Every week I hit the street, a crusty pusher of soft and gooey news. My mission: fill a few minutes of broadcast with something that won't pollute the Greater Piedmont Googolplex. Most days I pull it off, other times... not so much. But whether I'm slingin' straight up trophy bait or chewed-up filler covered in catch-up, it's always, ALWAYS on time - for what good is that totally kick-ass super slow-mo sunset sequence if Sally Joe Housecoat flips away when the anchors start to stretch?
On Tuesday I found myself stalking that most elusive of species: the quick-turn kicker. It all began when an anchor poked his head in the morning meeting and said a single mother had crashed his private pool. This proved quite the pitch for soon after I was soaring to said oasis, where I found kids, chlorine and, warming eggs in a nearby planter, a sitting duck. Affecting my best David Attenborough, I sidled up to the wildlife and addressed her in crisp, English tones. When the young mother duck glared back as if she were about to rip my lips off, I backed away and quizzed a few six year olds in elbow floaties. A man's GOT to know his limitations.
Mother ducks are nice and all, but why not use that glass to reflect the very best of humanity? It's why I rose early the very next day and raced to Raleigh-Durham International. It was by the baggage claim I found my peoples. Rounded shoulders, lots of pockets, tripods by their sides... Seems I wasn't the only photog looking to shine a light on some world class athletes. 'Fine', I thought as I made cross-market small talk, 'at least we're not fixin' to fawn over some infantile jock with a million dollar contract. That's when the concourse dissolved into applause and a stream of gold medal heroes poured onto the floor. The next few minutes passed quickly, but the interior grin lasted all day.
Of course, every day ain't an exercise in nobility. Some days it's like pulling teeth. Of course if teeth are to be pulled, I'd much rather be a cameraman knocking over Novocaine tanks than any of those souls with hardware hanging out of their mouths. That was me Friday, as I roamed the floor of a free dental clinic. "You there! With the recent pink slip and aching jaw. Wanna be on Tee-Vee?" Didn't think so, which is why I tread lightly at these kind of soirees. Folks don't stand in line to see the dentist because they want to. Whether they want to share their woe with the region at large is their choice, not mine. Besides, there's always some untroubled soul willing to share their views with a stranger from The News.