Q. what did the dalai lama say to the hot dog vendor?


Maybe there is forgiveness after all. Maybe what we watch on the news is  understandable if we try to really see it. But he doesn’t want to see anything. He doesn’t want to understand any more. Rod wants a drink. He shakes his glass at the bartender and looks at the TV. An ample dose of Wild Turkey appears in a tumbler with good cracked ice. Rod sips the 101 proof liquor as he slides into his stool at the end of the bar. He relaxes instantly as much as Rod can ever relax.

He is irritated.

The local evening news assaults with surround sound intensity from the  flat screen television mounted behind the bar and, just in case he isn’t paying enough attention, Each local story is preceded by an annoying cannon blast  to accentuate the local news anchor woman’s stumbling delivery.  She recites a few details about a mundane sad Montana death;

 “The body of a local ranch hand recently estranged from his wife and kids is found dragged out into the woods and… “

She stops mid sentence as she loses her place.

“ Local authorities have no details um, as yet.”

The pretty face stammers. She is obviously flustered as footage with Trout swimming upstream appears inexplicably on the TV screen. She reads tentatively on;

“The um. body was found by a hunter um, This afternoon…. Seems we have the wrong visual so I apologize and  we will get back to that story after a brief station break.”

Rod’s new drink mollifies a fleeting compulsion to hurl a bar-stool at the blaring box. This would be dangerous if he were young  but at 59 years old, Rod just sits and watches while the urge passes with a long tired sigh.

After over 44 years in the news business, Rod’s recent retirement from the Missoula Standard newspaper causes him to fester resentment toward any twenty something with a press pass. The bulk of Rod’s career was spent covering Politics- everything from back-door small town smugness all the way to corrupt US senators. Rod can barely read a newspaper or look at the news anymore without at least 2 ounces of Wild Turkey as a restraint.

“incompetent” He  mutters.

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