Tuesday, September 05, 2006

The KTAL Dream



I dreamed last night that KTAL, in an effort to reach viewers, had reconstructed its anchor team from the mid-1980’s. Somehow, they convinced Sherri Allen to come back from KTBS, Ron Young to come over from KSLA, Dale Hoffman to move back from Alexandria and I was there sitting at my old desk. They even reconfigured the newsroom so that we were sitting in an office, just like we did for all those years.
This dream was not set in the 80’s. We sat around and talked about our experiences over the last twenty years, and none of us could believe we actually were sitting there. In this bizzaro world of my subconscious, the backdrop for the news set featured an 80’s Shreveport skyline. There was no AmSouth tower, no casinos, and no neon bridge.
I remember sitting at my desk, saying, “This is kind of cool in a nostalgic, retro way, but where is my computer?” as I stared at a beige IBM Selectric. Since the computers weren’t there, the prompter didn’t work, and a technician was scrambling to hook up an old-school, paper-fed conveyor belt prompting system.
Just for a moment, there was a flash of anger and frustration. Then, it all became comfortably amusing. We wondered where Al LeGrand was and told old stories about our late news director, Gordon Grafton. We decided that this was a stroke of genius, that a return to a Reagan-era presentation of the news might be just the tonic the station needed. I had the impression we all were doing this on the side, anyway. So, it was basically for fun, a kind of pseudo-social experiment, maybe even a stunt.
I actually have an image in my mind of Dale and Sherri sitting together on the set. Ron is walking over to the green screen as I walk into the studio, making final preparations to do a sportscast.
It was a happy dream, in a way. All the old interoffice rivalries were a distant memory. We were all older and wiser and happy to be together. We even used 80’s technology to present our little newscast, and it went smoothly.
Then, after the show…on my desk was a little slip of paper upon which was written the Count, Direction, Jackpot amount and Bonus Clue for Dialing for Thousands. Only then did I realize it actually was a nightmare.

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1 comment:

Matthew said...

I sometimes dream I'm still working at KTAL. I wake up screaming curse words. The episodes usually end with a call to a high-priced therapist.