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Monday, July 27, 2009

The Heart of Darkness....

Desperate moves are afoot at the Beeb.
"MacDonald, get in here will yeh. I want a word."
"Yes, boss."
The boss shuts the door behind the young reporter, quietly draws the blinds and takes a last sip of BBC tea with that touch of early morning brandy to give his voice strength. He knew this was going to be difficult and he couldn't look the kid in the eyes. What kind of hell was he sending this poor boy into? He knew because he'd seen it all before, thirty years ago when he too was the kids age; the mud and squalor, the poverty, the leaky outside toilets. But he knew that it was worse now. He made a mental note to get the secretary to get him a copy of Conrads' 'Heart of Darkness' and a DVD of 'Apocalypse Now' to slip into the kids luggage.
"MacDonald, I've got a new job for yeh. Looking after one of our webpages."
"Anything, boss. You know I'm always keen to learn. Which webpage would that be then?"
"I know you're keen on sport, MacDonald, so its one of our football ones, means you keeping in close touch with all the clubs involved and reporting, in a concise fashion of course, you know what their memory span is like, on what's happening."
"Great, boss. Which page are we talking about? Premier, FA Cup, International?
"No, MacDonald, its none of those. Its......well, ......its League One..."
"WHAT! No! But boss, please, don't. I'm a United fan, I can't do that, nobody reads those pages, they have 5 hits a month. Its a dead-end job, everyone's going to laugh themselves silly."
The Boss, knowing the reason he had closed the blinds, was not to be deterred. After the previous three reporters had all gone missing, things were looking desperate and this was his 6th attempt to find someone new to take the job and this time he was taking any excuses.
"Your names MacDonald, how can you be a United fan? What's wrong with Celtic or Rangers? Listen boy, this is your chance to make a name for yourself. With only 5 hits a month, and I have to say here and now that you've wrong there, last month it was 9 hits, the only way is up. Get a grip on yourself. Its tough but I think you're the boy...ur man, for the job."
"But Boss, what's my girlfriend going to say? She'll ditch me as soon as she hears."
"Nonsense, MacDonald. She'll be proud of you. Going out there into the Wilderness, talking to people that won't want to know you 'cause they're ashamed of where they are and you out there tracking down grounds that are undiscovered and that have never seen the light of day. Think of yourself as the Indiana Jones of League One. Or even Captain Nemo going where no man has gone before."
"Thats Captain Kirk. Boss."
"Kirk or Smirk, I don't care. This is your chance MacDonald. It'll make a man of you, it'll put your name up there in lights. The Man Who Went to League One and Survived. they'll probably make a film about it."
"But first to show we're serious and to make sure you're prepared you're off this weekend to the Army base at Aldershot for a Survival Training course. Can't chuck you in the deep end without a paddle, can we? Come on now no time to lose, the first games a week Saturday and you've got to find out where this Valley place is, you might as well start with the worst. Its probably down in south Wales somewhere, plenty of Valleys down there."

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