Holy Hemorrhoid! I blow out of town for a few days and the nation's elderly goes bat-shit crazy! Isn't there a Stephen King book where old folks begins lopping off the heads of everyone under fifty? If not, there should be - for the maniacal glee displayed by these two seniors rivals anything dished out by a certain homicidal clown...
We begin in Florida, where two not so nervous news crews climbed the porch of a troubled teen's home, with fancycams shouldered and rolling. But before either reporter could ask their first vexing question, an old woman in an even older housecoat appears and unleashes a brand of profanity that makes even an ex-sailor like myself tense up. If that weren't nasty enough, Granny then emerges with a digging implement! But she ain't on her way to the garden. She's about to whup ass first and scrape dirt later. The ensuing moments have to be seen to be believed and while there's no excuse for violence, we at the Lenslinger Institute wince at the situation that sparked it. Simply put, on-camera door-knocks are dangerous, unneeded and generally suggested by those who never leave the newsroom. I've done it myself more times than I wish and while I've never had a grandmother try to cleave my head in two with a garden hoe, I've more than while as a door creaked open before me. End On-Camera Door-Knocks NOW!
Next we head North to Doylestown, Pennsylvania, where an idling pack of TV cameramen waited outside the sentencing of a woman accused of staging a fake abduction. Sure, it's lousy duty - but it's nothing any of us haven't done a hundred times before. Which is why it was so surprising when the father of the accused - no spring chicken himself - bursts from the courtroom and bum-rushes the awaiting scrum. First he clubs the nearest lenser with arthritic fury before turning on another photog who had the audacity to intervene. By then Gramps was operating on pure adrenaline and administers a rest-home beatdown for the ages. It may have gone on forever (or at least until the old guy was winded) had it not been for the actions of photog number 3 - who manages to grapple the patriarch with his one free meat-hook. Bravo! By then, others peel the old man off the Fourth Estate and he's soon shuffled away by a rather girlish deputy. AT press time, charges had yet to be pressed.
So what drove these seniors to act like savages? Is there a bad batch of Geritol going around Are there violent subliminal messages in all those Lawrence Welk reruns? Is it just built-up angst now that Bob Barker's stopped feeling up his lovelies every day at eleven? Ya got me - but one thing's for damn sure. I'm keeping a close eye on Granny the next time I'm forced to film a family reunion. Schmucks!