Ed Hughes had trained himself to put gaffes out of his mind quickly. On TV, particularly on a talk show where you were the man, if you dwelled on a mistake, you could be guaranteed to make many more. If it was big enough, he'd correct it the next night, but this wasn't big enough.
"So there you have it folks! 2006...a year of change, a year of signposts, a year that we saw the further erosion of our traditional America values. Next up, our final segment: how did we do fighting the War On Christmas against the heathens and pagans and liberals who want to take it from us and turn it into a secular holiday."
Ed turned slightly sideways in his chair as the red light darkened, and sipped some water quickly. The show was going well, and Ed was keeping his cool. The interview with the Father Tom of his hometown church went well, allowing the Father the chance to remind people about Jesus' birth and what it means to us all, the sacrifices Jesus made for His people, and the love we should all have for our fellow men. Hughes even managed to slip a few jabs in at liberals, talking about how they wanted the rest of us to "give unto Caesar" when they couldn't give unto God.
Father Tom almost seemed to bridle at that. I guess he hadn't been warned that Ed would do something like that. Always about getting a leg up on his competition and using liberals as building blocks. Nonplussed, Ed explained that he was talking about the all-but-certain tax hikes he felt were coming in the new Congress, but how gay marriage and stem cells would be featured as well.
Father Tom sat stone silent as Hughes began to warm up for his blistering opinion segment at the end of the show. When Hughes was finished railing, Father Tom spoke of Jesus' love for ALL His people, and that HIs sacrifice was made to save us all.
Hughes was writing notes. He had some ideas for the last segment, and then moved onto the next question for the Father. He caught Barb's eye at that pointed and winked at her. He could see Barb putting on her coat, her full breasts yearning to break free of their confinement and find their way to Ed's tender touch. He shook his head to clear the image. Must be a particularly full moon tonight, he chuckled to himself, they look rather swollen.
The stage crew was scurrying back to places. Ed had his monologue ready. A few more minutes, and Ed would be done for the night. Barb had waved goodnight during the break after Father Tom's segment. He was hoping he could convince her to let him buy her a drink this evening to celebrate Christmas. Maybe two. Maybe he'd slip her some of that special potion he had gotten from a friend. He could always put her in a cab afterwards. Timmy was probably asleep by now anyway.
"Finally, as the clock ticks towards Christmas Day, we should take a moment and reflect on precisely what this holiday means. Christmas isn't about commercialization, or how many presents you get or give. It's about remembering the birth of Our Lord. As such, the holiday should remain sacrosanct. It should never be used as a 'me-too' excuse by the politically-correct left and minority religions in this country who feel slighted by the sight of a tree with ornaments on it, or a creche with the baby Jesus in it. I'm frankly tired of celebrating 'diversity,' which is code for 'I'm better than you.' I'd much rather see the United States unite rather than divvy itself up into shards and pockets of people. We may be Jews or Irish or black, but underneath it all, we're Americans, and we should act that way..."
A strange ringing began in Ed's ear.
To Chapter Four