(Special Edition)

 13 October 2021 

News Anchor: Well, this has been quite a day for television advertisers and the companies they represent. I don’t recall any comparable happening in my long time as a news person. It’s about toilet paper, if you can believe that. Let’s go first to Jane, in Columbus.

   Jane: Hello, Brian. Yes, it has been quite a day. You’ll remember two years ago, at the start of the Covid outbreak, toilet paper was in short supply due to hoarders preparing for the End Times. Today, there was a run on toilet paper here in Columbus, for entirely different reasons.

   Early this morning, a group dressed up like bear hunters – they had red hats carrying the slogan “Let’s get America out of the Toilet, Again” - raided the shelves of several markets here in town, removing all the Charmin toilet paper. In an odd reenactment of the Boston Tea Party, all the product was taken to a boat on the river; the boat moved out into the current; then all the toilet paper was dumped. The Harbor Police promptly arrested all the participants, citing them for pollution of public waterways. I was able to talk to some of the protestors. “It’s worth it,” one woman said, “If we can get rid of those G. D. bears, always telling us how hard it is to keep their rectums clean.” Another protestor took a lighter tone. “We may have to use the store brand t.p., which may not get our hinies as clean, but, yeah, it’s worth it.” Back to you, Brian.

   Anchor: Thanks, Jane. Quite a story. We have a related one in Boston. Here’s Bill on the scene.

   Bill: Hi, Brian. Yeah, this is a little weird. Yesterday, a bunch of Bostonians made a citizens’ arrest of the woman who does the TV commercial where she dances to the bathroom door, - “I Feel So Good All the Time” plays in the background – she waves some rolls of toilet paper at us, while giving us what the arresters called a “lascivious, come-hither look,” then coyly (according to them) shuts the door. Their complaint was that it was immoral and suggestive.

   The judge threw out the case. She said she agreed it was an “unfortunate” ad – her words – but she couldn’t really tell what the suggestive look was supposed to suggest. Instead, she ordered the woman to attend psychiatric counselling. Brian.

   Anchor: Proper Bostonians at play? Hard to tell what’s going on. But don’t touch that dial; we have one more story. Here’s Pam in San Francisco.

   Pam: Thanks, Brian. A local family had to call out the S.W.A.T. team, when their son – just home from college – went bananas when he found his parents had removed a package of toilet paper rolls from his bureau. When his parents opined that keeping his mangy stuffed rabbit – that he’d had since he was two – was a little odd, his fixation of the toilet paper seemed “unhealthy.” The boy apparently went into a rage. He didn’t have a gun or any other weapons, but the parents were still frightened. The suggestion is that he attend a grief counselor. Brian.”

   Anchor: Wow! And, just when you thought we had wiped the slate clean, here’s a related story from Denver. Jacques reporting.

   Jacques: Thanks, Brian. Well, we haven’t worked this one out completely, but we hear that some parents are upset because they heard their children jump roping to a jingle about going to the bathroom being like passing a pineapple.

   Anchor: No kidding!

   Jacques: Yep, it’s true. The product in question “makes it easy to do Number Two.” One parent told me she misses the old days of “Fudge, fudge, tell the judge.” I didn’t understand that.

   Anchor: Oh, man, I do. We used to jump rope to that… well, I mean, my sisters… Anyway, it went like this. Fudge, fudge, tell the judge, Momma’s got a new born baby. It ain’t no boy, and it ain’t no girl. It’s just an ordinary baby. Wrap it up in tissue paper, send it down the elevator. First floor, stop. Second floor, stop. Third floor, do not stop, ‘cuz H.O.P. spells hop!”

   Jacques: Cool rendition, Brian. And I can see why the parents would prefer that.

   Anchor: Well… just reminiscing. Thanks, Jacques. Let us know how things come out.

     Now, we can’t end without a story about Covid… Oh, wait. We have Jane back on the line from Columbus with some breaking news. Go ahead, Jane.

    Jane: Thanks, Brian. Well, it’s not exactly “breaking news;” it’s part of this morning’s kerfuffle that I just heard about. It seems that, at a market across town, there was a counter demonstration. A bunch of guys in camouflage showed up, carrying assault rifles, and tried to stop the Charmin looters. They also had red hats; my reporter couldn’t quite read what they said – something about “the right to bear asses” – didn’t make sense. I’ll let you know if I hear more. The police were called, but everybody was gone by the time they got to the store.

      Anchor: Curiouser and curiouser. Thanks, Jane. Now, we just have time for a little pandemic news. Mark in Washington, are you still with us?

    Mark: Yes, Brian, I’m here. This isn’t directly about the pandemic, but about the pharmaceutical companies. They saw major profits during the early days of Covid19, when everybody was rushing to get vaccinated. Now that half the country is declining to get their shots, vaccine is going to waste, and the companies are losing money, fast.

   Anchor: I still don’t understand this vaccine resistance.

   Mark: Well, it seems to be all about trust. Even though several million vaccinations have been given, with only a handful of adverse reaction, people are still worried. As one person I interviewed put it, “How can we know it’s safe?”

   Anchor: Go figure.

   Mark: Yep, go figure. However, there is a lot of good news for the drug companies with other products. One that is reputed to clear up your skin is just flying off the shelves – well, out of the pharmacies. It’s kind of curious: the advertisements on TV list about twenty problems that might arise from using the product (actually, have arisen), then end with what seems to me as a pretty ominous statement: “These are not all the bad things that might occur.” Yet, everybody is rushing to get a prescription.”

   Anchor: I guess it’s all about trust.

   Mark: Yeah, I guess. Another best seller is Botox, used to take the wrinkles out of your skin. In addition to a lot of scary warnings about its use in the TV commercials, some famous people have had strong words to say against it. Take Stevie Nicks, who has always been gorgeous and still looks pretty good at 72…

   Anchor: I agree.

   Mark: She said the following in an interview: “I only had it once and it destroyed my face for four months. I would look in the mirror and try and lift my eyebrow and go, ‘Oh, there you are, Satan's angry daughter.’ Never again. I watch a lot of news and I see all the lady newscasters looking like Satan's angry daughters, too.”

   Anchor: I agree… Oh, oh….

   Mark: Brian, are you still there?

   Anchor: (in a whisper) I forgot that Botox is one of our sponsors. (Full voice) Well, thanks for that, Mark. Always interesting to hear about business successes. That’s all for us tonight. See you tomorrow! 




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