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Fiction Fantasy

              “Hot cross buns have been falling out of the sky for the last four hours.” said Bruce, the head of the news division at Bakersfield’s local television station. “I’m looking for ideas on how we should cover this event.”

               “Actually, their temperature seems to be the same as the surrounding air, about forty degrees,” said Vince the fact checker. “Hardly, what anyone would call hot.” Bruce gave Vince a glance. Being literal and precise was what made Vince a good fact checker. It also sometimes made him annoying to hear.

              Greg, the meteorologist, said, “I guess it counts as weather. The phenomenon began in the western part of the county and spread with the wind over the whole area. It does seemed to be confined to our vicinity. There are no reports of unusual things falling out of the sky anywhere else.  It’s like a major storm except instead of rain or snow it’s dropping buns. Needless to say none of my computer models predicted it. I have no idea how it is going to end.”

           Bruce asked, “Are they really buns? 

           “Scientists from the FDA have taken samples and will do a complete analysis,” said Anita, the health reporter. “Until the results get back, I can’t advise eating them. Who knows what could be in them?”

            “That could take months,” said Dan, the science reporter. “I had a local lab do a preliminary analysis. They seem to be perfectly normal buns. There seems to be considerable variation in ingredients, different types of fruit, spices, even different kinds of wheat flour. They all have the a white icing cross on the top. They all seem to be edible and palatable.” 

            Martha the food reporter said, “In light of that and the fact many people, mostly children, have already been eating them without ill effect I think we can conditionally consider them safe to eat. I checked with the hospital, the only health problems associated with the buns seem to be from slip and falls due to people stepping on them. I think we should recommend people using common sense and not eat buns that have been squashed or have fallen in dirty places. There are more than enough relatively clean buns for whoever wants them. I also recommend microwaving them for a minute oh high. That will kill germs and also make them taste better.”

            “How is the city responding?” 

            “I interviewed public works. I have the recording here,” said Gary, the local government reporter

            Someone asked, “Is it the bearded guy?”

            “Of course.”

            The bearded guy was David Butler, a crew supervisor at public works. He wasn’t the only man in public works with a beard but he had a quirky charm that audiences responded to. He was usually sought out whenever they needed an interview with public works. 

             “Let’s see it,” said Bruce. 

              David Butler’s face came on the monitor in the conference room. “We decided to modify the procedure we use for a snow emergency to clear the streets of buns. We don’t want the goo of run over buns to gum up traffic. We’ll be using plows but not the salt trucks. We’ll have to plow them into piles and then use our front loaders to get them in the trucks.” 

              “Where will the trucks take them?”

              “If it was snow we’d just pile them in little-used lots but buns don’t melt. I guess we’ll have to dump them in the landfill.”

               “Won’t that make the gull problem worse?”

               “I guess so,” David chuckled the way one does when a problem you have no intention of doing anything about is brought up. “I want to ask for the public’s patience and cooperation. There will be some delays but we will get things cleaned up a quickly as possible. If you have buns in your yard or your place of business you want to throw out, put them in trash bags and dispose of them like any other trash. Please, do not push them into street. That only makes the clean up harder.”

              Bruce clicked off the monitor. “We’ll have to edit the gull question out. What were you thinking?

             Bruce didn’t expect an answer. Bakersfield’s landfill was nearly filled to capacity. Although it was  miles from any ocean it was the home of hordes of noisy gulls scavenging for food. Mountains of baked goods would surely attract many more gulls. Most residents of Bakersfield prefer not to think about that so the station rarely brings it up. 

           “What do we call this thing?” asked Bruce. 

           “Well, it did happen on Washington’s Birthday,” said Kyle, the advertising liaison. “We could call it the “Washington Miracle.”

           “I don’t think that would be appropriate,” said Vince. “Most historians believe Washington was a deist. Which means, to put it succinctly, he believed in God, but not in miracles.”  

           “Revisionist nonsense!” said Bryce, the “conservative commentator” the station hired to boost ratings by stoking controversy. “Surely Washington, a Founding Father, Father of his Country, was a traditional Christian like all patriotic Americans. Not believing in miracles puts limitations on the all-powerful God, a blasphemy that is a slippery slope to not believing in God at all.”

        Most of the other people at the table payed little attention. There was a reason there was a disclaimer at the beginning of his segment saying “his views were not necessarily those of the station.” To tell the truth, what he said were not really his views. For all his talk about God he only barely believed in Him.

       Andrea, the human interest reporter, who did believe in God but felt it was impolite to drag him unnecessarily into conversation, said, “Well, surely this will being a blessing to the food insecure.”

       At the station the food insecure, despite Andrea’s efforts, were only talked about at Christmas, Easter, and Thanksgiving. They didn’t generate human interest on Washington’s Birthday.

        Changing the subject, Kyle said, “It would have been much better if this happened on Leap Day.

        Many nodded their heads. Unusual events are expected on Leap Day. The station always made some up then. 

              “Hot cross buns have been falling out of the sky for the last four hours.” said Bruce, the head of the news division at Bakersfield’s local television station. “I’m looking for ideas on how we should cover this event.”

               “Actually, their temperature seems to be the same as the surrounding air, about forty degrees,” said Vince the fact checker. “Hardly, what anyone would call hot.” Bruce gave Vince a glance. Being literal and precise was what made Vince a good fact checker. It also sometimes made him annoying to hear.

              Greg, the meteorologist, said, “I guess it counts as weather. The phenomenon began in the western part of the county and spread with the wind over the whole area. It does seemed to be confined to our vicinity. There are no reports of unusual things falling out of the sky anywhere else.  It’s like a major storm except instead of rain or snow it’s dropping buns. Needless to say none of my computer models predicted it. I have no idea how it is going to end.”

           Bruce asked, “Are they really buns? 

           “Scientists from the FDA have taken samples and will do a complete analysis,” said Anita, the health reporter. “Until the results get back, I can’t advise eating them. Who knows what could be in them?”

            “That could take months,” said Dan, the science reporter. “I had a local lab do a preliminary analysis. They seem to be perfectly normal buns. There seems to be considerable variation in ingredients, different types of fruit, spices, even different kinds of wheat flour. They all have the a white icing cross on the top. They all seem to be edible and palatable.” 

            Martha the food reporter said, “In light of that and the fact many people, mostly children, have already been eating them without ill effect I think we can conditionally consider them safe to eat. I checked with the hospital, the only health problems associated with the buns seem to be from slip and falls due to people stepping on them. I think we should recommend people using common sense and not eat buns that have been squashed or have fallen in dirty places. There are more than enough relatively clean buns for whoever wants them. I also recommend microwaving them for a minute oh high. That will kill germs and also make them taste better.”

            “How is the city responding?” 

            “I interviewed public works. I have the recording here,” said Gary, the local government reporter

            Someone asked, “Is it the bearded guy?”

            “Of course.”

            The bearded guy was David Butler, a crew supervisor at public works. He wasn’t the only man in public works with a beard but he had a quirky charm that audiences responded to. He was usually sought out whenever they needed an interview with public works. 

             “Let’s see it,” said Bruce. 

              David Butler’s face came on the monitor in the conference room. “We decided to modify the procedure we use for a snow emergency to clear the streets of buns. We don’t want the goo of run over buns to gum up traffic. We’ll be using plows but not the salt trucks. We’ll have to plow them into piles and then use our front loaders to get them in the trucks.” 

              “Where will the trucks take them?”

              “If it was snow we’d just pile them in little-used lots but buns don’t melt. I guess we’ll have to dump them in the landfill.”

               “Won’t that make the gull problem worse?”

               “I guess so,” David chuckled the way one does when a problem you have no intention of doing anything about is brought up. “I want to ask for the public’s patience and cooperation. There will be some delays but we will get things cleaned up a quickly as possible. If you have buns in your yard or your place of business you want to throw out, put them in trash bags and dispose of them like any other trash. Please, do not push them into street. That only makes the clean up harder.”

              Bruce clicked off the monitor. “We’ll have to edit the gull question out. What were you thinking?

             Bruce didn’t expect an answer. Bakersfield’s landfill was nearly filled to capacity. Although it was  miles from any ocean it was the home of hordes of noisy gulls scavenging for food. Mountains of baked goods would surely attract many more gulls. Most residents of Bakersfield prefer not to think about that so the station rarely brings it up. 

           “What do we call this thing?” asked Bruce. 

           “Well, it did happen on Washington’s Birthday,” said Kyle, the advertising liaison. “We could call it the “Washington Miracle.”

           “I don’t think that would be appropriate,” said Vince. “Most historians believe Washington was a deist. Which means, to put it succinctly, he believed in God, but not in miracles.”  

           “Revisionist nonsense!” said Bryce, the “conservative commentator” the station hired to boost ratings by stoking controversy. “Surely Washington, a Founding Father, Father of his Country, was a traditional Christian like all patriotic Americans. Not believing in miracles puts limitations on the all-powerful God, a blasphemy that is a slippery slope to not believing in God at all.”

        Most of the other people at the table payed little attention. There was a reason there was a disclaimer at the beginning of his segment saying “his views were not necessarily those of the station.” To tell the truth, what he said were not really his views. For all his talk about God he only barely believed in Him.

       Andrea, the human interest reporter, who did believe in God but felt it was impolite to drag him unnecessarily into conversation, said, “Well, surely this will being a blessing to the food insecure.”

       At the station the food insecure, despite Andrea’s efforts, were only talked about at Christmas, Easter, and Thanksgiving. They didn’t generate human interest on Washington’s Birthday.

        Changing the subject, Kyle said, “It would have been much better if this happened on Leap Day.

        Many nodded their heads. Unusual events are expected on Leap Day. The station always made some up then. 

March 02, 2024 04:57

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