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News of the Day

(You can listen to this piece on S3E5 of the podcast)


Maricela wants to throw her cell phone in the garbage, such are her feelings towards the text on her screen. “She’s such a freaking a tramp!” Maricela exclaims.

“Tramp! Tramp!” calls out Maricela’s two-year-old Troy from where he sits happily eating a banana and avocado breakfast in his highchair.

Her husband Barry guffaws. “Tramp, huh? What did your sister do this time?”

Though vaguely concerned, Maricela’s spouse of 7 years doesn’t look away from the television playing in the living room as he speaks. As Maricela huffs and their son parrots, Barry sits at the breakfast table and salivates over the Saturday morning news anchor who is now discussing this weekend’s highway lane closures. Anna Holiday is a smoke show relegated to weekend news—everyone agrees—because she had an affair with the producer’s husband.

“I finally earn a promotion after working my butt off at the newspaper all these years, and now all of a sudden she has her own good news. What a bimbo!”

“Bimbo! Bimbo!” squeals Troy, making good work of smearing avocado down his T-rex t-shirt.

Maricela tries to pour OJ into a clean glass, but the angry shaking of her hand sends half the beverage spilling onto her green Formica countertops. She groans before searching out a towel to wipe the mess. Anna Holiday is now discussing city plans for the annual spring carnival. Barry sips his coffee, eyes not dropping from the screen.

“What’s her good news?” her husband asks after a few beats of silence remind him that it is his turn to speak. Barry learned active listening in a marriage retreat they attended last year. He hadn’t quite mastered the “active” part, but both Barry and Maricela agreed that he was much improved.

“She somehow shimmied her way into a news anchor contract with KNTV. Weekend edition. Must have slept her way into that one—she can’t even pronounce ‘broadcast television. What a clown!’”

“Clown! Clown!” Troy chimes, banging his tiny fists on his tray table for emphasis.

Barry chokes on his last swallow of coffee while Maricela pours herself another glass of OJ then joins her husband and son at the table.

“All I’ve ever wanted was a little attention on my life and my career and my successes, but no, my sister has always insisted on stealing my spotlight,” says Maricela.

It was true. Maricela’s very own parents had missed her 9th grade spelling bee championship win because her little sister had announced to their devout Christian parents that she wanted to get baptized at a revival service the same night. Crafty.

“Did you say weekend news?” Barry asks, finally looking away from the television to peer at his wife.

“Yes.”

“On KNTV?” he clarifies.

“Right,” Maricela affirms.

“She’s replacing Anna Holiday?” Barry croaks.

“She always gets what she wants,” Maricela declares. “What else is news?”

Barry looks back at the screen, where Anna Holiday is wrapping up the segment with a killer smile that shows off her perfectly square teeth.

“That blows,” says Barry quietly.

“Blows. Blows,” says baby Troy in a whisper, the little boy mimicking his parents’ bewildered expression as they fall into a broody silence once more.



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