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...

Saturday, March 22, 2008

Cue the Delusion

Live Truck Time Stall
Live Trucks: they go anywhere, smell like bus stations and - when parked in remote locations - can make the closest clock face melt. Just ask anyone who's suffered that interminable wait between live remotes, vast forty five minutes stretches in which time draws out like a blade. Yes indeedy, for your average dashing news crew, the hardest assignment can just be sitting still.

Spool of DoomTake Friday. After a morning of phone calls yielded absolutely zilch, Chad Tucker and I were forced to drown our sorrows at a Chinese buffet. I'm not saying we ate alot, but one more helping of Sesame Chicken and we'd have created an international incident. As it was, we rolled out of the Wok of Shame fat dumb and sleepy - which is a heckuva way to feel when you've yet to pull the trigger. Not knowing how we were going to fill the two minutes of the six o clock news we were responsible for, my reporter and I filled the pungent cockpit of Live Five with tall tales from broadcasts past. Chad and I both got graduated from Roy Park U and we love swapping lore from our alma mater. I was just about to tell him about the time that weatherman shot himself in the foot when both our cell phones erupted. Anecdotes stowed, we hit the interstate...

Cable DropNinety minutes, thirty miles and fifteen funny looks later, we hunched over our quarry a full county away. Seems a certain skeevy diddler has been harrassing college girls at Elon University, an encounter only slightly less creepy than a conversation with that camera crew in the bushes. Still, Chad and I braved the prickly hedgerows and icy stares long enough to score enough tape of Girls Not Going Wild to flesh out our less than sexy report. Done with the co-eds, we retreated to an empty police department parking where we paced the various spaces like a couple of lifers in the yard. Actually there was much to do and in between scenes from Cool Hand Luke, Chad and I made the news. First though, I wedged myself behind the wheel and sacked out while my partner picked his soundbites. It wasn't comfy, but having learned to spot-nap in Caribbean bound warships, it takes more than a wiper knob to the gut to keep me awake...

 Live Shot Dead TimeWhen I came to, Chad was reading his script into a cell phone. Once it was approved he repeated the words into a wireless microphone while I watched the audio needles dance and the second hand on my wristwatch stand still. 'Damn', I thoght, "I'd rather race one of these stagecoaches up and down Grandfather Mountain in the dark (again!) than watch it sit it broad daylight. Even with cables to pull and video clips to drag and drop, I couldn't find enough chores to keep me busy as the generator wheezed. At one point, Chad came up with a way to achieve peace in the Middle East, but then forgot it when a once ubiquitous ditty came on the radio. You ever seen a General Assignment reporter 'Wang Chung Tonight'? I have, but I can't say who - not as long as I'm susceptible to getting stuck with stranded talent and half a roadmap. Now if you'll excuse me, there's a half-eaten Moon-Pie in the glove compartment and until that buzzard with the Channel 12 tattoo stops circling overhead, I'd feel better if I held onto it...

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