Wednesday, June 09, 2010

The Legend of Lennie

Live Action Cam
Things were just looking up for Lennie, when the Promo Guys arrived. He'd only been a part of the Action News Team for six months - ever since that ugliness in Bender City got him banned from ever even entering another Piggly-Wiggly again - let alone complete his dream of bringing the Dewey Decimal system to the produce aisle. That little stand-off cost him dearly; he'd cleared out of his rented room in the middle night, loaded up the Impala and effectively ended his side career as a part-time waterbed salesman. Most of all, he'd had to leave Lurlene - the only Waffle House waitress he'd ever pursued without ending up on the wrong end of a restraining order. It was probably for the best, however. A few more fumblings in that back booth and Lennie would have no doubt revealed his true identity. Sure, that gal rocked a mean beehive - but no shapely slinger of hash is worth one more day in the brig... Which is why Lennie headed inland...

And stumbled across his station in life.

Actually, it was a dump of an affiliate on the edge of the industrial district - a crime ridden swath of blight nobody but news anchors called the Happy Crescent Metroplex. Lennie liked the station from the very start: the faded logo out front, the ice cream truck with the pole thingy otu back, the way the receptionist buzzed you into the lobby without ever asking what you wanted. All Lennie wanted was the latest bumper sticker to add to his collection, but something about the chrome and simulated wood-grain of the place spoke to him and he found a job application under his pen before he even decided which alias to use. In the end it didn't matter, for his warm pulse, vast knowledge of CB radio slang and strange willingness to work for slave wages suddenly ensured him an exciting career in show business. He figured he'd stick with long enough to scam some logo-wear but he found he loved the rub of a peacock on his tit. But it wasn't just the free polyester that got him off.

It was the lifestyle.

Lights, camera and as much side-action as he could muster on nine thousand dollars a year: that's what sustained Lennie in the first few months. But along with the access to the glamorous life, this man wanted by the Merchant Marines found he had an eye for emergencies,a natural jones for scanner codes and a gift for driving like a pig. Who knew his true talents lied in shot composition and the one-eye backpedal? Lennie didn't, but something about squiring around busty ingenues around town along with the latest in 9 year old technology really engorged this stilted drifter and pretty soon he was entertaining the idea of going straight - or at least as straight as you can get while still living out of a company car. Yes, it seemed ribbon cuttings ride-alongs and wrecks of every description filled a void in our anti-heroe's crusty heart and he soon stopped coming up with new ways to get over on The Man.

Maybe he could even send for Lurlene...

Warm thoughts, indeed; the kind Lennie wasn't used to. But before he could totally master hiding behind the camera, cruel fate intervened in the form of a paramour. Her name was Ava and as far as Lennie could tell, she owned only Kulats. That fad aside, she seemed okay, even if Lennie didn't fully understand what she did back there in the Promotions Office. All he really knew is she was warm for his form and though he tried not to lead her on, there's only so much you could do when you looked this good in a brown turtleneck. So it was not very surprising when Kulats and her boy Friday showed up at Lennie's live shot with a camera of their own. He didn't think much of it at the time, but the fruits of his impromptu photo session came back to bite him hard when he caught flashes of himself popping up between the chunks of Gunsmoke that passed for suitable reruns at the time. Needless to say, Lennie vanished the next day. Some claimed they spotted him down by the docks; others say the mob got him before those wretched sailors ever did.

Me, I'm not so sure - for every once in awhile, I'll catch sight of his reflection in my own viewfinder and wonder if a little bit of Lennie lives in me...

I'd be okay with that.

1 comment:

in-gun-ear said...

When did Earl Hickey shoulder a prehistoric vidicon/suit case rig? As Count Floyd used to say, "OOOOO, scardy kids."