Life Or Something Like It

Letters from the Front Line — Day 75

 

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My Dearest Mr. Daquano,

The persistent malaise hanging over Forward Operating Base Frat House has been replaced with fleeting optimism. Rumors are circulating among the ranks that General News has declared an end to hostilities against the wretched contagion which has separated us lo these many days.

As of this writing, it is but a rumor, but soon, my bunion, we may do more than cast loving glances at distances greater than 6 feet, or trade humorous anecdotes in fewer than 120 characters. Shortly, this epistolary relationship may be replaced by actual auditory communication and hairy man-hugs.

A timeline to resuming niceties has yet to be affixed to the Frat House wall, but the grapevine reports it may be as soon as Monday next. If so, I would hope that you can refrain from frolicking with the enlisted men who return before me. I fear the injuries I have incurred battling distancing regulations and masked encounters for the sake of journalism will detain me a smidgen longer.

The doctors say they will be able to save my leg, but not without considerable recovery time. And I vow not to appear at your threshold until I can carry you across it like the smitten soldier I am.

Warmest personal regards,

Sgt. T. Polisher
1st News Division
9th Battalion

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Mail Call — Day 74

101235436_10216114619833933_6039677535275450368_nFinest Rick,

I find myself in a bit of a conundrum.

I’m quite disheartened to lose the magnificently effervescent Ms Poe to the morning show. On the other hand I’m ecstatic about gaining the ray of sunshine that is Ms Koh.

I think we should use our expansive experience and acute negotiating skills and approach the Imperial Empress of all things morning show, the dynamic Ms Reed, and propose a trade: Ms Poe comes back to days. We keep Ms Koh, and we give her Pvt. Slappy and The Boot in return.

On the surface this transaction affords us better overall video quality, no more dirty lenses, gold United States posters, or abandoned equipment.

I’m sure she will drive up the offer, since this transaction is heavily weighted in our favor. To that end, we can throw in 2 digital nerds and an extra bag of mints per week.

Let’s pull up our chairs to the bargaining table to see what happens my little baby ape.

Warmest sincerity,

Left Eye Daquano
2nd Regime
69th Battalion

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Mail Call — Day 72

100658671_10216092473880298_2452209309908467712_nDearest Rick,

I may have exciting news. I have photographic evidence of the most elusive creature to roam our beloved countryside.

It was mid-afternoon, and I was enjoying a perfectly crafted peanut butter and jelly sandwich with skinny popcorn from the safe confines of my Ford Escape. At first I thought it was the hot sun mixed with the smells of the nearby fast food joint that made me uneasy. As I pensively looked up from my homemade sandwich I saw something truly implausible.

Could my left eye be deceiving me? Could the subject of many books, novels, and television shows be right in front of my one good eye??

He was 10 feet tall if he was an inch. I nervously stumbled to reach my phone to document that which was lumbering in the distance. My nimble actions and cat like reflexes allowed me to capture just a glimpse of the great beast.

Could it be the reputed hominid, Sasquatch, Big Foot in our very tall tower 9 parking lot?

The missing link appeared and quickly vanished like a thief behind microwave trucks and satellite dishes. Was it the patron saint of news ops or was it actually Big Foot?

We may never know the truth but I did smell the distinct aroma of wintergreen mints and BBQ sauce.

With love,
Left eye Daquano
2nd Regime
69th Battalion

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Letters from the Front Line — Day 71

IMG_1043My Dearest Mr. Daquano,

Things are all a tizzy in forward Operating Base Frat House. Earlier today, we received royalty!

The good senator from the Round The Way District dropped in for a visit. As you will no-doubt surmise by the forlorn look in his eyes and the half-hearted hand gesture, he did not make the trip for pleasure.

IMG_1040His purpose was two-fold: 1) to requisition file footage from the hard drive on my government-issued laptop. 2) to roundly chastise us for the quality of video proffered to the News Gods by one Boot Duhe.

It is a war I have waged since I first stepped foot in Frat House. The Boot is slow to accept advice, even under direct order.

It is my firmest hope that the mere sight of such a legend as Senator Hollins, will endow the young boot with super-human visual ability, and the editing prowess of Ninja Randolph. For if it does not, I may be forced to unleash the enemy wind, and choke him into submission.

Warmest personal regards,

Sgt. T. Polisher
1st News Division
9th Battalion

Post Script: Here’s to hoping this Memorial Day is spared another dust storm as that which engulfed Boot Duhe in his most recent dispatch.

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Letters from the Front Line — Day 66

polecatsMy Dearest Mr. Daquano,

Rejoice my cuddly little pole cat. I sense the end is nigh.

Today, I left the safety of Forward Operating Base Frat House, and ventured into the vast wasteland known to locals as Cortana. What I saw there bolstered my hope.

By the sheer will of the Almighty Himself, fresh flora forced its way skyward through the crags and crevices of an empty parking lot. A lone motorist sped carelessly through my frame with little regard for traffic control markings.

Image-1Surely, if this forgotten part of the city shows signs of life, things must be getting better.

The reason Private Slappy and I trekked to such a wasteland was at once disheartening and uplifting. A global corporation named for a jungle in South America has reneged on its promise to purchase said shanty town.

The move will dash the hopes of gainful employment for thousands, and rob city and state coffers of a veritable bonanza tax dollars. It is a truly woeful tale.

But.

And here is the good part.

Neither Pvt. Slappy, the subjects we questioned, nor the producers, or General News himself uttered the word “virus” during the full extent of our dispatch.

I have full confidence that I will soon rest in your gangly arms where I will stare into your one good eye and utter the three words you miss most.

“Hold my calls.”

Warmest personal regards,

Sgt. T. Polisher
1st News Division
9th Battalion

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Mail Call — Day 65

97875160_10216042177942931_6680608976507240448_nLoving Rick,

As I rose from my perch, I never imagined how my day, in mere seconds, would instantly brighten. I thoroughly washed my hands for 20 seconds, and pulled the door open using a moist towelette. There I saw a filthy derelict, who somehow made his way into the newsroom.

The downstairs sorority house usually smells like an altar of roses since the photogs left, but today a stench of hopelessness invaded my huge nasal passages. Filthy asics tennis shoes, beat up jeans — ones the local thrift store wouldn’t dare resell.

As my eyes kept scanning upward, I started to have palpitations, sweat began beading upon my forehead. In that instant I knew it wasn’t a dirty vagabond in search of change to feed his addictions; it was you, my diminutive pocket sized doll!!

Oh the joy and exultation, the coarse facial hair, massive wrinkles and forlorn expression could only be my pint sized prince.

In that moment I never knew how much you looked like that popular 90’s Troll doll, minus the hair. The darkened bags under your eyes and disheveled appearance has caused me great consternation.

Are those fratsastic bullies taking care of my little man? You seem to be wearing the stress of this quarantine from the top of your not so freshly shaven head to the holes in your stained socks.

Don’t fret my little Danny Davito body double, take care of yourself and know we will be reunited soon, smoking cigars in the Tumey grotto.

Affectionately yours,

Left Eye Daquano
2nd Regime
69th Battalion

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Letters from the Front Line — Day 61

article_5ace56be0d9e1My Dearest Mr. Daquano,

I am struck speechless at your willingness to join me in the reformation of this most nobel calling. I shall take our last two letters, and like Martin Luther himself, affix our grievances to the ivory pillars in the halls of journalism.

It is indeed regrettable that it took sixty days of solitude, and nearly 100,000 deaths to discover the rot, brought on by bean counters and consultants, that has infested news divisions across this great land. I endeavor to right this wrong, post haste.

To that end, I shall soon distribute new orders for all men of competent photographic skill. I regret to think that most will ignore said orders, as men of competent photographic skill are loathe to accept direction.

In the meantime, I ask that you remain steadfast, my love, and soldier on as only a man of your grace and incorruptibility can.

I remain in your debt.

Warmest personal regards,

Sgt. T. Polisher
1st News Division
9thBattalion

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Letters from the Front Line — Day 59

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Mr. Daquano,

(Notice the missing honorific, as your last epistle cut me to the quick.)

So, this is how it is going to be. I shoulder sole responsibility for the downfall of Western Journalism? I am to blame for the sorry state of photoggery on television?

Were it that simple!

Would that all initiate newsmen (and women, for I hear General News has allowed them into our ranks) passed through my Cameraman Boot Camp. What a far different news-scape it would be. A news-scape bereft of Late Private Corkys and Boot Duhes.

Clean sound! Beauteous vistas! Focus as fine as frog’s hair! And tight shots! Mouth-watering pictures so tight they make my heart soar.

Mayhaps this virus is exactly what our flailing craft needs — a hard restart as the kids today are fond of saying. A thinning of the herd. A separation of the wheat from the chaff. A great winnowing.

And when the dust settles on the battlefield of dashed aspirations, you and I shall stand — bruised, but hardly broken — to spread the gospel of sequenced video, action-reaction, and captured moments! We shall build a wall with the bodies of the dead, and dare any who deem themselves worthy of this noble craft to scale it!

Under my tutelage, we shall usher in a new world order! One of heroic shooters willing to sacrifice all for the story, to die for the close-up. Of editors who view scripts as mere suggestions and cast hard time restrictions to the wind for the sake of great sound.

A new world order of reporters who do things the way their photog tells them the first time!

And we shall call this brave new world Newstopia!

Thank you for lifting my spirits so. I apologize if the start of this letter offended your quiet sensibilities or caused you Neanderthalic brow to furrow.

Warmest personal regards,

Sgt. T. Polisher
1st News Division
9th Battalion

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Mail Call — Day 58

97100562_10215979347372206_8754920834348351488_nSweetest Rick,

The fear mongers of the media seem to be the blame for all of societies ills, scarring women and children as they seek to curry favor with their cronies on the left. Could it be our very own that has beset this phenomenon of the MMJ upon our fine but misunderstood industry?

Is it us? Are we to blame for the scourge of good hairs and pretty faces wielding cameras and editing like it’s a junior high school project?

I refuse to fall into that trap, instead I blame you Sergeant Turd, you are to blame for this onslaught of medium, soft focus, pick a color, pan for no reason, audio is not important travesty!!

The above picture fell into the hands of one of the suits in corporate years ago. It became apparent that in thin economic times monkeys can do our job.

The suits make them work long hours, pay them in bananas and voila a trend was started that is single handedly bringing a once powerful medium to its knees.

No more whining you cantankerous fool, go and train the new batch then reminisce about the good ole days while you sip bourbon wearing your fuzzy laced handcuffs next to your amazingly hot wife!!

Intently yours,

Left Eye Daquano
2nd Regime
69th Battalion

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Letters from the Front Line — Day 57

onemanMy Dearest Mr. Daquano,

I have encountered a scourge far worse than this wretched pandemic. It is more foul than the odor which permeates Forward Operating Base Frat House, more insidious than a last-minute live shot on a Friday evening.

And I am loathe to say it has infected our beloved industry. It is the one-man-band, or in the current vernacular, the Multi Media Journalist. I wish not to paint the entire fleet of camera-toting, mic-slinging, note-taking goodhairs with this single broad brush, but DUDE, HAVE YOU LOOKED AT THE FEED LATELY?

Today, General News blessed me with the task of requisitioning pictures and sound from news divisions around the country. What I found struck fear in my heart and sent my lunch to my throat.

This virus is vastly more intelligent than our leaders care to admit. It seems to have singled out all competent photogs and infected them as to render every newscast save ours unwatchable. Aye, the Chinese were indeed a step ahead of us when they invented this one.

In its wake, this contagion has left the television news-scape littered with out-of-focus medium shots, underexposed wide shots, shaky still-lifes, and a plethora of ill-framed lens meat shouting into dead microphones. And riddle me this. How does one get video a shade of orange so bold as to stupify Mr. Crayola himself?

It is almost as if this industry has cloned a literal army Late Private Corkys and deployed them to frighten an unsuspecting public into staying at home lest the constantly moving ground cause one intestinal discomfort so bad as to spew one’s latest meal at one’s feet.

38775656-bc57-4e31-a7ae-ade6b69ddcea_1.6138bad7d00254a7e75e5e25f1543bcdThe last time I was this happy to finish an assignment, a scantily-clad Mrs. Sgt. Turdpolisher was waiting for me at the door with steak, bourbon, and fuzzy handcuffs.

Once we have served this sentence of solitude, it will be up to us, the brave men of the 1st News Division, to repopulate the photog ranks with like-minded professionals, and spread the gospel of the three-legged camera-holding device — not to mention the well-timed wide shot.

I look forward to enlisting your help in this matter.

Warmest personal regards,

Sgt. T. Polisher
1st News Division
9th Battalion

Categories: corona virus, covid-19, Fun, Life Or Something Like It, news, Uncategorized | Leave a comment

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