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Sunday, August 23, 2009


Hooks and Anchors

Two Prime Time newscasters switch back and forth reading from the teleprompter. First Andy Ankerman, then Cindy Glammerschott.

"And when we come back, what was it that neighbors saw in their backyards in Altadena? We've got the exclusive pictures."

"I know you're all sitting down to dinner right about now, but you won't want to miss this: Later tonight on the 11 o'clock news, a special report from Ben Dover on what you need to know about something that we all eat every day."

"And science editor Nova Kane reports on what scientists say is headed our way and there's nothing we can do about it."

"And meteorologist Wendy Coldfront gives us the five-day forecast for the weekend and the beginning of the work week and what those green clouds moving in from the west could mean for you and the future of your children."

"And see what hikers caught on video tape, right after this break."

Well I always thought "right after this break" meant right after this break. When "this break" was over I expected to see what they promised to show us.

Oh, and "break" means "seven or eight commercials."

So I used to hang in there through the commercials. By now they'd been on the air for nine minutes. Three of those minutes were spent telling us what was coming up after the break, and another three minutes was commercials.

And what did we get right after the break?


Biff "Boom Boom" Barbelli with highlights of all of today's games and scores, followed by more commercials.

Three minutes later, they'd be back with the Entertainment Report, the Police Chase Report and the latest Gossip from Hollywood.

Once in awhile they'd come back from the break and say, "Okay, neighbors in Altadena are a little shaken by what they saw in their neighborhood last night, and we've got the exclusive video tapes. But first...," and off they'd go with some other story. Just as bad.

I'm not going to tell you what the neighbors saw in their backyards, what food you need to know about, what's coming our way, what the green clouds mean or what hikers caught on video tape. I can't because I learned my lesson years ago. "Right after this break," has become my cue to switch channels.

Whatever it was, it was never worth hanging in there for anyway. It was always something stupid and lasted about 15 seconds.

Oh, and one other thing - Ever notice that they never interrupt a commercial for BREAKING NEWS? They only interrupt the news report you've waited 25 minutes to see or whatever other show you're watching.

"Don't go away." " Stay right where you are." "Don't touch that dial."

I might. Bite me - I'm going to grab a sandwich. What dial?


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