TITLE: The Man On The Street A New Angle
By Michael Metz
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"'Red' MacPherson here with another hard-hitting, man-on-the-street interview. This week's topic - Chicken Little. And what better place to discover the truth about Chicken Little," Red pivots back, out of camera shot, sweeping his arm upward as he continues, "than out here. Big blue skies and open farm country."
The camera pans past Red, focusing on the "General Store". "Let's begin here where local farm families come to replenish their supplies." As Red approaches the store with a short set of wooden steps leading to the porch a woman walks out carrying two bags of groceries. "Excuse me ma'am. 'Red MacPherson here, ace reporter. I have a question about - Chicken Little."
"Oh, well. I suppose. I wasn't really expecting this. My hair's not proper, you understand."
"Nothing to worry about, ma'am. We'll gladly blur your face out and no one will be the wiser."
"Oh, well, I suppose. Go ahead."
"Thank you." Red brings up his 3x5 card while shifting his weight as if building suspense and says, "If Chicken Little had been bigger do you think others would have believed her?"
The lady begins to giggle. Confusion develops on Red's face as the lady breaks into laughter. "You silly man." Her laughter subsides. "The others did believe Chicken Little." She starts to walk away.
Regaining his composure Red decides on a scientific slant. Recapturing the ladies attention he asks, "Well, it's true Chicken Little believed the sky was falling." The lady nods. "Why is the sky - blue?"
Again the lady begins giggling; then regains her composure. "Since most of the natural things are green, God made the sky blue." The lady walks to her car giggling.
As Red turns, rubbing his forehead; he has sharp words for his cameraman, "Shut that thing off!" Red stands in the gavel parking lot at a loss by this new information. Realizing the sound of a guitar is coming from the porch, Red climbs the stairs; the cameraman close behind. The sound is coming from around the corner.
Turning the corner of the porch Red sees a barefoot man, twentysomething, feet propped on the railing. He makes eye contact as Red approaches. "Hey there, cool dudes." His smiles reveals yellowed teeth.
His confidence shaken, Red's professional side urges him to press on with the assignment; he gives it another shot. "You know Chicken Little?" The camera starts rolling.
"Not personally. But I know of her." The young man continues to strum while Red looks for words.
Hesitantly Red proceeds, "If Chicken Little had been bigger would others have believed her?"
The young man continues to strum as if it helps him to think; he replies, "No, it wouldn't matter." Hope expresses itself on Red's face. "Her character would have been the same; always fabricatin' stories, man." He continued strumming. "Besides, size wasn't the problem." The look on Red's face begged a response. "Foxy Loxy was the bad dude that ate them all."
Red decides the interview is over. "Come on, Brian." Making their way to the news van Red asks Brian the cameraman, "When you found this place on the map you sure it wasn't named Twilight Zone? Let's go find a farm."
Within a few minutes they were getting out of the van. Noticing a farmer not to far off in the field Red trots off to catch him. Realizing he wasn't fit enough to out run a tractor he stops and mutters, "I can't...even outrun...a tractor....Must be...the shoes."
Approaching the farmhouse, Red realizes Brian hadn't followed him. Brian smiles upon Red's return. Red notices a young girl of about 10 on the porch reading a book. With hands propped on his hips Red looks at Brian and asks, "You gonna follow me this time?" Brian smiles.
"Good afternoon, young lady."
Continuing to read, she says, "Good afternoon."
"May I ask you a couple questions of which you may know something about?"
"I'm not suppose to talk to strangers."
"Young lady. I'm no stranger. I'm 'Red' MacPherson, ace reporter with WMUK."
She lifts her eyes just above the edge of the book seeing the van. After looking slightly to her left at Red, she returns to her reading. "Okay."
Brian gets the camera rolling while Red squats on the edge of a chair as if he doesn't want to stay long. "If Chicken Little had been bigger do you think she would have been so easily deceived by..."
"Foxy Loxy? No." Without lifting her eyes she continues, "Her brain would have been bigger."
Pondering the point, Red continues, "Chicken Little believed the sky was falling..."
"So why is the sky blue? Easy. That's the way God wanted it."
Rolling his head off to the side Red muttered, "Twilight Zone." Looking back at the girl and flashing a smile he thanks her and motioned for Brian to get ready to leave. Red drifts to a near-by tree; then sits with his back against solid oak. As he ponders the events of the day something drops on his head. An acorn sat in his lap. Looking up he sees a squirrel perched above him. Red wasn't sure, but he thought he saw the squirrel smiling at him.
Red looked down, breaking his stare of the smiling squirrel, picking up the acorn. He attempted to contemplate the seed as something symbolic of this afternoons interviews.
"Hey, 'Red', it's time for lunch; let's go. Brian yelled from the news van.
"I'll just sit here for a while. Come back when you're done with lunch." Red continued to twirl the acorn stem in his fingers as he muttered, "In a nutshell. A nutcase - me or these people."
Before his next deep, philosophical, contemplative thought he heard a cracking noise from overhead. As he caught a glimpse of the laughing squirrel suddenly everything went - black.
Red was aware of his own presence, but was unable to see anything. It was black as being in a pot of coffee. He also became aware of his aloneness. He became cold - very cold.
In a flash, a bright light shone - but it didn't blind Red. A comforting warmth enveloped him like a fluffy comforter. He couldn't determine what he was standing on. Searching for what supported him, he became puzzled by the realization - he was not casting a shadow. He paused, becoming aware of a sense of security he hadn't felt since...since; his mother's womb!
From behind him Red heard a soft voice that carried so much authority the sound of his name caused him to turn around. Before him stood two figures. Glory shone more brightly than what already existed, yet Red was not blinded.
"The Lamb of God." Came softly across his lips as he bowed down. At that moment Jesus seemed to fade away.
The other figure remained saying, "Do not bow to me. Rise. My name is Helper. I'm a messenger of God."
Red stood up still making an effort to comprehend these events.
"From the LORD, 'Reginald David MacPherson, you are to turn from your sinful ways, out of blackness. Use the talents the I have given you for My glory.'"
Silence in heaven for five minutes.
"The LORD has a work for you to do. What say you?"
Red found it strange he didn't say yes immediately. Something was battling within him - but it finally came out, "Y -Yes, I will change my ways." As quick as the brightness came - it was gone; again it was black. This time not feeling alone. Not feeling cold. In fact, he detected a slight breeze brushing across his face. The sound of a vehicle...the door shutting...footsteps.
"Hey 'Red'. I brought back a grilled chicken sandwich. These thing were good and....What happened to you?" Brian knelt down gently placing his hand on Red's jaw to get a better look at the laceration on Red's head. Blood had trickled down the side of Red's head, but the injury appeared to cause mostly a good-sized knot on the head. "Don't move! I'll get the first-aid kit."
County hospitals are always busy. So it wasn't till later in the afternoon that Brian and Red were headed back to their hotel room. Red asked, "You really believe all that stuff about Jesus that you've been tellin' me?"
That wasn't really how Red wanted that to come out, but it was foreign that Red would initiate a conversation about Jesus. Brian affirmed The question and Red proceeded to share his encounter. Brian had to pull the van over because of his excitement.
That evening Red and Brian entered the diner. As Red Looked around, he saw the woman whom he'd interviewed that morning. A "voice" whispered in his ear, "She needs encouragement." Red didn't "hear" the voice.
While waiting for their order, Red found himself glancing at the woman, something drew his attention to her. It wasn't a physical attraction, as she was almost twice his age. Then he thought he heard a whisper, "She needs encouragement."
"Excuse me, Brian." Red went over to the woman's table. "Excuse me, ma'am. May I speak with you just a moment?"
"You're that rude fella I spoke with this mornin'." She didn't look pleased. "You have somethin' you wantin' to know about 'Goosey Lucy'?" She popped out a chuckle.
"I want to apologize about that. I'd like to properly introduce myself." Red extended a hand. "Reggie MacPherson."
Extending her hand she said, "Betty McDonald." An odd moment of silence occurred. Then Betty said, "Don't go there."
Reggie smiled, sat down, and began asking sincere questions about the community, farming, and Betty's granddaughter; who was able to finish other people's sentences.
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