went to the bedroom and took the twelve-gauge from under the bed.

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