I started my new job Monday. That was yesterday for those of you playing the home game.
Let me preface all of this by saying that I LOATHE first days at a new job. In fact, I hate first anythings. I don’t like first days at a new school, first days of new diets and if I ever dated, I’d hate first dates.
I’m back in TV news, my sworn enemy, but I gotta tell ya, this ain’t my Daddy’s TV station. It’s different and its news product is something akin to what my friend and radio colleague, Pat Fant put together when we created KFNC-FM here in Houston two years ago. Our effort was comedy based news and talk and it was going great guns and would still be on the air today, had it a decent signal…which it hadn’t.
Or corporate/parent company support and funding……which it didn’t.
Or found a substantial audience and ratings……which because of the two afore-mentioned reasons, it never could.
So, as first days go, this one was about par for the course. I walked into a closet. Confused someone’s name and I’m sure, looked about as lost as Lindsay Lohan in a convent. I’ve much to learn. There are so many more steps to TV because of its duality. It’s a medium that requires both sight and sound, something I’ve not had to deal with for seven years. I have to rethink everything. But the people are the nicest around; very warm and friendly and they’ve effortlessly made me feel at home.
And they’re all MUCH younger than me.
But that’s okay. I am becoming immune to envying the amount of time these young people have in front of them. I only hope they never take the years they’ve lived or the ones in their future for granted. The ultimate time machine is time itself . Don’t believe me? Then, take a nap, children and Behold how the decades have flown by once you awaken.
I got home at 6:08. I conveniently live only eight minutes from the station. I walked in the door, greeted my cat and realized I have to let out some of this first-day-on-the-job frustration. I would walk it out. I threw on some comfy, breathable threads, then waited for a reprieve in the searing heat that’s typical of a late mid-July afternoon in Southeast Texas. Now, for a true break in the heat, I’d have to wait until late November, but on July 18th, 7:20 PM would have to suffice.
I went to my very ethnic , very multicultural park, the one I wrote about a few weeks ago. I hadn’t walked in a few days so I decided to increase my miles a bit to compensate. I made it around the half way point and in the man-made lake which the jogging/walking trail surrounds. I noticed some people had walked down the slope and were on standing along the bank, staring into the water. They were excited and shouting something in rapid fire Spanish and as best I could tell, Mandarin. Then I heard….
Plop! Plop!! Plop!!!
They were throwing rocks at something in the water and from my vantage point, it looked like a partially submerged alligator.
And it was, albeit a plastic one..
Someone (perhaps with the city parks’ board) placed there to keep ducks away from that section of the lake, though why, I don’t know. I know that people who live in coastal areas will place a large plastic owl where ever they don’t want seagulls. Like gulls, perhaps ducks are a little “goosey”. Maybe they’re scared of gators and will steer clear of them, whether plastic or real.
Anyway, when the rocks actually hit their target and the gator didn’t budge, and the sharp sound of hard PVC echoed in response, the thrill was gone. Everyone knew it was a plastic throw down. The crowd dispersed.
I kept walking. I made it around a tree-lined bend and what did I see? Five cars belonging to Houston’s finest, parked by the entrance to the park, their lights still flashing. As I got closer, I saw they had someone in custody.
It was, I swear, a transvestite hooker, dressed like the Swiss Miss Hot Chocolate logo. Kids, we’re talkin’ a real, by God, bl;ue and white checked Teutonic dirndl, he/she was sporting brunette pigtails and flats instead of wooden shoes. How do I know it was a man? The Adam’s Apple, size 14 shoes, hands that looked like oversized baseball gloves and a pair of hairy kiwi fruit that you could apply a side part to, were crammed into his Swiss Miss panties. Yes, the dress was that short.
Well….the shizzle on the walking trail was that this entity approached a family of two boys, one adult and one adultress, either trying to sell the dad drugs or cheap sex. No one seemed to know and my Mandarin leaves much to be desired, but it was a point of interest and bemusement. Everyone stopped in their tracks to watch the cops search the perp’s car, then eventually escort him to the squad car and place him the backseat. The car belonging to the transvestite prostitute and/or drug dealer was eventually towed.
“Move along people!!! Break it up. Nothing to see here!!”
My, how the officer lied.
About 100 yards down the trail, I saw one man dressed in sweats (it was 94 degrees, even at almost 8pm). He was walking with two orange traffic cones in each hand ,crushed in the middle, as if to make handling easier. He was lifting them up and down as he walked, as one would do if one held weights while walking.
Perhaps he couldn’t afford real weights. Well, I guess what they say is true. Necessity is the mother of invention, though I wondered about the work out efficacy of crushed plastic orange traffic cones.
I made my two miles, then got in my car and headed home.
When I got to the front door of my apartment, lying a mere three feet from it, was some dog dookie in the same exact shape as the stick figures those crazy ass kids from The Blair Witch Project kept encountering as they schlepped through the woods, lost as hell, while cussing and smoking cigarettes.