NPR Interviews In Half The Time Or Less

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The NPR theme is heard, played on a classical guitar. Fast fade.

Melissa: This is National Public Radio’s All Things Considered. I’m Melissa Block.

Michele: And I’m Michele Norris. Ahmed Bey is a cabdriver working in Baghdad. Mr. Bey, you state that yesterday you picked up a very unusual passenger.

Bey: That’s so. I was cruising through Sadr City, looking for a fare, when I stopped near a flaming mosque to get a coffee. A man in a western suit jumped into the passenger seat behind me, having shot off my rear door. I turned to look at him, and found myself face-to-face with the vice president of your country. Before I could say, “Where to?” he said…

Michele: Mr. Kahn, thank you for talking to us today.

Bey: Huh. You’re welcome.

* * * * * * *

The NPR theme is played on a button accordion. Very fast fade.

Melissa: From NPR news, this is All Things Considered. I’m Melissa Block.

Michele: I’m Michele Norris.

Robert: And I’m Robert Siegel. There’s been an astonishing discovery in a cave in Old Jerusalem. Wine expert Abe Crocus and his team of archaeologist vintners claim to have uncovered a cask of the wine that Christ made from water two thousand years ago. Mr. Crocus, what can you tell us about this wine?

Crocus: Due to its miraculous nature, it has not decayed at all. As for its taste and bouquet, well, I’m just this second pouring myself a glass…now a quick sniff…and down the hatch she goes.

Robert: Mr. Crocus, thank you for taking the time to be with us today.

Crocus: Good Lord. In that case I won’t tell you what it tastes like, or describe the total absolution from sin I’m undergoing.

* * * * * * *

The NPR theme is played on a chromatic harmonica. Almost immediate fade.

Debbie: This is NPR Weekend Edition with Debbie Elliott. In an area of undeveloped brush near the coastal tourist city of Puerto Vallarta, Mexico, a race of hominids has been discovered who have remained in secrecy and isolation for years, living on the sewage and dumpsters of a nearby Holiday Inn Express. Joanne Tickle is part of the anthropological team now embedded with the tiny, gentle people she calls Inn Men. Joanne, what can you tell us about the Inn Men and, I suppose, Inn Women?

Joanne: Having evolved and developed in total isolation for thousands of years in a harsh environment and only recently gained access to modern luxury trash, these people show some amazing adaptive characteristics and unexpected lifestyles.

Debbie: Joanne, thank you for being with us today.

Joanne: For example, they use discarded luggage trolleys to…Where’s everyone going?

* * * * * * *

The NPR theme is played on a claw hammer banjo. Instant fade.

Michele: Michele.

Melissa: Melissa.

Robert: Robert. Astronomer Ron has spent his adult life scanning the known universe for signs of intelligent life with the aid of a radio telescope. Ron, how goes the search? Quickly.

Ron: Possibly a breakthrough. Radio telescope picking up patterns in signals from Crab Nebula. Now, patterns indicate…

Robert: Faster, Ron. No wait, you’re finished.

Ron: Hold it a sec. I must refute the five reasons that some say support the idea that no intelligent life has evolved outside our galaxy. The first…

Robert: Get off the air, hog.

Ron: Listen, anchorman. Never again will I…

Robert: For All Things Considered, I’m…(abrupt fade).

* * * * * * *

The NPR theme is not played.

Melissa: This is National Public Radio. For All Things Considered, I’m Mi…

Robert: And I’m Robert. What were you saying, Mr….

Mr….: I was try…

Robert: And then…

Mr….: What seem im…

Robert: Thank you for…

Mr….: My plea…

Robert: And now the news.

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An Open Letter To O.J. Simpson From The Real Killer

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Dear O.J.,

It’s me, the real killer. I bet you never expected to hear from me, and yet it was inevitable that you would. Allow me to explain.

I had committed the perfect crime. Two innocent people lay dead, victims of my murderous rage, and I had gotten away scot-free. The possibility that an innocent man might be wrongfully convicted for my crime was an unexpected but positively delightful bonus. Everything was going my way.

Imagine my surprise when, upon your acquittal, you dedicated your life to tracking me down and bringing me to justice. I had a good laugh about it, at first. “Oh, no,” I said to myself, feigning a tremble, “O.J. Simpson is gonna sleuth me out.” But the laughter soon gave way to panic when it became clear that you were serious. Dead serious.

I’ve been living on the run ever since, and it hasn’t been easy. Indeed, I haven’t had a good night’s sleep in twelve years — twelve years! — and when I do sleep, my dreams are haunted by the slow, soft, unrelenting tread of your Gucci loafers as you draw inexorably closer. Oh, how I’ve come to despise you and your noble quest.

And yet, I must also tip my hat to you. No one would have blamed you for retreating from the public eye and living a life of quiet dignity on your meager $25,000 / month NFL pension. But instead, you took to the streets, determined to clear your name and avenge your beloved ex-wife and what’s-his-name.

If only you knew how close you’ve come over the years.

You almost had me at that country club in Miami. I was so intent on my form that I didn’t even see you coming. If I hadn’t sliced into the trees off the third hole, you would have spotted me for sure. Fortunately, you stopped to belittle a caddy, and I, recognizing your commanding voice from afar, lay low amongst the dogwoods while you played through. Call it a mulligan.

You almost had me again at that Indian casino in Fresno. I was hitting the tables hard that night, trying to forget my troubles. I had just rolled a hard eight when you rounded the slots, your laser-like eyes scanning the room for signs of villainy. If those frat boys hadn’t accosted you for autographs, I might have had to ditch my chips in my mad flight for the exit. I guess Lady Luck was with me that night.

But you came closest of all at that spa in the Hamptons. I was working as a towel boy in order to get close to my next victim, a beautiful blonde hot-rock masseuse and part-time ear model from Newfoundland. I had just about won her trust when you appeared and ordered the works. Oh, you were good — even ensconced in a detoxifying full-body seaweed wrap, you remained in a state of cat-like readiness, set to pounce the moment I showed myself — but I hid in a hamper until you were gone. Another clean getaway.

The masseuse, like so many others, is alive today only because of your meddling. But do they thank you? No, to this day they condemn you for a crime you didn’t commit no matter how much any reasonable man in your position would have wanted to. Yet you press on, undaunted, like Batman or Spider-Man or Black Vulcan, as heroic as you are misunderstood. Perhaps when your doubters read this letter, they will finally understand.

The shame is that the two of us are a lot alike. In different circumstances, we could have been friends, if not brothers, or even twins, identical in every way except for the fact that I’m a cold-blooded killer whereas you’ve never killed anyone in your life, not even some ungrateful skank who totally deserved it and her poncy friend who should’ve minded his own business. But the cards are dealt and there’s no going back now.

And so, my worthy adversary, our deadly game of cat and mouse continues. I will never stop, driven as I am by murderous impulses not shared by yourself even when provoked. And you, in turn, will never flag or fail in your single-minded pursuit, driven as you are by a thirst for justice that no quantity of Cristal can quench. On and on we will go, hunter and hunted, predator and prey, until only one of us remains. So be it.

Good luck, and may the best man win.

Yours truly,

The Real Killer

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Notes for Mothra’s Memoir-in-Progress

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You’re probably used to thinking of me as a party girl. That’s how the press portrayed me for the first decade of my career, and I suppose there was more than a grain of truth to it. Hey, it was the 60s; who didn’t party? But as I got older, my priorities became clearer.

It’s the simple things, really: family, relationships. I didn’t know that when I was young. I had a lot of anger.

That’s probably what attracted me to Godzilla in the first place.

*******

My children are the most important thing in the world to me. I have 9,342 of them. Of course, 8,437 have moved out of Tokyo, but they still visit when they can, and I get to see the others often.

Those were my actual children who appeared in Godzilla vs. Mothra. But I discouraged them from staying in the business after that. I wanted them to have a chance at normal life.

I’m a grandmother now. That’s the best. They call me Gramothra and I spoil them with all the tour buses their parents won’t let them have. They’re so overprotective! But I suppose I was as well with the first thousand.

*******

I’m sorry I didn’t have more children. I would have, but I put off childbearing to concentrate on my career, and then once I finally started, my clock was already ticking.

*******

All right, I suppose this is the time for total honesty. Another reason I didn’t have more children is because of all those years I wasted on Godzilla.

The studios made us keep our relationship secret. They said it would alienate the fan base.

I loved him, but he just couldn’t commit. I deluded myself for decades. “Just give him more time,” I told myself. “He’ll come around.” Then one day I watched him batting an airplane out of the sky and all of a sudden it came to me, clear as day: “He’ll never grow up.”

*******

When I think of it now — all that time and love poured down the drain!

Gamera tried to tell me, but I wouldn’t listen.

*******

When I heard he’d died rampaging in Tokyo, I didn’t take it the way I thought I would. I wasn’t angry, or even sad. I suppose I had accepted his fate years ago when he told me rampaging was in his blood.

*******

But there’s no use dwelling on the negative. Those years with Godzilla made me who I am today, and even though looking back now, sometimes I feel foolish, I believe that sadness heightened my sensitivity, made me a better monster, and later, a better mom.

It made me a better friend to Gamera when he was finally ready to come out.

*******

So, I have no regrets.

*******

Well, maybe one. I’m sorry about destroying your city. But how could I regard that huge bug zapper as anything but a threat? Remember, I’d started my family at that point.

I had my children to think of.

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Barry At The Bat

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The steroid case seemed airtight ‘gainst the Giants’ aging baller,

His head had swollen up in size, his testes had grown smaller.

But fans still came to watch him play, although his past was checkered,

For Barry, mighty Barry, might soon break the home run record.

In former years, Bonds made his name by swinging for the fences.

He’d shattered single-season marks, and also innocences.

So when the hulking player left the dugout where he sat,

A silent hush grew o’er the crowd — ’twas Barry at the bat.

The slugger strode up to the plate, and did not seem to worry.

He still had all the arrogance he’d shown to the grand jury.

For Barry’s ‘tude was tough and cruel, and Barry’s heart was barren —

He was, except for all his stats, the anti-Henry Aaron.

He set his stance, and flexed his arms, built up from God-knows-what

He’d put in a syringe, and then injected in his butt;

And also from designer drugs, known as the cream and clear,

Which both were taken topically, instead of in the rear.

This scandalous news, the BALCO case, had broken in oh-three.

The allegations ran in print, they echoed on TV.

Yet though all his denials sounded spurious and flat,

‘Twas Barry, guilty Barry, who remained there at the bat.

So countless thousands listened to the radios in their cars.

They gathered in the stadiums, they gathered in the bars.

They packed Pac-Bell and watched, and though they knew their right from wrong,

They could not help but want to see if Barry would go long.

And now the pitcher’s ready, and he takes the ball and flings it,

But Barry’s juiced-up muscles hold the bat, and now he swings it,

And now the ball is going, going, gone, over the fence,

And San Franciscans cheer for him, defying common sense.

Oh, somewhere in the distance is a cleaner world of sport,

Where drugs that boost performance are not there a resort.

Someday, perhaps, we’ll reach that place, at least that’s what we’re hoping;

But there is no joy in Mudville — mighty Barry has been doping.

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