Thursday, September 30, 2010

"We'll be right back..."

“...two officers shot – we'll be right back – after the commercial...”

That's all she heard before her cell phone began its St Vitus dance across the Formica-topped kitchen counter simultaneously buzzing and vibrating.

The landline telephone on the wall, kept just for emergencies like a hurricane or tornado when things flew through the Florida skies ripping buildings apart and blowing telephone and power lines down, begand to ring.

Charlie, in cranky pre-breakfast mode, whined for attention from his highchair, Oscar yapped his high-pitched dachshund yelp, jumping up at the unusual noise from the telephone and the kettle's whistle began shrieking for attention.

“Now is the time to drop everything and rush down to Pals Auto Mall where you can help us help you into the Last Days of Summer Sale gas-saver of your dreams,” shouted the precocious twin teen daughters of the local used car dealership. Sparkling cars draped with patriotic flags fluttering under the stimulus of off-camera industrial-strength fans, filled the plasma screen. A flashing red BREAKING NEWS banner ran across the top segment, a Weather Alert scrolled along the bottom portion warning of a late season tropical storm, riding counter to the ticker-tape plunging stock market prices.

Baby Angelia wriggled in the cradle of her mother's arm, was shifted to hip-rider mode and that familiar off-balance posture known to mothers world wide, before mom reached for and flipped the lid of the cell phone open, while nudging the wall phone loose from its hook.


“Mrs. Blanker? Wife of patrolman Ronnie Blanker,”a male voice came clearly from the landline phone, while a squeaky female voice echoed the same question from the cell phone juggled in the same hand.

Celia Blanker watched the televisions screen dissolve from a flourish of red white and blue bunting with stacks of dollar bills under a flashing yellow SAVE sign superimposed on it, to a scrabble of SWAT team members, cop cars with glittering strobe lights and Emergency Responders clustered around stretchers and a skin-head reporter, hand pressed to earphone while talking into a microphone and cell-phone, looking wide-eyed and earnest into the camera.

The dual shrieking of the unattended whistling kettle and high-pitched feedback from the telephone in her ear drove home the realization she was at the other end of the reporter's question.

“Mrs. Blanker...are you there,” sirens on-screen and through her telephone's earpiece joined the chorus of noise filling her safe place kitchen.

“Ronnie! Is Ronnie alright?”

“Mrs. Blanker. I have some sad news to pass...”

“And we'll be right back after this commercial break.”

A hearty bellowing voice broke in as the screen displayed a bottle of liquid soap and animated suds while the chaotic but comfortable world of Celia Blanker, Charlie and Angelia disintegrated – between commercials.


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