September 3, 2003

The News, In One (Repeating) Act

Scene: News room. The sound of keys clatter on in the background as the industrial grade lights flicker overhead, competing with the glow of monitors. In far corner, a photocopy machine visited throughout by various interns, with backs 3/4 to audience, lots of lifting and closing of machine's top. The slight hydraulic sounds from the photocopy machine should occasionally punctuate the clatter, giving the subtle tone of factory life.

Reporter #1: [enters cube, puts down coffee, waves mouse to disrupt screensaver]: "Hey."

Reporter #2: [without looking up, web surfing]: "Hey."

R #1: "So, what's up?"

R #2: "Nothing."

R #1: "Nothing?"

R #2: "Afraid so."

R #1: "Bully. News?"

R #2: "None."

R #1: "Get out."

R #2: "Seriously." [Punctuated with an audible mouse click.]

R #1: "Enquirer?"

R #2: "Reprint of Billy Bob story. Stole Bat Boy from The Sun."

R #1 [with a sigh]: "Nothing." [Sits and works on computer. After a few moments, receives chime of instant message. Chats for a few moments, then perks up.]

R #1: "Here's something."

R #2: "Got something?"

R #1: [speaking slowly, while typing]: "Friend of mine. Astronomer. Big asteroid."

R #2: "He is?"

R #1: [still typing]: "No. A big asteroid heading this way."

R #2: "Armageddon?"

R #1: "Sans Bruce."

R #2: "Wow. Really?"

R #1: "Maybe."

R #2: "Really? Or maybe?"

R #1: "Maybe really." [types, waits for answer] "One in 909,000."

R #2: [looks at lottery tickets scattered on desk] "People still go to Vegas."

R #1: "People still fear shark attacks. Lightning strikes."

R #2: "When?"

R #1: [stops typing, looks over, faux-confused] "At the beach. During storms."

R #2: "Funny."

R #1: [resumes quick typing, pause for answering message] "Maybe 2014."

R #2: [checks watch] "2014?"

R #1: [quick typing, pause for answer] "He says: 'March 21 2014'."

R #2: [checks watch again] "Plenty of time for a retraction."

[dim lights, except the back and forth light of photocopy machine. clatter continues.]

The Story

And 24 Hours later: Retractions, followed by News about the News Media

Posted by Jason at September 3, 2003 12:42 PM | TrackBack
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