Matter of Laugh or Death
By Bill Dunn
Interesting observations on this thing we call life
(appearing each week in the Republican-American newspaper, Waterbury, CT)
THIS MEANS WAR
As the commanding officer strode into the conference room, a dozen people sitting at the huge oak table immediately jumped to attention. “At ease!” the commander bellowed. “We’ve got work to do!”
Everyone sat down. All eyes were fixed on the commander. “You’re probably wondering why I called this emergency meeting,” he began. “Well, our operatives in the western territory have confirmed the rumors we’ve been hearing the past few days.” The commander pressed a button and the image of a tactical map appeared on a massive video screen behind him.
“As you can see,” the commander said, pointing to the map, “powerful forces have overrun the entire state of Pennsylvania. Just moments ago, these relentless forces invaded New York.” A low murmur filled the room.
The commander pressed the button again, and the video screen went blank. He took a deep breath and surveyed the room, making eye contact with each person. Finally, he spoke. “For those of you who have been under my command during previous campaigns, I believe you understand exactly what this means. For those of you who are new around here, let me spell it out in stark language.”
Every person in the room leaned forward, hanging on the commander’s every word. “What this means, ladies and gentlemen, is that we are about to be hit…with…a…snowstorm.”
All the air was momentarily sucked out of the conference room as a dozen people gasped in unison. One young woman began to shake. “Omigod! Omigod!” she squealed.
“Steady, people! STEADY!” the commander yelled. “We must remain calm! The public is depending on us!” The room went quiet, saved for the muffled sobs of the distraught young woman.
“Now, our sources indicate that the entire state of Connecticut will be receiving anywhere from three to six inches of snow. Yes, it is that serious. And because of the severity of the situation, as the commanding officer of the Channel 62 Weather Team, I have ordered an emergency shipment of…ugly sweaters!”
“Sweaters?! We’re going to the sweaters?!” a veteran meteorologist wailed.
“Yes, Kent,” the commander replied. “I see no other option. In less than one hour, all regular programming will be suspended. At that moment, those of us in this room—we privileged few—will have complete control of the airwaves for the next three days. Every citizen in the state will be depending on us for their very survival. Therefore, the broadcast studio will be our command bunker. We will live in the studio, surviving solely on black coffee and stale donuts. To demonstrate our dedication and commitment, we will forego our usual suits and ties and don the international symbol of winter weather emergencies: the ugly sweater!
“As soon as this meeting is over,” the commander continued, “everyone will proceed to the wardrobe department and pick out his or her sweater. Everyone, that is, except for you, Francis.”
Francis Brighteyes went pale. “Wha, what do you mean, sir?” the young man stammered.
“I realize, Francis, that you came to us last summer from Channel 27 in Atlanta,” the commander said. “Which means you’ve never even experienced one of these New England nightmares. But we have a policy here at the station that the person with the least seniority gets sidewalk duty. During snow emergencies the F.C.C. requires that one member of the broadcast team go out onto the sidewalk, in the midst of the brutal storm, and inform the public that it’s still snowing.”
“But can’t they just look out their windows?” Francis asked.
“Francis! Don’t ever say that again!” the commander shouted. “What if people discovered they could get accurate snowstorm information from their picture windows rather than their television sets? Where would that leave us, huh? We’d be out of work and have to get regular jobs!”
A cold shiver went through the room. The young woman who had finally regained her composure burst into sobs once again at the mere thought of going through life without being a television personality.
“OK, people, listen up!” the commander roared. “The moment of truth is here! The first flakes have been begun to fall in Danbury! Everyone to their posts! And remember, the fate of Western civilization depends on our performance during the next 72 hours! Godspeed and good luck!”
|Home||Current Faith||Current Funnies||Faith Archive||Funnies Archive||Contact Bill|