FURTHERMORE IS OLD NEWS
Furthermore, my Masonic-pet-raven-brother, is a news junky. He is absolutely fascinated by newspapers, although he’s fairly certain that television is the work of the devil. With the possible exception of Baywatch, which I believe he secretly tapes for future study. This is only a guess, of course.
The hydra, on the other hand, doesn’t pay a great deal of attention to the news. It does follow the weekly bouts of the World Wrestling Federation and may, on occasion, tape bouts for future study. This is not a guess, but, rather, an inspired deduction. I base this deduction on the fact that all nine heads were wearing Hulk Hogan t-shirts when I descended the spiral stone staircase that leads from the back of the fireplace in our family room down three stories to the landing by the underground river that flows past the entrance to the main caverns. For those of you with an insatiable desire for detail, that would be about 100 feet below the Circle K at the intersection of 7th Street and Coral Gables. Roughly.
Anyway, the hydra was waiting to try out some new holds learned from the professionals. Now I don’t admit this to just everyone, but I’m getting old and things just don’t work quite as well as they did when I was 25 or so. And it had been a long day, you know? All of which goes to explain why I said the hell with it and used a small concussion grenade that I carry about my person for just such occasions. This persuaded the hydra to play elsewhere and upset Furthermore until, upon further study, he found that concussion grenades are perfectly acceptable under WWF rules.
But, as you probably suspected, I digress.
Furthermore was curled up in his tiny Morris chair when the air began to clear. He had already mixed the martinis, shaken not stirred, thanks to the grenade. He had the morning newspaper spread between wingtips.
“What’s new, bird?” I greeted him as I selected a cocktail onion. Another brother whose wisdom I honor has suggested onions are better than olives, so I’m conducting an extensive empirical test.
“Nothing,” he shot back in disgust. “Not a thing. Nada. Same old stuff. This could be last week’s paper for all it offers. A few names change, a few dates, that’s about it!” He grabbed his martini, spearing the onion with his beak. He does this to irritate me because he knows I can’t do it. Lord knows I’ve tried hard enough.
Then he hit me with the clincher.
“It’s not like the old days at all.”
Now you know that I know better than to even respond to that observation. For Furthermore, the old days are sometime between the Battle of Hastings and the fall of the Knights Templar. So, naturally, I said, “What do you mean?”
He smirked and proceeded to reel me in.
“All the good stuff happened in the past. Newspapers were interesting then. Even television news—when they used to do real news—was full of interesting stuff. Now we get trash sports and K-Bimbo TV. The demise of sitcoms becomes lead stories. Snowboarding becomes an olympic sport. What an incredible bore.”
He stopped long enough to take a sip. While he’s drinking, let’s talk. You know we’ve had this discussion before. Furthermore is disappointed in the decline of good reporting in the news. He complains a lot but never offers anything substantial to improve the situation. I decided it was time to nail him on this. He’s done it often enough to me.
“So, do you have a solution for this, my fine-feathered brother friend? If you’re not part of the solution, you’re part of the problem!” I know this to be solid philosophy because I read it on a bumper sticker.
“Yes, as a matter of fact, I do have a solution, twit,” he responded, doing a clever little double loupe, pike position, level of difficulty 4.7. I gave him a 7.
“It’s my idea for a new television show. It’ll be prime time, of course. We’ll call it Vintage News or Old News is Good News. It will feature news of the past. Much more interesting than anything going on today, anyway! Can’t you just imagine it! Turn on Vintage News and watch the sinking of the Titanic! Or the fall of Richmond or the bombing of Berlin or the trial of Lizzie Borden or the burning of Chicago! We could even mix some of them up together—like, we could have a low speed Bronco chase through the midst of the bombing of London or the Salem Witch Hunt going on during a White House investigation!”
He paused. “What do you think?”
“Don’t quit your day job.”
“I don’t have a day job.”
“My point, exactly.”
At that telling point, he flapped off into the dark recesses of the caverns to discuss this whole plan with the Thing Behind the Wall and the Thing No One Can See. I think. It’s hard to tell. Sort of like trying to figure out when you’re out of invisible ink.
Anyway, if you’re doing anything interesting, you might let Furthermore know. He’s clearly bored.