Saturday, December 20, 2008

If This Happened to Me I Would Blog About It

Suppose I volunteered with The Humane Society because it's the holidays and I wanted to give something back to the community and also because I love animals so much. I do love animals--so much! (I didn't volunteer, but I could have.) Instead of actually volunteering, I watched real volunteers on TV. (For your convenience, go ahead and substitute "volunteering" in the previous sentence with "having 18 kids," "doing something about global warming," "being interesting," or "cooking a meal with side dishes.")

During the short segment I watched on KUTV at 5pm I saw something that horrified me. Needy animals are super cute to me--not horrifying. What I saw that horrified me was a grown man in a suit laying on the floor using a dog as a pillow and making a face at the camera that was much, much too happy. KUTV news, you lost me at man in a suit laying on the floor. That alone is not right. A man in a suit shouldn't wallow on the floor unless he just got home from work, is loosening his tie, and greeting his rough and tumble boys gamely--in which case, he wouldn't be on TV and I wouldnt' be watching. When a man gets on the floor in a suit it belies a certain relaxed intimacy that I, for one, have never felt with my my local TV news anchor. It was pretty hard to take.

And what of the volunteers surrounding him? My heart went out to them. I can imagine the discomfort of being so close to a man trying so hard to show his casual ease with and love for dogs without being able to move away from him or even look aghast. I can imagine the pain I would feel as I smiled and and realized that everyone watching might think that I think the man in a suit laying on the dog is normal.

And what about later, when the cameras are off and the man struggles to his feet and looks for something to wipe his hands on? What does one say to a person like that?

"Boy you sure do like dogs. And the floor. I noticed how comfortable you looked using that homeless dog as your pillow. Was it soft? Did you have to hold your head still so it wouldn't bounce up and down as he panted? If you had two dogs, would you put the other one under your feet or prop up your back a little? Most people wouldn't want to get down on the floor and get their suit dirty. But not you. You're such a cool guy! Nice meeting you, uh--nice holding the dog's leash while you laid on it. Well, goodbye. I'm glad you love dogs so much."

10 comments:

  1. Does he have any idea how hard it is to get dog hair off of a dark suit? I didn't think so.


    And here I thought I was the only one who finds making side dishes with a meal too exhausting.

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  2. (dying over the dog hair on his suit too!)

    Ewwww.....which one was it? Mark? Was it Mark?
    So awkward.

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  3. I think you captured the feeling pretty well.

    The one part you missed was what happens right before the cameras start rolling. With the hasty dive for the floor, then the uncomfortable pause where it's too late to change anything, but we're not actually on the air yet.

    I asked whether this was his journalistic intuition kicking in. He didn't respond. Choosing to respond, or not, to others speaking to you is entirely the prerogative of the local television celebrity.

    To his credit though, he did continue to fawn over "Marley" (not the dog's real name, but somehow on the air it was spontaneously changed) for the rest of the night--even when the cameras were off.

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  4. Sick. That's out of control. And people who love dogs that much need a new hobby. Except for then no one would volunteer with the homeless dogs - so I guess some schmuck out there has to be that person.

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  5. Thinking about it makes me really uncomfortable.

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  6. You know, a lot of people don't know this, but Tom Brokaw got his big break by lying on a cow in a suit. So, really, we should be attaching ourselves to this guy's star.

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  7. Tom Brokaw was wearing the suit, not the cow, just to clarify. And it was in the middle of a muddy field. That's what I call journalism!

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  8. Oh. Kacy. After the unexpected coup of getting your address for to send the card and the presents (so there were never really going to be presents, but whatever) I kinda blew the whole thing and lost the paper I wrote it on. Actually my husband probably threw it away in a passive aggressive blog-related snit. Anyways, now I feel dumb and don't know if I should just drop it or what. Please inform. pie.konchar@remax.net

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  9. I object to using animals as furniture. There's nothing humane about it.

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