the newspaper: a love story

The beginnings of something sad but mildly amusing. Imagine a world where bad news was the norm and good news was seen as strange and unheard of, even insane.

I think I’ll make it a short story. Lots more to write. Coming soon.

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        “Extra extra, read all about it! Indiana mayor in sordid affair with President’s wife! Extra extra!”
        Blair listened as the paperman rode his bike through the city shouting like a town crier. For a moment he felt as though the British were coming, but could not be sure given the even tone with which the paperman gave his morning cry. Blair’s face curled with displeasure as he turned the page of his crisp morning paper, The New York Moment. He recalled a time when there was a paper, long dead from lack of funds, called The New York Times. That was well over two hundred years gone. He once passed over a few yellowed pages in the back of the research library, somewhere at the top of a dusty shelf that seemed to be aching from neglect.
        “Milly, can you believe this tripe? Only one scandal this week! Things are really going downhill in this town. There was a time when scandals abounded. Now, we can barely get five in a month. What is going to happen to the paper if there is nothing to report?”
        “Oh Blair. You are too dramatic. Just last week there was a murder on the corner of 86th and Jones Street. Mrs. Johnson’s son, Jimmy, shot the milkman. It ran in the paper for a whole month.”
        “Yes yes, but it’s not the same. Scandals are what make The New York Moment a great paper. Without them, it’s no paper at all. You know what else? They are starting to report stories about people rescuing people! Can you believe it?”
        “No! Really? In what section?” Milly cried.
        “The Arguing Heads.”
        “When did the Arguing Heads begin reporting such stories? It is not like them. They are definitely losing their touch. If they keep that up they are going to lose customers. Their ratings are already going down. Maybe some of them are coming down with something. They don’t argue as boisterously these days.”
        “Very true, Milly. I’ve noticed the same thing. They are smiling more, and attempting to actually resolve issues. That is unheard of. This can’t go on. Do they want our beloved paper to end up like that old New York Times? We can’t have a repeat of history. It was things like these that brought that paper down.”
        “You are so right, dear.”
        

© zaji

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