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Harley Chalmers Interviews a Birdhouse

A friend of a friend’s son is attending Our Lady of the Sacred Tortilla University where he is majoring In “Communications.” His name is Harley Chalmers, and he wants to be a “television news personality.” “Communications” is the post-sanity major that has replaced “Journalism” in most major (and minor) colleges and universities in this country, and it is a prerequisite for anyone desiring to break into television news… uh…I mean “infotainment” business. Since I worked the dark side of journalism (TV news) for many years, my friends’ friend asked me if I would critique Harley’s “demo tape.” Being the wonderful human mammal that I am, I reluctantly agreed.

I slipped the tape into the VCR (it came with the CD player) and when the picture burst onto the screen, Harley Chalmers was seated in an Adirondack chair next to a dilapidated, hanging, wooden birdhouse. Harley was decked out in a white shirt, blue blazer, red tie, and gray trousers. His light-brown hair was neatly coiffed into a hair helmet, and he had a big smile that revealed a mouthful of fluorescent teeth. He began:

“I’m here today in Sylvia Potchanu’s backyard to talk to this birdhouse..” he said gesturing with his head toward the sorry looking structure. “Birdhouses are very common in North America, but the ones made of wood are becoming a rare sight because are they are being replaced by the more popular, less-expensive plastic models. This one–he gestured with his head again–has been in Sylvia’s yard for years, and I bet it has some stories to tell.” Pointing a fuzzy covered microphone toward the birdhouse, Harley turned his head and asked, “So you’re a birdhouse right?”

The birdhouse looked at Harley like the wanna-be reporter was a moron. (Which, by the way, is a particularly favorable quality for TV personalities.)

Harley didn’t let the birdhouse’s silence bother, and he forged ahead. “I was wondering, before you took up birdhousing, what kind of work did you do?”

The little house gave an inaudible sigh and answered. “I was part of a tree.”

“That’s awesome,” beamed Harley. “Why did you decide to leave the tree and become a shelter for birds?”

The birdhouse answered, “I didn’t ‘decide’ to become a birdhouse. The tree was murdered by a chainsaw-wielding psycho and butchered into boards to make birdhouses. It’s rather ironic because as a tree, we sheltered more birds than all the birdhouses built from us.”

“I’m sorry,” Harley chided, “we’re not allowed to use words like “ironic” on television.” The budding newsman moved on. “So tell me, what do you think of the new, plastic birdhouses?”

“I think it is better than making them out of trees.”

“Uh…OK, a final question. If you have any other job, what would it be?”

The birdhouse quickly snapped, “I’d be a tree.”

The interview over, Harley did his on-camera summation. “Well, there you have it folks, a wooden birdhouse in the age of plastics, totally cool or what? Back to you Glen in the studio.”

:I sent the tape back to my friend with this note attached: “Tell your friend that Harley is going to be a star.”

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