Tuesday, May 18, 2010
Roll With It...
Ever have that dream where you're down on the ground suckin' rotor wash and suddenly the chopper starts dropping frogmen? (You know, the old school Johnny Quest heavies that used to pop up on the back of Race Bannon's boat...) Of course you train your lens on their descent and never even flinch as they peel back their masks to reveal themselves as your least favorite anchor team. Except they're not really an anchor team you've ever known but an amalgamation of dynamic duos from your last eight affiliates. There's Chet and Buffy, Skip and Cassandra, Pinkie and the Brain... At first it makes no sense why they're sporting formal wear under their wet suits, but then you catch sight of a jug band warming up in a nearby swamp and you realize you're pulling another shift on some kind of cosmic telethon.
That's when it gets weird: First Bigfoot comes out for a little soft shoe, followed by a bevy of Budweiser girls who proceed to act out the entire Alec Baldwin intro scene from Glenngarry Glenn Ross with nothing more than Popsicle sticks and their own inherent jigliness. None of it makes a damn bit of sense to you but since you're just standing under a camera it doesn't have to. Besides, there's a disembodied voice on your headphones telling dick jokes and you're pretty sure you'll be quizzed on them the next time you hit the break room after the noon news. For now though all you can do is roll with it, though somewhere in the shallow end of your eyepiece you're beginning to suspect you're dreaming.
It doesn't really matter though, 'cause before you can do anything about it you're swooped up by a chain-smoking assignment editor who gruffly informs you he's the Ghost of Ribbon Cuttings Missed. From there, you're soaring over the Heartland or Silver Valley or Flannel Crescent or whatever the hell your station insist you call your town. It's a bit disconcerting even for a dream, but before you can identify the exact gravy stain on your Assignment Ghost's tie, it breaks away under your grasp and you're falling, falling, falling... By now you're wishing the damn trip would end but just before you crash to the surface a parachute pops out of the fanny pack you didn't know you were wearing and you float harmlessly downward until you land in the middle of a giant satellite dish.
There, you lay in the lack of shade and twitch a while what's left of your frontal lobe searches for meaning and nuance to the disjointed misadventure you now find yourself trapped in. You're about to piece it all together when a distant siren sends a jolt through your frame and the scanner junkie that lives inside you rises up from the ashes of that lasagna you ate before bedtime and you find yourself staring at the biggest smoke plume you've ever seen. That's when you realize the damn thing is wrapped in yellow crime tape and even though you're now schlepping sixty pounds of prehistoric recording gear you realize the only sensible thing is to climb this intoxicating tower of police tape and smoke. All goes well for the first few feet but when your foot gets caught in the coils of video cable hanging off your battery belt you lose your sweaty grip and once again you're falling, sinking into the abyss of a delusion you just KNOW you wouldn't be having if you'd tried a little harder in school and maybe got a real job...
You ever have THAT dream? Or is it just me?