Monday, June 29, 2009

Spaghetti for Breakfast

News at Sunrise
Early morning live shots, they're the forgotten front of local TV news. While most day-siders rarely give them a second thought, the day's first newscast wouldn't be the yak-fest it is today without the reliable remote. Band Camps! Crash Sites! Bake Sales! Body Finds! There's pretty much no place we won't send our perky morning reporters - provided we can reach it with our cables. Cable: it's not something you give a lot of thought to, until you've changed location six times within the same damn day-part. Then and only then do you know the joys of man-humping endless spools of cord up three flights of darkened stairwell - all so the toothpaste model you brought along can glimmer and flirt before a suitably cute backdrop...

Aww, who am I kidding? Morning reporters are decent peeps; hardworking Joes and Janets who can navigate their way through crime tape or silly string - depending on the News Gods' many whims. When I filled in the A.M. shift two weeks ago I was paired with my old Idol ally Shannon Smith, who tolerated my grogginess long enough to get us through five days of morning show grind. Blood Drives! A cooking segment! Ringside at the UniverSOUL circus and some dance studio where a lady danced with candles on her head! You can't score those deep kicks workin' bankers hours! Naah, you gotta wake up confused, dress in the dark, grab the reins of a modern day stagecoach and go to some place pointless. Why just the other dawn I was wrestling heavy spaghetti through a downtown doorway when some guy who slept in his clothes thrust a dollar my way...

I'd have taken it too, had I not been draped head to toe in enough greasy tether to tie down a satellite. Add to that a tropical shirt drenched in flopsweat with a penchant for pejoratives and you have a pretty good idea why no one's asking me to make an on-screen cameo when there are meals being consumed in the Greater Piedmont Googolplex. I'm already the flustered brother Shannon never wanted. Allow me to wander into her screen space and it's a good bet grown men will abandon their breakfast to help rescue the TV sweetheart from the glistening madman who's suddenly invading her space. You know, the one who looks like he just had relations with the Meineke Man's soot-covered loose around the lugnuts cousin. Or worse yet, I could simply track my reporter's every move as she/he totally manhandled a passing drunk.

Don't laugh, it's happened.

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