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The rubberneck show

By Paul Peczon


Everybody wants to be a successful TV producer/director, and I've just thought of the most popular possible show to ever hit the airwaves. People love to watch those "real life" cop shows and daytime soap operas. Maybe because it's because those shows allow us to indulge in life's more interesting moments, without actually having to get personally involved. Maybe our morbid attraction to the darker sides of life have

But real life offers even more fascinating spectacles that hold people riveted, oblivious to the enraged cacophony of other drivers who want to get a chance to look, too. That's right, I'm going to produce a program about car accidents. People just love to crane their necks and stop their vehicles and see the misfortunes of their fellow man by the side of the road. Rubbernecking, right after idiot police directing traffic and intersection blocking, is one of the most important sources of traffic in the world today.

And there's more to it than just accidents. hell, people will slow down to look at some other misfortunate changing a tire, or perhaps just standing there forlornly as the car leaks oil and other fish killing fluids onto the street. Overheating is always a spectacle of steam and bad smells, especially if some idiot tries to open the radiator cap before the thing cools down. When this happens, of course, scalding hot antifreeze burns the heck out of the self-styled mechanic and anyone else foolish enough to be nearby for the experiment, resulting in an even more exciting scene: the medical crisis.

Now I know that not everyone gets the glory of an ambulance, and modern viewers are keyed in on this. In fact, they will slow down to look at anyone who seems ill. If you were to get dressed up in nice clothes and then lie down in the street, you can be sure that traffic would slow to gawk at you. Of course, nobody would actually stop to help, and maybe someone who knows your parents might see, so perhaps you should just take my word for it.

And of course no popular TV show is complete without human interaction; the drama of man versus man. Or better yet, the show will always feature man versus woman, showing the ever popular spectacle of a woman screaming and yelling at her drunkard/adulterer/jobless/foolish/useless husband. This as we all know is the number one traffic stopper, guaranteed to mesmerize anyone in the vicinity. Oh, and there's man versus man, the ever thrilling prospect of watching two men display their warlike hunter/gatherer roots as they go fisticuffs. The good ones, of course, involve foot chases with icepicks and bolos, which are so darned hard to see from your car, especially if the combatants are going the wrong way.

And nothing, I mean nothing beats a nice fire. People will always stop to check out a good fire, even if it means blocking traffic so that the firefighters can't get through. And yes, stopping to look at fires has killed a lot of people, so think how many lives my new TV show will save. We're talking not just about the people in the burning buildings, but even the hapless spectators who get killed in explosions as gas tanks and the like explode. Boy, this show will be great.<©1996 Peczon

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