Unfortunately, the world of televisual news broadcasting has changed since I was a lad. Gone are the dour, imperfect, but dependable news anchors. In this highly defined age, only beautiful people are allowed on TV, and I was promptly removed from the shortlist. I was told I had a face for radio. The radio company told me I had a voice for deaf sign-language translation. The deaf service told me that I had the hand-eye coordination of a man who drowns his sorrows in a cocktail of vodka and Dettol. As insightful as the insult was, I still felt disappointed that yet another dream of mine wouldn’t come to fruition.
That’s when I stumbled across an article about town criers. I was actually searching for Richard Pryor to find out if I was distantly related enough to inherit some of his estate, but a small typo or seven lead me onto a historical account about how news was delivered in the olden days. Back in the dark days before Twitter, towns would employ a man to stand in the market square and bellow news into people’s faces. There were no beauty or skill requirements for this role, so I appointed myself as the official town crier, bought the biggest bell I could find, and set out to inform the populace.
|Reality beats parody once again.|
I started by reading the front page of the Daily Mail:
“Hear ye, hear ye, immigrant’s hatred of Princess Diana can cause cancer!”
Then The Sun:
“Hear ye, hear ye, Scousers cause global warming!”
And finally, The Daily Sport:
“Hear ye, hear ye, inside: 8 page supplement flowchart of prostitutes Rooney has slept with. Also, more tits!”
By the time I had started on the gossip pages, people were beginning to hurl abuse at me. Apparently I was being offensive. I don’t see what was so offensive about news. If it is fit to be printed on the front page of a national newspaper, it’s fit to be screamed out loud in the street. Unfortunately, the gathering mob didn’t agree with me on this matter, and promptly chased me down the high street. I took shelter in a local newsagent. Surely they, as grassroots news dispersers, would be able to sympathize with me. I dived into a pile of newspapers, seeking safety amongst Rupert Murdoch’s finest parchments.
That’s when the mob started setting fire to the building. Seeing as paper is incredibly flammable, the protestors decided that it would be quicker to smoke me out than search the shop. Thinking fast, I put my town crier robes on the shop owner, and pushed him into the street for the mob to have. While they were busy slowly dissecting him, I escaped through the backdoor and ran towards safety, thinking that perhaps news distribution wasn’t a world in which I belonged.