A story by request. Among other things it includes: An East Coast Beach Resort, A Washed-Up Anchor Man, and something similar to water melon rinds. (I did not use an actual watermelon rind so improvised with more of something similar.) It is in two parts because, well because I said so. The story begins in small town America, not too far from the eastern coast of Florida. . .
I mean ever since I was a little kid I just wanted to be a reporter yah know. During the summer I would wander around the neighborhood asking the neighbors questions like I was a real reporter and when the family was eating dinner I would give them the news like I was the man on the TV. No one really paid me much attention but I knew I was destined for greatness.
When I was 16, I applied for at the local news station. I told them I roll up the cables or make coffee and doughnut runs or anything as long as they would let me ride in the truck. The man behind the desk called me a ‘cute kid’ which I wasn’t so fond of, but he also said ‘what the Hell’ and told someone to take me to the van. The crew was about as fond of my presence as I was of being called a cute kid but they were stuck with me. While I thought I was busy learning the ropes and being all kinds of helpful sorting through wires and passing out coffee, they all thought I was sloshing too much stuff on expensive equipment. (I didn’t find out this little detail until much later. It would have been a helpful tidbit to stick in to my back pocket for reference but life doesn’t always give you useful information before you need it.)
Now it turns out that a few counties over some Indians dug up a few skulls while beach combing and discovered an old burial ground. They were causing quite an uproar claiming they were going to run the mouse off their sacred ground and purify it by remodeling the resort into a family oriented casino. The folks down at the resort didn’t much like this idea and talked a lot about fraud and planting evidence and hiring lawyers. The good people living there at Vero Beach didn’t really care either way so long as there was something exciting going on. And they were right; this was exciting (or at least newsworthy) so we packed up our gear in the van and headed to the coast.
Apparently a half-grown hurricane heard about the mess too, and he decided to show up and add his two cents about who owned what. This meant we were going to spend a good deal of time trapped in a room in the hotel in question while Hurricane Howard took back what awnings and beach chairs he felt were rightfully his and the more diminutive parties waited for their turn to claim their share over at the courthouse.
The crew was determined to face this hardship professionally and courageously and they prepared by stocking the room with cheap booze. I was demoted from wire-piler to ice-fetcher when it became apparent that there would be no more reporting and thus no need to unroll wires and that the camera man could no longer support his own weight. On my forth trip to the ice machine (this time to get some for the camera mans head which met the table rather abruptly during a failed attempt to tango with the still plugged in lamp) someone came up with a brilliant idea to cover the ‘Storm of Epic Proportions’ for our friends back home. Since the camera man was less than conscious and the only person who knew how to get the perfect camera angle was the reporter that meant I would have to function in her stead. That is what they told me anyways.
I was ecstatic. This was my big chance. I threw on my just-in-case outfit which I then proceeded to cover with a rain slicker and we wandered out to the beach to get the really good wind shot. They decided it would look best if I was out on a boat roughing the waves but as the equipment was delicate, they needed to stay on shore. So they cast me off and when I was far enough away to begin the footage they went back inside.
I wasn’t quite sure what that meant except that I was wet and alone in a hurricane and I couldn’t get back to shore. My frantic attempts left me slipping and sliding and it wasn’t long before I joined the camera man in the land of unconsciousness.