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ENCHANTÉ – THE PANEL CRAZE

Looking at today’s TV news, I felt inclined to repeat a column of last June:

We are back with Tom and Fred, this time invited by World Wide Network to form a panel on important daily political matters.

“Fred, how are we going to do this?”

“Simple, Tom, you make a point and I make a counterpoint. We never agree because the opposite side must always be right, whatever side you are on.”

“But if I agree with you because you make more sense, why shouldn’t I say so?”

“Because you get fired if you do. It’s like a sports game, boy. You’re not supposed to kick the ball into your own goal. You must kick me as hard as you can, regardless of whether I’m right.”

“But isn’t that ridiculous? If I make sense, you wouldn’t agree with me?”

“Of course not. That’s how it works. You have fans on your side, and I have fans on mine. Each side wants the other to lose as badly as possible. Scorched Earth. That’s politics. It’s a sports game, the American way. Each side gets paid for making crushing opposite points. Otherwise, the viewers get bored.”

“Which side are you on?”

“The opposite of yours.”

“But which is it, left or right?”

“If you show me yours, I show you mine.”

“But does WWN not want to know first what yours is?”

“They will only tell me if they’ve seen yours first.”

“Can we switch panes when you like mine better?”

“For the viewer, left of the anchor is right, and right of the anchor is left. Don’t confuse people. They want to see which side you’re on.”

“What side is the anchor on?”

“Tom, don’t be stupid. It’s WWN that pays their salary. They talk WWN’s side.”

“How much do they pay?”

“The more they like yours or mine, the more they pay you or me.”

“Do they give equal time?”

“They may or may not. If you crush me or them, they may let me pay back twice.”

“Geez, Fred, this is really like Monday Night Football without referees or line backers.”

“It is, or more like national wrestling or kick boxing, male or female.”

“So this is how people in Congress live?”

“And what tax payers pay for. Your tax money is like buying tickets for the games. And to beat up each other in the streets if you lose.”

“What about those election slogans then, stronger together or America first?”

“Well, Tom, those are essentially sports terms. The political teams fight it out, either to show they’re stronger than the other, or to become first.”

“So we must fight it out on TV too?”

“Sure, if you want to get paid. Not physically, of course, like that guy in Montana, but by blabbing better and faster than your opponent, while keeping a straight but very false smile, as if you are the friendliest bastard or bitch ever.”

“Do we train for this before we start?”

“Don’t have to. Just look at today’s TV and you get the message.”

“Which side do I chose?”

“Just wait which side the anchor puts you. Then, whatever he or she wants you to comment on, you take the left or right side of his/her point of view. The truth does not matter. Nobody knows what that is anymore anyway.”

“But I don’t know in traffic sometimes what left or right is.”

“Doesn’t matter, as long as you take the opposite side. You’re insured by the media.”

“Fred, I’m going to sign up and hate you.”

“Me too, Tom, I hate you already.”

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ENCHANTÉ – KILLING DEEP THROAT

 

The Hullahoo Bar is crammed with patrons at the counter. Ted, Frank and their regular raucous friends crowd around the half-circle, arguing testily.

“Yes,” Ted says. “I am writing a new book titled ‘Killing Deep Throat’. I’m fed up with this DC bureaucracy boiling up all this crap. I’m going to drain that swamp with the successful Killing Libido Pill and write how we did it.”

“You mean if you suck out all the libido from the system you actually will stop it from regurgitating hatred, obstruction, resistance and fake news?” Frank roared, laughing.

“Exactly,” Ted confirms. “You saw the results of my KLP book:  the anti-viagra virus. Much better than that stuff about aging young.  Tell me, you guys, don’t you feel relieved after taking the KLP, that you don’t have that urge anymore to go after women ?”

“I give you that,” Bert says. “But how do you apply that to killing ‘Deep Throat’?”

“I have researched it in-depth,” Ted explains. “Deep-throat people are the ones that constitute the megacenter of the swamp. They are all sexually frustrated by ED, inability to perform in bed or having to fake it, and jealous of men that are successful with women or women successful with men. Just look at the mainstream media anchors, always a man and a woman, each competing for being the most obnoxious gofer on the screen. If the guy takes the KLP, he instantly loses his drive to be more obnoxious than the female anchor.”

“But then you’d be left with those pesky females and nothing would change,” Bert says.

“The female anchor will lose her nerve because she’d feel she is no longer pursued. That frustrates her natural instincts. Look at our female friends here, how annoyed and inoperative they are because they get no free beers or Martinis anymore. True, Angie?”

“Don’t put me on the spot, Ted KLP,” Angie retorts. “All that gallantry you guys were displaying was only with one purpose in mind and that’s bedding me or her.”

“How would you impose that KLP on anchors?” Henry of The Washington Post asks.

“By mixing it in their coffee machines,” Ted says. “We have an army of paid KLP operators that serve these studios, government and newspaper offices. You don’t drink coffee? No problem, they mix it in the watercoolers. Just watch your offices at the Post, Henry. Don’t feel that horny anymore? You may already have been swallowing KLP.”

“And who pays for that?” Cindy asks, always on the money.

“The National Health Institute,” Ted says. “They have a stake in the matter because the growing political divide in the US is ruining the country’s national health and sharply increasing Medicaid and Medicare costs for psychiatrical care and domestic disputes. We’re expanding into the FBI, the Justice Department, even the Defense Department and the catacombs of the White House. You will soon hear that that FBI lover couple will disband because that stork guy has been klpeed and the whole case will come tumbling down.”

“This is pure subversion of democracy,” Henry says. “I’ll expose you and your group as underminers of the Me 2 movement, the new platform of the Democrat party.”

“What nonsense,” Ted balks. “You mean I undercut Me 2 if I KLpee the guys they’re fighting, the Weismans, Roses, Lauers and Cosbys? You mean that to remain relevant M2 needs these guys back into the limelight somewhere so that they can continue barking at them?”

“Precisely,” Henry says. “Your group must emanate from the right that opposes sinful movements. Me 2 welcomes freedom.”

“What has that got to do with Killing Deep Throat, Ted?” asks Frank.

“I’m positive that all this political wrangling is sex-related,” Ted says. “Why is the special prosecutor so interested in that playboy girl instead of that silly Russian collusion? I’m sure that if we klpee him he and his case would disintegrate.”

Henry slammed his fist on the counter. “I oppose that because it would destroy all the media fun.”

“You see?” Alicia yelps across the counter. “You perverts only like to write about porn to sell your paper and you don’t care a fig about making America great again.”

“Hah!” Henry yells back. “We write it because you want to read it, and if we wrote only about the low unemployment rate you wouldn’t buy the paper.”

Ted scoffs. “Watch your Keurig coffeemaker, Henry. Soon you’ll be only interested in writing about the unemployment rate.”

 

 

 

 

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ENCHANTÉ – Cable Panel Blues

 

Fred and Tom meet in de makeup room.

“You know what she’s going to talk about?” asks Tom.

“The same thing they’ve been talking about all the time,” says Fred. “Russian roulette, Watergate 2.0, leaking sewers, deep state, all things that excite viewers of all stripes.”

“It’s the rating game, isn’t it?” says Tom. “I bet they won’t talk about how much better their 401Ks look now compared to just a year ago, though I’m sure they’re happy about it.”

“The old adagio is good news doesn’t sell, sex does,” mused Fred.

“I heard millions of women bought Weiner’s pics so that he could cover his legal fees.”

“She’s not going to talk about that, Tom. That’s her party’s side, and she won’t shoot herself in the foot. Rule number one of the Panel Debating Club, friend. Better take note.”

“You know what side you’re on? They didn’t tell me.”

“Me neither. Doesn’t matter. She’ll look at our face and knows right away you’re right and I’m left.”

“How so?”

“You wear your parting on the right and mine’s left. Simple,” Fred says.

“What if a guy’s bald?”

“All bald guys are right wing. Look at Karl Rove, Giuliani, Gianforte, for example.”

“But James Carville’s left wing, Fred, and so is Jerry Brown.”

“They lost their hair because they couldn’t get it right.”

“What about women pundits then?”

“Come on, Tom, you know. They fake it, whether left or right.”

A program assistant enters. ” OK, guys, you’re on next. Come with me. You, Tom, you sit on Sheila’s right, and Fred sits on her left.”

“You see? I told you so,” Fred says.

WWN’s show  The World in Seven Days is on. Sheila introduces her panel members. “Tom, let me start with you. We have these daily leaks from Deep State. Your thoughts?”

“Washington’s leaking like a sieve as it always does, and the stinky dirt left is bubbling up. Washington press cooks take the blubber, make so-called news of it, and nobody cares, except you.”

“Fred, don’t you believe these deep state stories are true?” Sheila asks, her eyes showing bewilderment.

“Of course, they are. Deep state wants to save the country from going down the tube. Under the previous administration, society was changing so nicely to the left until it got criminally stopped by Russian infiltration.”

“Tom, don’t you think too the Russians stole the election from the American society?” Sheila asks with a sneaky smile, fixing Ted’s eyes.

“The Russians are pokers and thieves and have always been,” Tom acknowledges. “Its operatives act like those nesting dolls. You take one out and another one pops out, just looking the same, and before you know it you’ve wasted your money buying the same thing over and over, only getting smaller. Voters got fed up because they wanted real change.”

“Do you agree, Fred, that the election was lost due to those nesting dolls?” Sheila wonders, throwing a helpless glance at Fred.

“Tom is right. The Russian leaks turned the Democrat party into those dolls. Each time the party spoke, the same old same old came out, and, of course, they lost. Ergo, the Russians stole the election from the Democrats and the Republicans helped them doing it. That’s why they are guilty and the Special Counsel will prove it.”

“But why would the Russians do that, Fred,” interjects Tom. “They got twenty percent of our uranium under the Democrat administration. They might’ve gotten the other half too to beat us, if they stuck to them, rather than going for a change in party they can’t be sure of.”

“Well, Fred, Tom seems to have a point. Why would Russia want the Republican party in power?” Sheila asked.

“The Russians are against measures to stem climate change, as is the Republican party. That’s why,” Fred said, stone-faced. “They want the artic to melt so that they can more easily dig for oil and gas, like the Republicans want.”

“Should we not feel sorry for those polar bears losing their habitat, Tom?” asks Sheila, tears welling in the corner of her icy blue eyes. “Is it not clear to you now why the Russians sabotaged the re-election of the Democrat administration?”

“I thought we were talking about the deep state leaks and sieves,” Tom says. “Aren’t we straying off the subject?”

“I am asking the questions, Tom,” says Sheila, giving him her charming cold smile. “There are anonymous reports of Russian attempts to tamper with the election boots in thirty-nine states. Fred, I’m sure you’re aware of that.”

“And so is the Special Prosecutor,” Fred asserts. “Anonymous sources tell me he has hired Clinton lawyers to look into each boot.”

“So where is this heading Tom?” Sheila asks. “Don’t you think too the President must be impeached?”

“I would break this down into three segments, Sheila. ‘Imp’ stands for ‘troublemakers’; ‘Peach’ stands for deep state leakers peaching bad on the President, and ‘Ed’ stands for anonymous editorials in the Washington Post or the New York Times that have no ground, altogether standing for stench stinking to high-heaven.”

Sheila turning to Fred: “Stench stinking to high-heaven, Fred, is this not journalistic overreach?”

“Of course it is. Exactly the language of the radical right. That’s how they have divided our nation. I repeat, during the past eight years, our society was changing so nicely to the left. Freedom of speech only for those who deserve it according to them, violent protests only for those who feel belittled or racially profiled by the right, and healthcare only for those who cannot afford it regardless of the cost. And only black is beautiful and only the rich must be taxed. And Tom wants to change all that back to the right.”

“Last comment, Tom?”

“I love black is beautiful, really do, but I’ll keep changing the left’s downward curve to America’s destruction until I see blue.”

“Thank you both for being here,” Sheila says, and the screen goes to Cialis extra strength.

PS: In the noisy exit room, Tom is left with a blue eye and Fred with a bloody red nose, both in the true colors of the American flag. Neither knows the fight is taped by the insidious WWN, and maybe leaked to the Special Prosecutor for breaking news from anonymous sources. Continuation of the panel is in doubt.

 

 

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ENCHANTÉ – THE PANEL CRAZE

 

Hello Everyone: Ever finalized a manuscript? If you did, you will understand why ENCHANTÉ was out of the air for a while. “Francine, The Dazzling Daughter of the Mountain State” will be out soon.

Now we are back with Tom and Fred, this time invited by World Wide Network to form a panel on important daily political matters.

“Fred, how are we going to do this?”

“Simple, Tom, you make a point and I make a counterpoint. We never agree because the opposite side must always be right, whatever side you are on.”

“But if I agree with you because you make more sense, why shouldn’t I say so?”

“Because you get fired if you do. It’s like a sports game, boy. You’re not supposed to kick the ball into your own goal. You must kick me as hard as you can, regardless of whether I’m right.”

“But isn’t that ridiculous? If I make sense, you wouldn’t agree with me?”

“Of course not. That’s how it works. You have fans on your side, and I have fans on mine. Each side wants the other to lose as badly as possible. Scorched Earth. That’s politics. It’s a sports game, the American way. Each side gets paid for making crushing opposite points. Otherwise, the viewers get bored.”

“Which side are you on?”

“The opposite of yours.”

“But which is it, left or right?”

“If you show me yours, I show you mine.”

“But does WWN not want to know first what yours is?”

“They will only tell me if they’ve seen yours first.”

“Can we switch panes when you like mine better?”

“For the viewer, left of the anchor is right, and right of the anchor is left. Don’t confuse people. They want to see which side you’re on.”

“What side is the anchor on?”

“Tom, don’t be stupid. It’s WWN that pays their salary. They talk WWN’s side.”

“How much do they pay?”

“The more they like yours or mine, the more they pay you or me.”

“Do they give equal time?”

“They may or may not. If you crush me or them, they may let me pay back twice.”

“Geez, Frank, this is really like Monday Night Football without referees or line backers.”

“It is, or more like national wrestling or kick boxing, male or female.”

“So this is how people in Congress live?”

“And what tax payers pay for. Your tax money is like buying tickets for the games. And to beat up each other in the streets if you lose.”

“What about those election slogans then, stronger together or America first?”

“Well, Tom, those are essentially sports terms. The political teams fight it out, either to show they’re stronger than the other, or to become first.”

“So we must fight it out on TV too?”

“Sure, if you want to get paid. Not physically, of course, like that guy in Montana, but by blabbing better and faster than your opponent, while keeping a straight but very false smile, as if you are the friendliest bastard or bitch ever.”

“Do we train for this before we start?”

“Don’t have to. Just look at today’s TV and you get the message.”

“Which side do I chose?”

“Just wait which side the anchor puts you. Then, whatever he or she wants you to comment on, you take the left or right side of his/her point of view. The truth does not matter. Nobody knows what that is anymore anyway.”

“But I don’t know in traffic sometimes what left or right is.”

“Doesn’t matter, as long as you take the opposite side. You’re insured by the media.”

“Fred, I’m going to sign up and hate you.”

“Me too, Tom, I hate you already.”

 

 

 

 

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ENCHANTÉ – BODY FADS AND MORE

 

Fred and I sit at the counter of our favorite bar, listening to two women arguing.

“Better you follow those TV ads on eating light,” one says, pointing at her companion’s plate full of French fries.

“Do you think I need it? Look at your fat self!” her companion bristles.

“Oh, you! Don’t get uptight. There’re many fat ones like you who do.”

“You believe that TV stuff works?” asks a male friend at her side.

“They’re just selling food,” his neighbor butts in. “You ever watch those ads? Granola bars, dripping cheese, dripping lasagna, everything’s dripping, just to make you feel good.”

“It’s a fad,” Fred agrees. “They only want your money.”

“Like those ads on shaving,” says the woman with the fries. “Another new fad.”

“They want me to shave my mustache, my beard, my legs!” says her woman friend. “My bathtub’s red with blood.”

“You women also have hair on your teeth,” says the male friend. “How do you get rid of those? Look at them wild feminists at those rallies.”

“It’s all Trump’s fault,” says the woman with the fries. “He started it with talking pussies.”

“I’m sure he’d been taking too many testosterone pills,” the other woman says.

“You take those pills?” the male friend asks his buddy.

“Every day, to stay in shape,” he replies. “You take pills?” he asks the slimmer woman.

“Only one, if you’re interested.” She smiles at him. “How many testopills do you take?”

“Only one, if you’re interested.” He smiles back at her.

“Is this a pick-up call?” She eyes him intently.

“Right, but like that TV ad with the two bathtubs, the fine print, and without the blood.”

“You can start by getting me another Bloody Mary.”

Fred asks me, “How many pills do you take?”

“About twelve. You get these magazines how to avoid dying early. I’m a sucker.”

“Do they make you feel any better?” asks Fred.

“I wouldn’t know unless I stopped taking them. And because I’m afraid of dying early, I keep taking them. So I’ll never know until I die.”

“That’s the whole idea, of course,” Fred says. “It’s a billion dollar industry even though the small print always says consult your doctor first.” 

“Like those TV ads on medicine,” says the woman near us. “If you see the horror that could happen to you when you take them, you think twice.”

“Are your twelve pills all testopills?” the other woman asks me.

“Your friend over there says he takes only one a day,” I say. “So why should I take twelve?”

“Because you look it.” Everybody laughs at me.

Amy, the blonde bartender, comes by with new drinks and saves me from more embarrassment.

“The news just said the blonde woman lost,” she says.

“Mary The Pan?” asks Fred.

“It’s Marine,” says our pesky woman neighbor. “Trump’s blonde friend. Macaron won.”

“It’s Macron,” I say. “Macaron is a cookie.”

 

“Whatever,” she says, looking at me as if she’s ready to murder me. “Obama voted for him.”

“Come on, silly,” her fat friend says. “We can’t vote in France since we started calling French fries Freedom fries. Besides, Mackerel is not a socialist, they say, so why would Obama vote for him?”

“The name is Macron, silly, you just heard,” her companion bites back. “Mackerel is a marine fish.”

“So mackerel being marine fish, and Marine’s name being Marine, Macron and Marine must be the same.”

 

“That’s the most crooked analysis I’ve ever heard,” my neighbor tells her friend. “You should get yourself analyzed.”

Fred and I, having heard enough, are making a move to get up.

“Get your testopills, honey, before it’s too late,” I hear on our way out. “Obamacare is going broke.”

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