It’s been a little over a year since I decided to stop watching the news. Something about waking up to a steaming cup of coffee and up to date information on local slayings, drug busts, and deadly swine/bird/armadillo flu outbreaks unnerved me and made it hard for me to focus on my job as a kindergarten teacher:
“Okay kids, even though our streets are ravaged with crime and it’s no longer safe to eat spinach without getting the runs, we’re going to try our best to focus on today’s lesson about penguins and their habitats, which I’m sure are free from illegal caches of weapons and explicit song lyrics, which studies have shown contribute to gang violence and teen pregnancy. When was the last time you saw a pregnant teenage penguin kids, huh?”
Now that I’m back at home full-time, I’ve done my best to avoid the daily drama on my local news channel, and prefer to get my information on the internet, which is always a source of reliable information on the issues I really care about, like who Taylor Swift is dating and where The Situation is holding his next book signing. So it was by mistake that I found myself watching Eyewitness News yesterday morning and by mistake I mean that I was too lazy to change the channel.
The news story du jour was about some house in Escondido that was full of explosives and after several days of deciding how to go about diffusing an entire house, the local fire department was summoned to set the place on fire. Because that makes total sense.
So of course, channel 7 did an exquisite job of really capturing the essence of this “Breaking News” and I felt as if I was right there alongside them, which made me want to jump into the burning building.
“Good morning Los Angeles. Carl Rogers here, with Eyewitness News. We are going live to Ken Adams, who is out in the field at what appears to be a house fire in Escondido. Ken, how’s it going over there?”
“Well Carl, the firefighters just started a fire.”
“Ken, how would you describe the scene?”
“Well Carl, there’s a house, and it’s on fire.”
“Okay, and what about smoke? Is there any smoke present at this time?”
“Yep. Plenty of smoke.”
“And what does it look like?”
“So there’s fire and smoke. What else can you tell us about what’s happening at this very moment?”
“Absolutely nothing. There is nothing else to tell. The house is on fire, which you can clearly see on your screen.”
“Now Ken, I don’t want to put you on the spot, but I’m going to take a risk here and ask you to speculate on whether you think the fire is hot.”
"Um, yes Carl, the fire does in fact appear to be warm in nature,”
“So would you advise people to stay away from the immediate area?
“Yes Carl. Everyone but you.”
“Thank you Ken, for that riveting play by play. Next up, what could possibly kill you in mere seconds while you are sitting in the kitchen watching the local news channel and how to lower your risk immediately and probably save your life and the lives of your loved ones, because this strikes without warning and really only happens while you’re watching the news in the morning, like you are right now. Right after these messages.”