Tuesday, January 15, 2013

Three Simple Rules

For those of you planning on careers in the television industry, I have three bits of advice, gleaned from many hours of staring at the tube.  These are the Three Cardinal Rules of Television:

1 - If you find yourself serving as the "anchor" on a newscast, the law says that you must blame the meteorologist when it rains, and thank him or her when it's sunny and 70°.  It will be required of you to chirp up with some variant of, "Well, Tom, a lot of people are upset because it rained this morning!  What do you have to say for yourself, eh?"  Or - "Well, we had a beautiful day today, sunny and not a cloud in sight....THANK YOU, Willie Weathersby!"  There is a secondary by-law to this rule, and it states that even if your area has not seen a drop of rain since shortly after Noah sailed, no matter how severe the drought, you must bemoan the fact that it might rain on a Saturday, thereby scotching all those plans for golf outings and weddings. 

2 - Serving as the anchor for an early morning TV show such as "Today," "CBS This Morning," or "Good Moaning, America" is regarded as a great job, one to aspire to and work toward.  Typically, people who do this sort of work start out in small stations as reporters, wind up as local anchors and then progress to being network reporters before being hired for a job that pays in the millions of dollars per year.  It is a coveted and rewarding position.  So, the minute you get one of these jobs, immediately start complaining about having to get up early to do it.  This will ingratiate you with people who get up early to shovel manure, drive busloads of kids to school, or take toll money down at the bridge for 1/100th of your salary. 

3 - Not all the jobs in television are for those seen on the air.  Being the director or producer of a show or a live event such as a football game is a wonderful job for people who can learn to concentrate on dozens of things at once.  The successful director of live football coverage must always remember that there is some sort of federal law that says:

§ 7-2-102 Any quarterback who throws an interception, or any player who shall fumble a ball which is recovered by the opposing team, shall be shown on the sidelines immediately thereafter with a forlorn look of chagrin on his face.

§ 7-2-102 -B  Should the opposing team score a touchdown or field goal as a direct result of the interception or fumble, the guilty player must be shown in his seated position on the bench, his head buried in his hands, and his disconsolate eyes misting.  It is optional for a coach or fellow player to approach the bereaved and smack him on the shoulder (if sitting) or rump (if standing).

§ 7-2-102 - C   Should any game be within two minutes of completion with the losing team behind by three points or fewer, it is Federal Law that their placekicker be shown kicking practice field goals into a net on the sidelines while being left strictly alone by his teammates.

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