Editors Note:


EDITOR'S NOTE: Fresh off a three year managerial stint, your friendly neighborhood lenslinger is back on the street and under heavy deadline. As the numbing effects of his self-imposed containment wear off, vexing reflections and pithy epistles are sure to follow...

Sunday, November 21, 2004

Taking the Tower 1

“Listen up ya’ll”, the training sergeant growled at his mean as he eyeballed me and my partner.

“If you see THE MAY-DIA during the exercise - do NOT engage them! Repeat - the MAY-DIA are NOT ENGAGED!”

The SWAT Team didn’t seem too concerned. They barely even looked up as they finished pulling on those awkward yellow chemical suits. Ignoring my lens, they checked their weapons and pulled on air tanks. Through my viewfinder I recorded two of them hunched over a checklist. “Shoot local camera crew” wasn’t on their agenda.

“I think they like us”, I said to my colleague. Erik smiled vacantly as he listened to the cell phone pressed to his well-groomed head. He was trying to book airline tickets to Jersey and the reporter in him was certain he could find cheaper fare.

Just then a heavy metal click sounded overhead as the training compound’s loudspeaker hummed to life.

“YA‘LL GO TO HAY-ELL! I’M A KILL ’EM ALL - I SWAR! A hint of sarcasm bled through the heavy Southern accent . Whoever was keying the microphone up there seemed to be enjoying his new role as hostage taker.

“I’M A KILL EVER ONE OF ‘EM! COME UP HERE AND I‘M A KILL YEW TOO!!”

With that the five man Emergency Response Team formed a single file line and began shuffling toward the four story training tower at the rear of the county compound. But my eyes fell on the building beside it - a red squat structure with a no nonsense sign that read “RESTROOM”. Wow - I thought, an actual brick shithouse…

But it was no time to gawk. It was time to punch in.

...to be continued...

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