Thursday, December 15, 2011

Remote Patrol

Event HorizonShould ever my life flash before my eyes, have I got to watch all those silly live shots again? And how about those endless minutes between live shots? I'm not sure I can suffer through those extended sentences a second time. Then again, I'm still wearing residue from last night's protracted encampment from the side of the road. Sure, I've washed off all the carbon monoxide and flop sweat, but there's still a groove in my gut from slumping over the steering wheel while my reporter pounded out rejoinders on the world's grittiest laptop... What, like YOU'VE never power-napped as a deadline loomed, never left your body as soundbites danced through your head? Hell, I once found myself floating above the truck only to look down and see the real me molesting an innocent sandbag.

You can imagine my shame.

Or you can keep reading as I try to justify my rancor at having to drop anchor. As a kid, the notion of a protracted encampment in one of these mobile newsrooms would have made me downright giddy, but as a grown man staving off a mid life crisis, nothing makes me feel like I'm wasting my days than some interminable afternoon spent peeling faded logos from the corners of what's left of my critical thinking skills. I'm not saying live trucks make me dumb but the other evening I spent ten full minutes admiring the way I'd coiled an extension cord. If that weren't enough I took real pride at the amount of back-light I milked from a dying street lamp. Add that to the way I convinced that drunk we were breaking down (instead of setting up) and you have the very definition of meaningful remote execution.

And yet it leaves me so empty.

Part of it is, of course, the weather. This time of year it simply gets dark too damn early. That's a big deal when you're trying to make a brick wall interesting, let alone relevant to the earthquake/clam bake you covered seven hours earlier. Of course, I'm just wasting my breath. I know this, just as sure as I know that neglected nine volt battery powering the talent's earpiece will die a sudden death the moment she begins breaking down the deposition. You know, the one they recorded across the street this morning. Look over my reporter's shoulder and you may catch a slice of courthouse window. That, my friends, is the most you can hope for when adding filigree to facts. It won't win you any Emmys but it will put bread on your table if not fill you with quiet pride as some jack-hole with a leaf blower shows up to drown out your shot.

Now back to you.

No comments: