Knock! Knock! Knock!
“Hello. Can I help you?”
“Hi. Are you Teya Ryan, president of Georgia Public Broadcasting?”
“Yes, I am. Who are you?”
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“I am Chip Rogers, your new employee. I used to be the majority leader in the state Senate, where I was responsible for such cutting-edge issues as preventing our body parts from being microchipped without our permission and for making people aware that the United Nations intends to take over local zoning through the use of Soviet mind-control. I’ve done a lot of other neat things, too. That is why Gov. Deal called the other day and asked would I mind taking my enormous skill sets to Georgia Public Broadcasting before I thought up any more ways of getting my name in the newspaper.”
“Yes, Gov. Deal told me you were coming and told me to find something for you to do. How does this sound? How about we make you executive producer -- community jobs program? We -- or rather the taxpayers of Georgia -- will pay you $150,000 a year.”
“Wow! That sounds great! Nathan must really love you guys. I am getting paid more than he is. And I have always wanted to be an executive producer -- community jobs program. Wait until the folks back in Woodstock hear about this. This is going to knock their socks off. We’ve never had an executive producer -- community jobs program from Woodstock. By the way, what exactly does an executive producer -- community jobs program do?”
“We are still working on that. You see, we hadn’t counted on you coming to Georgia Public Broadcasting until Gov. Deal made us an offer we couldn’t refuse.”
“You know I used to be on television giving odds on pro football games. I was called ‘Will the Winner.’ Why don’t we look at starting a show on GPB where I can lay odds on high school football in Georgia and call it ‘Touting the Teens.’ Do an over-under on Lowndes vs. Valdosta. Maybe microchip a cornerback. That kind of stuff.”
“Mr. Rogers, I don’t think that is a good idea. Everything you touch seems to become a raging controversy. Let’s start a little more modestly, if you don’t mind.”
“I’m beginning to sense a little problem here. Like maybe I’m not wanted.”
“It’s not that. It is just that our contributors aren’t very happy right now. They have been very loyal to Georgia Public Broadcasting because we have worked hard to bring them quality programming. Now, you are foisted off on us with a bloated salary and no specific job duties; just this cockamamie title. We are going to have a tough time convincing contributors that we are not a dumping ground for annoying politicians.”
“Wait! Are you saying the governor was just trying to get rid of me? The guy has always been so nice to me. Now I have to wonder if he was just using Soviet-style mind control on me and I didn’t notice because I was so focused on the United Nations. Hmmm.”
“That possibility has occurred to us, too, but we hope we can salvage the situation. For starters, we are going to ask you to assist us on our pledge drives.”
“Now you are talking! I raised a lot of money when I was in the Senate. Lizard-loafered lobbyists are great pals of mine. I think we could get them to take contributors out for dinner at some swanky restaurant or to play golf at a posh resort. You are going to have to give me a little time to work out the details. For some reason, lobbyists have stopped returning my phone calls since I quit the Senate. Go figure.”
“I think we have enough problems right now without involving lobbyists. Here is an idea that I would like to propose: As you know, we are keen about our locally-produced nature programs. The staff and I were thinking of maybe doing our next pledge drive from the Okefenokee Swamp and dressing you up as Big Bird.”
“Wow! That sounds really exciting! Me dressed as Big Bird! I love it! But have you considered the fact that if I am up to my wazoo in water, some alligator might think I am a whooping crane and eat me?”
“That, sir, is a risk we at GPB are willing to take as long as we can convince the alligator to eat your salary, too. Now, go get dressed.”
You can reach Dick Yarbrough at firstname.lastname@example.org or P.O. Box 725373, Atlanta, GA 31139.