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That's Ratings Suicide!
A satiric story done on one cynical night.
AUTHOR'S E-MAIL ADDRESS
|AUTHOR'S OTHER TITLES (2)
A Place I'd Like To Forget (Essays) Another school piece. Writing about a grocery store job I held during the summer. I really didn't like that job. [898 words] [Humor]
My Dog Opposes Communism (Essays) Actually submitted to a high school teacher. I guess I was feeling like a rebel at the time. I still like it, I suppose. It's interesting. [862 words] [Humor]
That's Ratings Suicide!
It was rainy the night he climbed to the roof of the apartment building. It was not dark, though. It was never dark there, the bright lights of the movie theatres advertising their shows burned around the clock, along with elaborate glowing advertisements, extolling the virtues of various breakfast cereals, and sports utility vehicles. People rarely slept in Hollywood, and when they did, it was often for eternity.
That was the only thought in the head of the man climbing to the top of the building: sleep for eternity. He was going to join the ranks of those who had taken the fatal plunge from the top of the high-rise, and there was no remorse in his mind, nor would there ever be.
For in the future, suicide is no longer a sad event. There is no tragedy in it. The man atop the building will soon see a mob of people forming below him; men in suits will crowd around him. He will be asked several questions by frazzled businessmen, and would accept most of the offers.
Below him, several cameras are trained on him. Each attempting to find the best angle for the “Television event”, which will air after a special episode of “Friends”, but before the nightly news.
“Snapple?” one of the frazzled men in suits will ask on the roof, “You don’t have to drink it, just hold it as you jump.” Another executive will try to get the jumper into one of his T-shirts. The other executives are trying to work out further details for the event. What kind of music would he like to play in the background as he falls? Would he mind trying to land on the Honda Civic below, thus showing the vehicles ability to withstand blows from falling objects? Would he possibly modify his suicide story, blaming it on the evils of the Pepsi Corporation instead of a broken heart?
Below, a lottery has been set up, people rush to bet on just where the jumper would land. Odds on the Honda Civic stand at 3 to 1. Vendors move about the mob of people, selling memorabilia and refreshments. A religious group arrives, declaring the jumper to be the “Messiah, the true Son of God”.
No one tries to stop the man from ending his life. There is no profit in that. The viewers will not tune in to see a life saved; they want to see action. The police are there only to hold back to the crowd, the crowd that is chanting the name of their new superstar.
The man moves to the edge, the ending credits of “Friends” have rolled. The all-star celebrity panel has completed their analysis and all bets are in on the landing zone. All marketing deals set, the toes are at the edge. All merchandise sold, the body is in the air.
In 30 seconds, a man is dead. More importantly, millions of viewers are thoroughly entertained. There is a cadaver in a pool of blood on the Hollywood streets. There is applause echoing through the city.
The crowd dissipates, looking for something else to gawk at -- more entertainment. Perhaps there is a mass murderer down by the mall, or a rapist under the bridge on the highway. They could only hope.
|READER'S REVIEWS (1)
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"Very realistic. I really see eye to eye with the fact that people are heartless when it comes to entertainment. They don't care what holds their attention for a half an hour or so, as long as something holds their attention. " -- ashley, mckeesport, pa, usa.
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