Wednesday, April 12, 2006

News From the Front

“News From the Front”

by Richard E. Noble

“A Soldier Fights from Sun to Sun,
but a Reporter’s job is never done.”

“Good afternoon. This is Dan Blabber with your three A.M. update on the war. For a new perspective on the conflict, we now take you to our roving correspondent, Leonard Lunatic, somewhere in the war zone. Leonard, can you hear me?”
“Yes Dan, I can hear you.”
“Where are you, Leonard?”
“Well, right now, Dan, I’m in a dug-out bunker on the enemy side of this conflict. I am here in this foxhole-type bunker with nine hundred enemy soldiers.”
“How interesting, Leonard. Tell us, how is the morale inside this enemy bunker?”
“Well, it is kind of difficult for me to tell, Dan . . . none of these soldiers speaks very much English, but my intuitive reporting instincts tell me that these fellows are pretty upset about something. Listen to this, Dan . . . I’ll hold my microphone out towards the enemy here with me in this bunker:
‘Die you pig!’
‘May God grant me the power to cut out your heart and feed it to your mother!’
‘May all of your children be born with one foot and forever be forced to hop through life and through eternity on their one bad foot which is infected with the gout!’
“Can you hear all of that, Dan?”
“Leonard, we are getting the message loud and clear. But, tell me, Leonard, have you been able to determine what seems to be upsetting them so?”
“Good Question, Dan. I can’t put my finger right on the main point of their anger, but I think that it has something to do with this . . . listen Dan, listen as I extend my microphone outside of this bunker.”
“We’re listening, Leonard. Go ahead.”
BOOM! Boom boom boom! Bang! Big explosion, big explosion, big explosion!
“Did you hear that, Dan?”
“Yes, loud and clear, Leonard. Could that be bombing by the American air attack, do you think?”
“Yes Dan, it could very well be. In fact, I’m almost sure of it.”
“And, if I’m reading you correctly, is it your opinion that those soldiers are opposed to the bombing?”
“Yes Dan, I think so.”
“Well, thank-you Leonard and hold on - we will be back to you momentarily.”
“Okay, Dan.”
“Now we go to Mortimer Mortuary, who is also reporting from somewhere in the combat area. Mortimer? You are on the air.”
“Dan. . . DDDDDDan! I’m very excited, Dan. I’m here with a group of enemy soldiers on a SCUM mobile missile launcher somewhere in enemy territory.”
“That’s SCUD, Mortimer.”
“Pardon me.”
“I said that is SCUD not SCUM. . . That’s a SCUD mobile missile launcher.”
“SCUD . . . SCUM? What difference does it make, Dan? I’m here in harms way getting footage from enemy soldiers.”
“Yes Mortimer, but a good reporter knows his SCUM from his SCUD.”
“Oh really, Dan? How’s everything behind that nice, big, safe desk in the studio. You’re not frightened, are you?”
“Ah Mortimer, I did report the war in Vietnam, you know.”
“Yeah, what do you want a medal or a chest to pin it on?”
“Listen, butt-face, do you want to get on the air? Because I can cut right back to Leonard Lunatic by simply pushing this little button right here on my desk, you know.”
“Hey Dan, whatever floats your boat, Pal. I could care less.”
“Well, Okay . . . now we go to Inga Idiot who is at the enemy capital. . . Inga?”
“Yes Peter? I’m here at the main office of the Zierra Club. I’ve been interviewing, not only enemy Zierra Club members, but members from the Moutoban Society and, of course, Mean Peace. And I will tell you, Dan, the mood here is somber. From listening to these environmental advocates, I think that the enemy leadership is in big trouble. Right at this moment, they are organizing a sit-in directly on top of the Head Command’s underground headquarters. And I can tell you, Dan, they are P.O.ed. I think that this group of bad guys has finally gone too far. These environmentalists really mean business. For one thing, they are claiming that although this underground bunker may be bomb safe, it is, nevertheless, environmentally unsound. It seems that radioactive gases from a nuclear explosion could accumulate within the underground bunker and endanger the near extinct Bunker Beaver and contaminate the medicinal fruit from the underground bunker berry bushes - that is to be distinguished from the George, Jeb, Neil and Sherman Bushes all of who seem to survive and thrive underground and in the dark.”
“Do you really think that the environmentalists could really have an effect on this war, Inga?”
“Dan, I’ll be very honest with you, if these environmentalist groups can get their groups in gear, this war could be over in a Sununu, or faster than you can say ‘Newt Gingrish has a new girl friend’. You can count on that.”
“Thank-you Inga. Now back to Leonard Lunatic in an enemy bunker somewhere out in the war zone.”
“Dan, Dan! . . . they are just about to launch another SCUM missile.”
“Whoops, wrong button. Let’s try this one. Are you there, Leonard? Leonard Lunatic, can you hear me.”
“Sure Dan, but isn’t it supposed to be YOU ARE THERE, and not ARE YOU THERE? Oh never mind. . . Dan, I have never seen anything like this. These fellows are really, really upset. They want to fight, destroy and kill. And - this is sad to say, Dan, but - these people want to kill Americans. For some strange reason, Dan, right at this very moment, they are attaching bayonets to their weapons. I don’t know how bayonets defend against bombs, but something is about to happen here, Dan.”
“Well, Leonard, you are an American, aren’t you?”
“That’s correct, Dan, I am. And very proud of it, I might add.”
“Yes, that’s commendable Leonard, but do you think that the bayonets could have anything to do with these enemy soldiers having an American reporter right there with them in their bunker?”
“Oh shit! Gosh, what do you think that I ought to do Dan?”
“Do you have a gas mask, Leonard?”
“Yes I do, Dan but I really don’t think that it works. My mom is sending me one from the Army/Navy store at home that has been certified, but I haven’t got it yet. This one that I have here is government issue, just like the Marines get - no chance in hell with this thing. It is like one step above Toys-R-Us . . . but wait a minute! Something is about to happen here. The enemy soldiers here in the bunker are beginning to come towards me. AUGH! AUGH! Gasp gasp gasp. Dan, Dan! I’ve just beeen bayoneted ... twice. Did you hear me Dan?”
“Yes Leonard, but tell me, on behalf of the folks back home who have never been bayoneted, how did it feel?”
“Well Dan, it is a bit hard to describe. It is a rather cold, hard, penetrating feeling.”
“That sounds somewhat sexual. It isn’t like sex, is it?”
“No Dan, it is not sexual. In fact, Dan, it is really not pleasurable at all.”
“Leonard, that still could be a sexual experience - so my wife tells me, anyway - but, nevertheless, do you think that they will attack you again?”
“Dan, no one can ever be sure about something like this, and I don’t want to commit myself, but from the looks on their faces, it looks very likely. In fact, listen to this, Dan; I’m placing my microphone on my chest. . . THUMP! - Ugh! THUMP. . . thump! Ugh. . . ugh! Dan (pant, gasp-gasp) did you get it?”
“We got it, Leonard. Great reporting! I don’t think that any network will be able to compete with this. Good job, and from all of us here at the studio - a well done and a round of applause. Our hats are off to you, Leonard. Now put on that gas mask and see if you can’t find a safer bunker.”
“Thanks Dan. . . gasp, gasp, gasp . . . but I think that it is too late for that . . . “ gasp . . . expire.
“And that was Leonard Lunatic reporting from inside an enemy bunker. And now we return you to our regular network programming.”
“Dan! . . . the SCUM missile has just taken off and it is heading for the Holy Land.”
“Whoops . . . wrong button again. Sorry folks, let’s see if I can find “The Days of Your Life” on here somewhere. This is Dan Blabber signing off. . . Peace, no. . . . ah . . . that’s War. Good night America . . . and. . . . WAR!
The end
(or is it just the beginning)

[ This piece was written between 1988 – 1992 ]

1 comment:

Sue Flemming said...

Hello Richard... for a piece written between 1988 & 92... it certainly stands the test of time and resonates in 2006. Well done!