The scene: The office of Teya Ryan, president of Georgia Public Broadcasting.
KNOCK! KNOCK! KNOCK!
“What is it, Tiffany? I am very busy and I asked not to be interrupted.”
“I’m sorry to bother you but there is a man pacing outside your office dressed like Big Bird. He says he must talk to you now. Says it is an emergency.”
“That would be Chip Rogers. I figured this would happen. OK, Tiffany, send him in.”
“Teya! I have just heard from the Cookie Monster and Miss Piggy that I am no longer wanted here! You can’t do this! I gave up a wonderful career in the state Senate, where I led the fight to keep the United Nations out of Putnam County and microchips off our body parts. When I got this gig, I told people it was my ‘dream job.’ Little did I know my dream would suddenly go ‘poof.’ Boy, are my feathers ruffled!”
“Chip, settle down and take off that silly costume. You did this to yourself. I have been informed you are lobbying for a hotel association while taking $150,000 in taxpayer money to do whatever it is we were told to hire you to do. Don’t blame me. This one is on you.”
“Oh, yeah? Well, we’ll just see about that. May I remind you I have friends in the very highest levels of state government, and they are going to be very upset about this. You seem to have forgotten that it was the governor who encouraged me to take this job. As we say on ‘Sesame Street,’ you have just laid an egg, Teya.”
“In the first place, I’ve never heard anybody on ‘Sesame Street’ say that, and as for calling Gov. Deal, don’t bother. The Atlanta newspapers got emails through an Open Records Act that says Chris Riley, the governor’s chief of staff, received an anonymous tip about your sideline venture. Mr. Riley then had Bart Gobell, the governor’s chief operating officer, talk to me about the matter personally.
“Sonufagun. Nobody tells me anything. I should have known better than to trust that crowd in the governor’s office. They have had it in for me ever since I told the governor he looked like Zoot. I meant that as a compliment but I don’t think he watches ‘Sesame Street.’ Now, I wish I had told Chris Riley he reminds me of Oscar the Grouch. He does, you know.”
“At this point, Chip, I don’t think any of that matters. What matters is that you have become a distraction here at Georgia Public Broadcasting at a time we are trying to raise some serious money. A lot of donors quit giving to GPB when they found out they were also paying your salary. With this issue behind me, I can now get back to promoting the cultural ambience that so defines public broadcasting. I am quite excited about our newest GPB concert, entitled, ‘Snoop Doggy Dogg Sings Mozart’s Requiem Mass in D Minor.’ We will also be giving hula hoops to the first 100 callers during our upcoming pledge drive.”
“Gosh, Teya, I would love to be a part of that. I love all that requiem stuff and I’m crazy about dogs. I will even learn to hula hoop. Let me show you I can be a part of the team. I’ll even put away my Big Bird outfit if you wish, although I think I look pretty sharp in that sucker.”
“Chip, I’m sorry, but my decision is final. I hate it happened this way, but I must confess it will be nice to no longer worry about that crass columnist who is always taking potshots at us. If you go away, maybe he will go away.”
“I can make that happen, Teya. I will go back to Woodstock and announce I am going to run for public office. That will keep Mr. Smarty-Pants so preoccupied with what I am going to say or do next that he won’t have time to think about you guys.”
“Hmm. That just might work. What do you want in return?”
“Two tickets to see that singing dog and six hula hoops.”
“Oh, good grief. Say good-bye, Chip.”
“OK, ‘Good-bye, Chip.’”
You can reach Dick Yarbrough at email@example.com or P.O. Box 725373, Atlanta, Ga. 31139.