Saturday, January 12, 2013

Be Nice

John pushed the door to the news room open with his right hand while cradling his coffee with his left.  He had been following the gun debate for the last few weeks with some interest, but as much interest as he ever had with his work, which wasn't much.  John was 57 and had been a journalist his whole life.  He had worked for 3 different papers in the last 10 years and was trying to wrap up his career.  He was hoping to give this profession one more decade and then retire in the south of Florida somewhere.

After suffering a heart attack one and a half years ago John realized his mortality meant he needed to keep his health care.  Even though he hated working at the paper he couldn't leave.  All the other papers were firing their workers and he didn't think moving was an option because papers in other cities were going out of business too.

"John, you got a story done for me?"

"Not yet Bruce.  Give me an hour."

Bruce left before John finished his sentence.  Bruce was John's editor.  Charming when he wanted to be he didn't have an ounce of tact in him, and John hated writing for him.

John started writing, "Although Sen. Bagston has mentioned she owns guns herself she has been on the war path after gun owners for her whole time in office.  Back in '96 she tried to ban assault weapons and mentioned in a briefing that she would ban all guns if she could, pointing to a rise in violence as being caused by guns.  There were over 11,000 deaths by guns last year."

John continued, "The President and Vice President are pushing for a new bill and momentum seems to be on their side, but there are plenty of States that would view this as an infringement on their rights.  There has been talk of an Executive Order but unless the courts agreed that would not happen.  As of now it looks like something will be tabled in Congress early next week."

John printed it off and finished his coffee.  He walked to Bruce's office and knocked on the door.  Bruce was on the phone and raised his eyebrows at John.  John waved the article at him.

"Haven't you heard of email?  Put it on my desk."

John walked over, set it down, and turned around to leave.  He noticed a picture of the President and Bruce on the wall that hadn't been there before.

His day was done so John organized his desk and grabbed his coat.  He went to the garage to get his car.  He slid into his car and noticed a note on his windshield.

"Better be nice."  It read.

John threw it on the floor not knowing what it meant, but soon the note would be perfectly clear.


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  2. He went to the garage to get his car. One of his few concessions to decadence was the big-body Mercedes he was closing in on. Eyeing it with a mixture of guilt and pleasure as he reached into his pocket for the key, a yellow Post-It note attached to the windshield caught his eye. Puzzled, he peeled it off and read it.

    "Better be nice," it said. In red ink.

    (I was bored. Couldn't resist the temptation to punch up that one or two lines. No offense. Can't wait for the next installment.) 8)