StR Editorial Note - The following events are purely fictional. No names have been changed as this is fiction, and who ever heard of changing the names of fictional characters? Thanks go out to TZ and rbiegler for their guidance and input in this novella. Also, it should be stated that no animals were harmed in the writing of this piece.
We take you now to that size 7-3/16 vacuum known as the cavity where section214's brain should reside. Mrs. section214 is out of town and as a result our hero has just polished off a seven cousre meal of his own design - a bag of Cool Ranch Doritos and six shots of El Patron. He lies down, closes his eyes and the curtain on our play rises...
The scene is the interior of a conference room at the Downtown Sheraton Hotel. A meeting of sorts is about to take place. A local sportswriter - let's call him "Sam" - opens the meeting.
Sam: I'd like to welcome all of you and thank you for coming. Let me quickly go around the table and introduce everyone. From our local paper we have Ailene and Marty. Representing the local radio and TV are Grant, Gary and Jerry -
Sam: Yes, Jerry. Bibbilicious. Moving on and also from local TV and radio, we have the lovely Kayte, and that little scamp on her lap is Jimmy. Uh, there is an extra chair if Jimmy would like a seat of his own.
Kayte: No thanks. Jimmy never speaks while I'm drinking water, if you know what I mean. Here, watch this. (Places her hand on Jimmy's back) How do you like school, Jimmy?
Sam: OK. Also in attendance and covering this event for the local paper are Melody and Bobby. You two could sit down if you like.
Melody: No thank you. We have a witch burning to attend later and we don't want to wrinkle our Puritan robes. You should come with us. It's being co-sponsored by our paper and all of the local radio and TV stations, Sleep Train and Folsom Lake Ford & Toyota.
(There's more behind the curtain, folks. Read on.)
Sam: Thanks. We'll see. And last but not least, we have TZ from an internet thingy called a "blog." I should also note that we invited FP from the local radio station but he thought that the invitation was a subpoena and no one has seen him since.
Sam: Sure, Jerry. We can get you some pudding. Hey, R.E.!
R.E.: (Entering room wearing a Hawaiian shirt over waiter garb) Yes, Mr. Amick?
Sam: Jerry would like some pudding.
R.E.: Right away, Mr. Amick!
Sam: Now, the reason that we are here today is to discuss the state of local media coverage as it pertains to the sports world. Lately we've been getting a lot of feedback that our coverage is not what it should be. That sometimes we think that our own opinions are more important than the news itself. That sometimes we inject our own morals into our work and try to create a story where there is none. That we have lost sight of what our readers and listeners and viewers really want.
Grant: And what is that?
Sam: Sports coverage. Coverage of sports.
Grant: Well, then they're idiots. Of course, I'm not talking about the intelligent people that shop at the Diamond and Gold Vault. The Diamond and Gold Vault, where you're treated like a diamond, I mean like gold. There's a location near you, and if there isn't it's because you're living in the wrong place - idiot.
Sam: R.E.! Where is Jerry's pudding?
R.E.: (Rushing into room) Here you are, Mr. Amick. Anything else, Mr. Amick?
Sam: Yes. Tell the chef that he burned the cookies.
R.E.: Yes, Mr. Amick. I'm so sorry, Mr. Amick. Right away, Mr. Amick. (Exiting room) Marcos! You burned the damn cookies again!
Sam: Where was I?
Jimmy: Heeeey, Peaches!
Grant: Why you little...I hate that nickname! I'll tear your little wooden head off and throw it in the fireplace. Just because you're in her lap doesn't make you safe. Not as safe as your money could be if you banked with SAFE Credit Union. SAFE Credit Union. If you don't bank with SAFE Credit Union, you're an idiot. Now come here, you little jerk.
Kayte: Back off, Peaches, or they'll need dental records to identify you. You don't want to know what these thighs did to Tank Thompson.
Grant: Yes, Miss "C." Sorry, Miss "C."
Sam: Gary, can you help me out here?
Gary: I think what Sam is trying to say is that we are losing the respect of our consitituents.
TZ: Good point. For example, take this story that just came up on my Blackberry...
Ailene: What's a Blackberry?
Marty: I whipped my black berries out in public once. Got arrested. Got off, though. Hung jury, get it? Heh-heh-heh.
Ailene: It probably got tossed for insufficient evicence...couldn't make it stand up in court.
Marty: Hey, Ailene. Chris Webber wanted me to pass along his regards.
Ailene: That brute. He cost me the only man that I've ever truly loved. Broke him down to the point where he had no choice but to leave town. Peja! Come back, Peja! Mommy is here for you... (Bursts into tears and runs out of the room)
Marty: Gets her every time. Funny story about Chris Webber. He and I are tight, you know? I don't know if I ever mentioned that before. We were spear fishing a little while back with Jimmy King and Tyra Banks. Great kid, Tyra. Anyhoo, C-Dubs - I call him C-Dubs - that's how we roll...where was I?
TZ: Look, the point that I was trying to make was -
Grant: Who cares what you think? You're an idiot! You're not even real. You're an internet thingy, like that gizmo in your hand.
Melody: It carries news from the outside world. It is evil.
Bobby: Burn it! Burn it!!!
Jerry: Evers Burns! Evers Burns!
Sam: Dammit! See what you guys did? It's OK, Jerry. Evers Burns played for the Kings in 1994.
Jerry: You've been Martinized!
Sam: That's right, Jerry.
Marty: Did I ever tell you about the time C-Dubs - I call him C-Dubs - that's how we roll - well, he wanted some soul food so bad that we took his private jet - by "we" I mean C-Dubs, me, Slamson, Jasmine Guy - you know, from "A Different World" - and Stan Atkinson flew down to Shreveport and subsided off shrimp and Tabasco for a month.
Sam: That's great, Marty. TZ, I believe you wanted to say something?
TZ: OK, let's pretend that the Maloof's dog got out and dug up their neighbor's garden. Is that a story, and if so, how important is it?
Melody: (Writing furiously) What kind of dog is it?
TZ: Uh...I think it's a Shih-Tzu.
Melody: Oh my! We can't print that. We'll just say it's a Scottish Terrier. And what is its name?
TZ: Hell, I don't...Dribbles.
Melody: Spell that for me - this stuff is gold. Gold!
TZ: You do know that this is a hypothetical situation, right?
Melody: Bobby, are you thinking what I'm thinking?
Bobby: We can tie it in with the Artest dog incident.
Melody: Which we can tie into the domestic abuse case.
Bobby: Which ties to the E-Muss DUI, which leads to the dance team story, which, which, witch, witch! Burn the witch! Burn the witch!!!
Jerry: (Jumps up and down on table) EVERS BURNS!!! EVERS BURNS!!!
Melody: To the "B-Mobile!" (Melody and Bobby exit)
Grant: Want a "B-Mobile" that you can call your own? Then the Roseville Automall is the place for you. The Roseville Automall. Right around the corner. Right on the price. Just tell 'em -
Jimmy: Peaches sent you!
Grant: That's it, you little twerp.
Kayte: Sit down, Grant, or I'll sit you down.
Grant: Whoops... (Runs out of the room)
Jimmy: I smell cobbler!
Sam: I give up. Gary?
Gary: You're on your own, kid. I'm too old and too respected to get mixed up in this. I'm off to Indy. Gosh, if any more drivers leave the Indy circuit Danica will be the only one left and she'll have to win. (Exits)
TZ: Hey, the folks at my site love you, Sam. If I were you I would distance yourself from the rest of these guys ASAFP. Kayte, you're welcome too, but that Jimmy doll is kinda creeping me out.
Kayte: (Tosses Jimmy into fireplace) Thanks, TZ.
Sam: R.E., bring me the bill.
R.E.: Yes, Mr. Amick. Here you go, Mr. Amick.
Sam: I'm deducting for the burnt cookies.
R.E.: Yes, Mr. Amick. Thank you, Mr. Amick. (Exits) Marcos!!!
Sam: TZ, can you help me get Jerry home?
TZ: Sure thing, Sam. Sure thing. (Everyone exits except Marty)
Marty: Black berries. Heh-heh-heh. Hey, that reminds me of the time C-Dubs and me - I call him C-Dubs - that's how we roll - C-Dubs and me were berry picking...with Halle Berry! Can you believe it? It's as true as anything I write, I'm tellin' you...
Upon exiting the Sheraton, Sam, TZ and Jerry are greeted by the sounds of thunderous screams, hellacious gun and mortar fire and wonton destruction. FP has fallen off the 'roid wagon and has grown to the size of Rodan. He destroys downtown but is thwarted in his attempt to jump the river and pillage West Sacramento by a Godzilla sized and equally juiced Governator. The following morning the front page of the local paper reads:
MALOOF'S DOG "TERRIERIZES" NATOMAS
Also inside, meet a woman who loves squirrels, Sacramento's best brownies, and FP destroys city.