Sunday, May 20, 2018

426. Newscast

Sometimes C.W. likes to pretend he is a news analyst and give me a recap of the week. He has this shape he likes when he does it, very grave and serious. He looks more like one of the great newscasters of the past. He always starts the same way, as he did yesterday.

“Good Saturday to you. It has been a week of weeks here in America, I’m Charles Wellingham here to tell you all about it.”

I don’t move, as a general rule, that is, until he makes a gaff. He records the broadcast and I worry that someone might see one.

Anyway, back to yesterday. He took a deep breath.

“Sad to say, my fellow Americans, our country seems to continue sinking into a hole from which it may never emerge.”

I listened.

“What kind of hole, you ask? That depends on you, fellow citizen. Some call in a ‘hole of despair.’ They see your species adopting attitudes that draw social lines that may never be crossed. ‘Where,’ they say, ‘did civil discourse go?’ We may never know. A species that wears baseball caps on backwards can’t be expected to contemplate complex thoughts, or follow the tenuous paths of reason.”

He looked at me for approval. I nodded and he proceeded.

“Others don’t speak of despair. They sense a moment of triumph. They see our country as being directed by more spiritual forces. The only hole they see affecting America is what they might like to term ‘a glory hole,’ and they praise its promise.”


He had started to speak again, but stopped. He looked at me and said, “What?”

“I’m not sure I would use the term ‘glory hole’ if I were you.”

“You’re not me, but why? Too religious?”

“It’s complicated.”

“Okay.” He made a note and continued. “We leave our holy-roller friends to their thoughts and continue.”


He sighed.

I said, “I don’t thing they like to be called ‘holy rollers’ anymore.”

“Well, you can’t please everybody. Let’s continue.” He consulted his notes, assumed his camera-face, took a breath and said. “We lost some more of America’s school children to gun violence this week. That’s getting to be a ‘below the fold’ occurrence in our country. We may stop reporting it entirely, except perhaps in the community news. That would become a sad non-commentary, don’t you think?”

He looked a me. I nodded. Pretty good. He continued.

Oddly, the president of those dead school children refuses to address this whole culture of gun violence. Some of you may think that’s queer.”

He looked at me. I nodded again. He was getting into his groove.

“It’s queer, all right,” he said. “You might say the president is acting as queer …,” he searched for words, “…, let’s say queer as a three-dollar bill.”

I straightened. “Uh.”

“Now what?”

“Not sure I agree with your journalism work there,” I said. “Try a different simile.”


“Because I said to.”

“Okay.” He made a note and continued. “The president’s behavior seems to puzzle nearly everyone these days, everyone that is except the man we journalists who cover government are calling ‘The Walrus.’”

I let that one pass. It seemed to fit.

“We have learned from a trusted source inside the White House that fellow staffers don’t refer to the president’s most trusted advisor as ‘The Walrus’ but as,” I could tell he was undergoing an internal translation, “a small syringe for douching the vagina, especially as a contraceptive measure.”

“Wait,” I said. “Why don’t you just leave out that part?”

“Is there a better translation?”
Oh dear. - C.W.

“No, well, yes, but I think it’s best avoided on a formal broadcast.”

“Damn,” he said, making another note. He continued. “Rumor has it that the president, whom most staffers now lovingly refer to as ‘The Cheeto,’ called the Walrus in last week to discuss reports that the Catholic Pope was getting concerned about our warlike actions in the Middle East.”

He made that motion newscasters use when they turn to face another camera. “What, you might ask, was the response from the Walrus? Insiders report this: ‘How many nukes does the Pope have?’ The Cheeto thought that was cute, sources also say.”

In further news, we have learned that the Walrus and the Cheeto have eliminated several governmental functions. One of those was the office of the command center for dealing with disease outbreak. He termed the office, if our sources are correct, ‘As useless as mammary ducts on a boar hog.’ Fox News science expert Sean Hannity agreed, praising the action as ‘draining the area of low-lying, uncultivated ground where water collects.’”

He made the motion of returning to the original camera.

“Now for international news, we regret to inform you of another outbreak of the Ebola virus in Africa.”

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