Opinion » Bill Cope

G.A.G. Reflex

Everything old is old again

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Dear Mr. Bill Cope,

I am new to the position of human resource manager for the G.A.G. Media Group. I realize you are accustomed to communicating with Claudia Sarton-O'Malley, but she has moved on to other pursuits and is no longer a member of the KGAG family. (It is my understanding that she is now the public-relations spokesperson for the Idaho Association Of Towns With Less Than 5,000 People, but I have not had the opportunity to confirm this for myself, seeing as how I moved to Boise from the KCOW organization in Des Moines only recently.)

I have been reviewing our files concerning your potential employment here at G.A.G. Media, and I see you have an interest in cultural phenomena, or "cult-phen" as we called it back in Des Moines. (I also noticed that on the very day you were in our studio auditioning for the anchorperson position a few months ago, a flat-screen monitor disappeared from the production room and hasn't been found since. I wonder if you noticed anything unusual that day. Vagrants or teenagers loitering in the parking lot, perhaps? But we can talk about that when we meet in person.)

Your interest in cult-phen would fit nicely with a new segment we are preparing for our evening newscast. We call it "What Goes Around!" and it will feature lively banter about events and experiences that occur every year at approximately the same time. Christmas, for example, or the skiing season.

As you watch local news, no doubt you see the anchorperson turn to either the weatherperson or the sportsperson and say something to the effect "Well, Tiffany, have you got your shopping done yet?" or "Say, Tiffany, got those skis waxed up?" What you may not know is that this lively banter ("L.B.," as we called it in Des Moines) is standard operating procedure ("S.O.P.") in all local news organizations, though of course, it varies in subject matter from market to market. For example, you would never hear "Say, Tiffany, got those skis waxed up?" in Tampa or Houston. I can assure you, though, in Tampa or Houston, they have their own brand of L.B.: "Hey, Tiffany, how 'bout those Bucs?" for example, or, "So tell me, Tiffany, are you going up to Amarillo for the Memorial Day weekend?"

Allow me to explain what your duties would entail should you get the "What Goes Around!" spot. You would stand off to the side of the anchor desk (or possibly sit on a high stool--we haven't completely brainstormed out the details yet) and you would field all of the anchorperson's cult-phen L.B. The way we see it here at KGAG, the weatherperson and the sportsperson have enough to do without having to react every time the anchorperson needs to lighten up the mood after reporting on a horrible murder or multi-victim accident. I, myself, know well what it's like to have to respond to questions like, "Say Tiffany, are you going to carve a jack-o'-lantern for the kids?" or "Tell me, Tiffany, did you cover your tomatoes last night?" Before I moved into human resourcing here at G.A.G., I was the weekend sportsperson at KCOW for seven years, and I can't tell you how many times I had to make LB over such things as the long line of people waiting to mail their tax forms on April 15, or Mother's Day.

But our viewing audience expects it, so we are turning it into a regular feature where you (should you be accepted) will have approximately 90 seconds to say everything that can possibly be said about events that hardly ever change, year after year after year. For example, when the anchorperson turns to you and says, "Golly, Tiffany (or in your case, 'Golly, Bill'), what's this I hear about Bogus Basin opening by this weekend?" you would reply with "That's right, (fill in name of anchorperson)! That's what a little birdie told me, so let's keep our fingers crossed! To all of you down-hillers out there, better check those bindings! And snowboarders, don't forget the sunscreen!" And so on and so on.

Of course, should you be the one to fill this position, it will be paramount that you act as though every cult-phen that comes up is the most important thing going on in your life that day--be it Alive After Five during the summer, spring training for the Broncos, the day the newest Sony Play Station goes on sale ... whatever. Obviously, this will require a great deal of exuberance on your part. For example, we all know the Festival of Trees has been going on for years, but as the "DG" (Designated Gusher), you must act like you've just heard about it and you consider it the greatest thing to ever happen, anytime or anywhere. Furthermore, you must do it all again next year.

If you are interested, contact me at humresour@gagline.com so that we might arrange an interview. (Incidentally, I do not mean to imply that all weatherpersons and sportspersons are named "Tiffany." I only used that name as an example. I might just as easily have used "Tracy" or "Lacy." Or even "Rick," which is my name.)

Signed: Rick Dorge Bertvallantz; HR Dir./Holiday Parade Host,G.A.G. Media Group

Rick,

Look. I don't know nothing about no flat-screen teevee monitor set thingie. Sure, I wandered around the building some when I was there, but I was looking for the bathroom. And your receptionist saw me leave and she can tell you I wasn't carrying out anything bigger than that sleeping bag I brought along just in case.

As to your "What Goes Around!" deal, I do believe I'm your man ... er ... person! I am no stranger to empty and insignificant babbling, believe me! Boy 'o' boy, have I done my share of empty, insignificant babbling ... or "emp-bab," as we called it here in Meridian. The thing is, though, I'm usually drunk when I do it, so all I would ask (should I get the job) is that G.A.G. management keep an endless supply of peach schnapps nearby should my exuberance levels start to level off.

And I'll tell you what ... should I get the job, I'll wear event-appropriate clothing for whatever's going on. Like on the opening day of the hunting season, I'll wear an orange vest and camo. On Labor Day, I'll wear my bibs and carry a lunch pail. On Valentine's Day, I'll wrap myself up in tinfoil. Like a chocolate kiss ... get it? Gee, I think with a little creativity and a lot of emp-bab, we could do away with that news crap entirely, don't you, Rick?

Let's get together and brainstorm this out. Only, if you plan on coming over to my house, let me know ahead of time, OK?