Skip to comments.Tragedy by the numbers..
Posted on 02/13/2006 7:44:49 AM PST by pickrell
Outside this great meeting place, signs hang which announce, $1,000.00 payouts! Machines - $25.00, cards of 24 faces - $ 15.00. Free coffee!
It suddenly hits me then. This is why, alone across the Big Apple, the approaches and parking lot of this building seem swept clean of snow by the inrush of so many vehicles. Men without conscience dangled the illusion of warming coffee before the freezing elderly. This killer snowstorm has brought out the worst in mankind.
So far, the Governors office has seemed unaware of the massive crowd gathered into this building, and the stories circulating around the news desks about such places. No Federal response is in evidence at all.
The Gay and Lesbian Alliance has gathered along the shoreline watching for the coming tidal wave. They have all seen the movie, and are at the point of nervous collapse, standing on the seawall. Its seems to me that if the dikes break, we are in serious trouble
Im entering the great hall, now, with fear my constant companion. My cameraman fortunately preserves for posterity our selfless gamble.
Inside is a scene which would crumble the stoutest heart. Row upon row of old people sit helplessly arrayed along church-bazaar-type tables, with odd little laptops in front of them, and countless little pads covered with numbers. These desperate survivors have been decorating pads of what only could be little paper flags, covered with numbers, and stamping little colored dots on them, (obviously meant to attract help from overhead helicopters). The yearning is apparent upon their aged faces.
My cameraman lays aside his equipment, and with a gulp, rasps, Im going in .As I watch in impotent apprehension, he begins tearing off and collecting as many of the sheets of paper as he can.
Instantly, a terrible scene ensues. He is cast down as dozens of the little old ladies, apparently maddened to the point of cannibalism, leap upon him in a blur of spindly arms and white hair. Shrieks and moans rack the hall, as pandemonium ensues. This is a scene of carnage.
Sympathetic firemen who have been watching the attack in shock, somehow overcome their fears, and wade into the crowd to save him. All I know is that they somehow extract him while still alive.
I lean down, averting my eyes from a face covered with countless little many-colored dots, and catch his whispered warning, the horror the horror .
Apparently pets are being eaten also, as I hear the plaintive cry for a lost companion, Bingo!, and a few tables over the cry is helpfully, and instantly repeated, Bingo!. Sadly, the little doggie is never found as the hopeless cry recurs periodically throughout the afternoon.
My years of training as a journalist have served me well. I cannot believe that the governor and the Federal Government can be so stupid as to not understand what is going on here, right in front of their eyes. I must bring this tragedy, this blindness, this desperate failure of government, to the attention of the American people.
As I emerge from the great hall, it is obvious that the madness has spread to the street. Across the way, a gun store is doing a booming business in shotguns. The storeowner explains that a number of folks are suddenly inviting their ex-wifes attorney to go out quail hunting with them They emerge with their weapons, many sporting odd Keep the momentum going! buttons.
This is the face of starvation at its bleakest. After I ask the gunstore owner a few questions, he hesitates and looks at me, apparently in confusion. Are you on medication, or something? Does your guardian know you are out alone?
I breathlessly explain to him that I am a reporter. Just as incoherently, he mutters, Yeah, well that was my third guess .
I am without a cameraman, now, but my story must be told.
Ill phone PBS, and begin the enlightenment of America.
"First thing we do, let's kill all the lawyers."
--Shakespeare, King Henry VI, Part II, IV, ii
I thought I'd put in the obligatory quote early in this thread.
You know, it wouldn't resonate so much with the public if there wasn't a good reason for it. I'm not advocating killing lawyers, but it sure would be nice if they'd clean up their act. Of course, 99% of all lawyers give the rest a bad name.
I thought the dog's name was "Bongo". ;-)
B I N G O, B I N G O
And Bingo was his name-o.