Friday, December 21, 2012


The balding statesman sat in the waiting room, rubbing his hands together nervously. He hated press conferences. This one was looking to be especially gruesome.
            There was a knock at the door. Before he could answer, a young man in a cheap wool suit and horned-rim glasses let himself in.
            “Barry,” the young man started. “They’re ready for you.”
            “Thank you, Elwood. I’ll be right there” Barry replied.
            As he walked down the hallway to the press conference room, he could hear the din of reporters eager for a scoop. Elwood was about five steps ahead of him and keep pace. A half-dozen paces from the open doorway he turned to face Barry.
            “Just wait here until you hear your name—”
            “Look, kid. I appreciate the work you do for me, but this ain’t my first rodeo,” the elder statesman admonished.
            “I don’t mean to be rude sir, but they’re out for blood tonight,” Elwood warned.
            “They’re always that way, kid.” Barry said. “Well, let’s get on with this. Best not to drag it out anymore than we have to.”
            “Yes, sir,” Elwood replied. With that he turned and went into the room with the hoard of reporters.
            “Ladies and gentlemen of the press, I give you representative Barry Fitzwater.”
            As he finished, the bald-headed statesman was through the door, quickly taking the podium. In those brief seconds the murmur of voices became a cacophony of queries.
            “Representative Fitzwater!”
            “Barry, over here!”
            “Are you really anti-Semitic?”
            “What do you have against chritianity?”
            “What’s your view of Muslims in America?”
            “Are the Buddhists really to blame?”
            “Do you really know Dawkins’ mother?”
            “What is your issue with Hindus?”
            Barry raised his hands to silence the crowd and ‘accidentally’ knocked over a microphone. The voices were silenced by the painful feedback whine.
            “Now you may think I’m here to answer your questions. Just know this: I will and I won’t at the same time.” He wore a satisfied grin as the crowd began murmuring again.
            “What I mean to say is that I have a lot to say, so no question until I’m done.” He looked around as the murmur softened, then ceased altogether. Once the reporters were quiet, he began.
            “Many have taken some of the comments I have made about the upcoming holidays, as well as some of my comments about certain religious roles during those holidays, and have wound up completely misunderstanding my intention. I am here today to clear up this whole mess.”
            Instantly, the swarm of voices renewed their assault. The strain this was having on Barry was now visible. His face was flush, his head covered in sweat. He reached for a bottle of water on the podium. The shaking in his hands was so severe he could barely get the lid off. Desperately he gulped the liquid down, a small rivulet leaking out of his mouth.
            The voices seemed to be a jumble until a single questioned pierced through the noise like a bullet through glass.
            “Are you ready to admit wrong doing?” came the query.
            “Enough!” Barry shouted as he slammed the water bottle down, crushing it as he did so.
            Almost instantly he stiffened up, eyes rolling into the back of his head. The entire audience was stunned, unsure of what was transpiring.
            A moment later Barry Fitzwater collapsed, dead from cardiac arrest via electrocution. The paramedics were unable to resuscitate, pronouncing him dead on arrival.
            Apparently, when he slammed the water bottle down it had wet the microphones and made contact with his hands. Debate would continue on for years afterwards as to whether Barry Fitzwater had died by accident or the victim of divine justice.

No comments:

Post a Comment

Something on your mind? Feel free to share.