These are interesting times to be alive. Every day brings breaking news on everything from the flu outbreak to the deficit to those ever-busy terrorists in the big sandbox overseas.
Being a news junkie, most mornings find me tuning in to the one network that reports it all, the good and the bad, and then lets me decide. This means that some days I have to decide between putting a bullet through the set or grabbing a second cup of coffee.
The other decision I have to make is whether to laugh or cry. The following is not an actual newscast. It’s simply my attempt to do the former by reinterpreting current events.
(Cue theme music.)
Steve: “Good morning. Welcome to the morning show. Gretchen and Brian are with me today to bring you the day’s headlines.”
Gretchen: “And there’s a lot to get to today. Brian, what have you got?”
Brian: “Big news out of D.C. Police there say they’ve arrested a gang of thieves in their biggest bust ever.”
Gretchen: “That is good news.”
Steve: “Russian mafia?”
Brian: “No. Members of Congress.”
Steve: “Whoa. That’s big. What are the charges?”
Brian: “Reckless endangerment of the national economy and instilling terror into innocent citizens before stealing them blind.”
Steve: “Any idea what their sentence will be?”
Brian: “My sources tell me that the prosecution is pushing for morality training. You know, where they learn that stealing is bad and hard work is good? This would be followed, sources say, by enrollment in Economics 101, which teaches basic budgeting skills and living within your means.”
Gretchen: “That’s tough!”
Brian: “Wait ‘til you hear this. Under this plan, they would all be returned to civilian life and assigned to blue collar jobs, working their fingers to the bone until they’ve paid it all back.”
Steve: “Do you think they can handle the culture shock?”
Brian: “There is definitely concern about that. That’s why they would be transitioned slowly, taking away one limo at a time.”
Steve: “Sounds good to me.”
Gretchen: “In other news, more rockets were fired into Israel overnight. Those are some very bad boys over there.”
Brian: “Are they still wearing those pizza parlor tablecloths?”
Gretchen: “I don’t know, but I think I could get those bullies to knock it off.”
Steve: “So you think you could negotiate peace in the Middle East?”
Gretchen: “Hey, when you have kids, you learn how to broker treaties real quick, or it all goes down that one chute.”
Brian: “What, exactly, is your plan?”
Gretchen: “You never show weakness. You march up to the bully, twist his earlobe, and level the hairy eyeball at him.”
Steve: “Hairy eyeball?”
Gretchen: “The look of death. Then you say, ‘Look here. This behavior is unacceptable. You are going to stop throwing rockets and bombs at your neighbors and start playing fair. Or else.’ It’s the ‘or else’ that really gets ‘em.”
Brian: “I think she’s on to something, Steve.”
Steve: “Moving on now to ‘News by the Numbers.’ Today’s numbers are 17, 3, and 6. While we were sleeping, 17 new cases of flu developed, 3 more banks flopped, and 6 essential freedoms were lost. I tell you, it’s getting so bad it’s a wonder a fellow is free to scratch his own itches anymore.”
Brian: “That is bad. And I’ll tell you what else is bad. Indian underwear.”
Steve and Gretchen: “Huh?”
Brian (squirming): “You heard me – the kind that creeps up on you.”
Gretchen: “Hey, I’ve often wondered why judges always look so grim. I just figured it was the gravity, you know, the weight of their jobs. But maybe it’s actually that government-issue underwear they have to use.”
Steve: “That would make me cranky, that’s for sure.”
Gretchen: “Here’s an idea. Why don’t we get someone on the show tomorrow who could be an advocate for judges’ rights for civilian skivvies? I mean, would you want to appear in front of a judge who’s all grumpy because – well, you know, things are out of place? Or would you rather have one that’s happy and relaxed?”
Brian: “Ooo, that’s good. Let’s get on that right away. If our right to bear spaghetti grabbers for that other freedom we still have is ever threatened, it would behoove us to have a comfy, undistracted judge behind that bench.”
Steve: “And there you have it. Join us again tomorrow morning for another edition of the news. We report, you decide.”
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