Kim Tyler

The goats, the man and his music: a one act play

It is the very near future. Five minutes into the nightly news a window opens in the studio of KSTV, Palo Alto, New Mexico, and without warning a catchy little tune flies in and takes possession of Jimmy Olsens brain
 
 
(voice of Linda Lane, co-anchor and latest addition to the team)
 
-Thanks, Jim. A large cigar shaped object of unknown origin was observed late last night hovering over an area just north of Phoenix, Arizona. Contacted by KTTV, our sister station in Phoenix, officials at nearby Mesa Flats Air Force Base report nothing unusual on their radar screens during the period in question. They refuse to comment, however, on speculation that they have been conducting test flights of the controversial new SAWS VTO, the top secret Silent Attack Weapons System rumored to have hover capability. We now have Flip Stiltson, of KTTV, on the line with us. Flip, what can you tell us?
 
-Linda, the descriptions we have been given by eyewitnesses, although somewhat inconsistent, do agree on three key points: that the object was quite large, perhaps the size of a football field, that it was more or less cigar shaped, and that it was completely silent. They also agree, however, on one thing that seems to conflict with the SAWS explanation: they all agree that the object did not change direction, climb or fly away. It simply disappeared. Linda?
-Flip, there seem to be similarities between this sighting and the one that occurred last year in the same area
 
-Linda, you are absolutely right. In fact, the accounts are eerily similar. As your viewers may recall, that incident involved the possible abduction of deputy sheriff Alvin Toombs of Carlyle County, who has not been seen since. I spoke with Alvins family this morning and they tell me they have already taken down their yellow ribbons and are preparing his welcome home party. Linda?
 
-Thank you, Flip. More on this incredible story later, as details become available. We'll be right back following these brief words...
 
(voice of Gordon, the director, off stage)
 
Two, onecut to commercial. Make up! We've got glare on Linda's cheeks. Come on people, move it! Linda, straight to the Virgin following the virus; we're dropping the weeping statue to make room for Coke. Jim, stop that damn swaying and get that silly look off your face. Youre on with the out-of-body thing immediately after the Virgin. Got it? Places! Two, one, and
 
-All commercial airlines remain grounded for the fifth consecutive week as researchers continue their efforts to isolate the virus that has infected computers worldwide. With the Internet and most mobile phone systems shut down, they admit being frustrated by a lack of communication. Sporadic reports that the virus has mutated, and is now infecting humans, have been vehemently denied by health officials. While the World Health Organization admits that the new disorder, known as Acquired Data Deficiency Syndrome, may be destroying brain functions in a similar fashion, it stresses that there is as yet no evidence to support these allegations.
 
-Moving to other news, The Virgin Mary has apparently left the window of a sausage shop outside Vienna, Austria, and is now appearing at the Southside Metro Station in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. Commuter service has been suspended for a second day as hundreds continue to pray at Her image, discovered early yesterday on the floor near one of the turnstiles. Security personnel report a significant decrease in muggings and purse snatchings at the station. Jim?
 
-Thanks, Linda. On the local scene: Marilyn Farmer, a county resident undergoing emergency hemorrhoid surgery last week, recounts her amazing near death experience tonight in an exclusive interview with KSTV's own Stone Booker. She describes seeing her body on the operating table below as she felt herself drifting away towards a brilliant light. As a result of this experience, and with the help of a licensed regression therapist, Marilyn has uncovered traumatic childhood memories of sexual abuse by her estranged father. Reached this afternoon by our eyewitness investigative team, the Reverend Jamee Farmer said he was shocked and dismayed at these revelations from his daughter. Don't miss the complete heart-wrenching story in a KSTV Special Report tonight, following Baywatch. Now this:
 
On my signal, cut to twenty second spot...two, one, now.
 
Lonely? Confused? Uncertain about the future? Call The Psychic Friends Network now at 1-800-666-1999. Call now and have your credit card ready. Operators are standing by. That's 1-800-666-1999. Call now!
 
Cut to six...Go! Jim, Lew is here. He says lose that goofy smile or your testicles, its your choice. Now, come on, snap out of it! Six seconds. Ready on one. Coke segment in three, two, one, and
 
-This just in: Responding to pressure from consumer groups over possible product contamination, The Coca-Cola Company issued the following official statement only minutes ago: We wish to assure all of our loyal customers that The Coca-Cola Company no longer operates any joint-use facilities. In keeping with our ongoing commitment to public health and safety, our nuclear waste recycling centers will now be kept totally separate from our bottling plants. Good news for all of us, and another victory for the consumer. Wouldn't you say so, Linda?
 
(voice of Lew, the producer, joins Gordon)
This shit is not funny; this is the goddam news, for Christs sake! What the hell is he doing?
I dont know, Lew.
Hes drunk!
Doesnt drink.
 
-It certainly is that, Jim. Returning to local news: Three more bodies have been recovered today from what remains of the Fourth Street Day Care Center. The following exclusive KSTV video contains graphic scenes which some may find disturbing. Sensitive viewers may wish to turn away from their sets.
Off live, preset audio, tape sixteen rollnow! Eighteen seconds to live. Olsen, what the hell is the matter with you? Come on now, five minutes and youre off the air. Shape up!
 
Pull him!
Hes only got five minutes left.
You bet your sweet ass hes only got five minutes left.
Linda, wrap up bombing segment in three, two, one
 
-Claiming responsibility for the bombing, the organization Baptists for Peace has offered to pray for the families, and, according to their lawyer, deeply regrets having mistaken the center for a nearby Mosque.
-On the national scene, White House Independent Counsel Nancy Grace confirmed this morning that she will seek an indictment in the latest scandal to rock the Nation's Capitol. President Swartzennegar has again refused to comment, but sources close to the family remain convinced that the shocking "Pumping Byron" video must surely be a hoax. Tune in tonight at eleven as a panel of experts discuss their positionsno, not their positionsthat isuh, parental discretion is advised. Linda? No! Im LindaJim?
 
Freaking Christ!
 
-Dont worry, Linda (Jim whistles a familiar refrain); youre doing just fine, really.
 
(shriek!) Arrgh! (cough)
I told you to pull him, you dumb bastard! Ill freaking kill you
-Reviewing our world headlines from the top of the hour:
 
-U.N. Secretary General Sepp Blatter has announced that the newly formed Republic of Islamara will be granted permanent member status at the next meeting of the Security Council. As a conciliatory gesture, President Tarik Aziz has reportedly agreed to ease sanctions against the US and Britain.
 
(crash!) Nosshhplaphgarrph
 
-And, thousands gathered in Manila's central plaza today to cheer Imelda Marcos, re-elected posthumously as President of the Philippines in a landslide victory over her dead husband.
 
(thud)
 
-Elsewhere, peace talks continue in Belfast, Karachi, Kabul, Tel Aviv, Rangoon, Seoul, Kashmir, Chechnya, Pristina, Dagestan, East Timor, West Timor, Aceh, Chiapas, Lima, Medelin, Rwanda, Congo, Liberia, Angola, Somalia, Sri Lanka, Quebec, The Hague and South Dakota. Negotiators remain optimistic.
 
Gordon?
 
-Finally, on a lighter note, Barbara Humboldt, sixty three, has given birth to thirteen babies at Mount St. Francis Hospital in Ames, Iowa. Ms. Humboldt becomes the second oldest woman in Iowa to deliver tridecatuplets. Her partner, Joann Frenby, says she is thrilled and cannot wait to get the surviving children home. Joann's son, Frank, currently serving a five year sentence at Joliet, Illinois, provided the donor sperm for the artificial insemination process, which took place following Ms. Humboldts injection with the controversial fertility drug Primogen. Looks like miracles really do happen, Linda.
 
Gordon?
 
-It sure does, Jim. And that does it for another edition of News Roundup, May the fifteenth, two thousand and nine, and around the world it was a day like any other day exceptyou were there. From all of us here at KSTV, good night, and have a pleasant tomorrow. We'll leave you with these heart warming scenes of Ms. Humboldt and her new family. Sensitive viewers may wish to turn away from their sets.
 
Roll commercialOlsen! Youre fired! Somebody call an ambulance. Linda, nice recovery. Olsen! Youll never work in this business again, you hear me! Where is that little prick?
 
Olsen!!
 
 
(The stage goes slowly dark. There is a pausethen :)
 
 
A film clip begins to roll behind Jim and Lindas empty chairsan 8mm color film, a little scratchy and jumpy like an old home movie:
 
We see a mountainous tropical landscape, not unlike Jamaica, and a man herding his goats along a steep trail on the far side of a lush green valley. The man is singing and, though we cannot quite make out the words, the melody is familiar.
 
The goats, the man and his music slowly disappear over the hill and, as the film ends, a single refrain reaches us clearly from the next valley:
 
Aint got no cash aint got no style, aint got no gal to make you smile.
 
 
Andcurtain.

 

All rights belong to its author. It was published on e-Stories.org by demand of Kim Tyler.
Published on e-Stories.org on 10/05/2007.

 

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