Distressing Sounds

In “Anecdotal Tales”, stories will be told. Some will be fun, some will not. Some will be great, some will be less so. Some stories are true, some are merely possible. This is one of them.

Distressing Sounds

Nothing funny happened to me on the way to the theater tonight, so good night.” –Jack Benny

Timmy didn’t believe what he was witnessing.  He and his father were part of a crowd.  All different kinds of people had gathered to see how things worked.  If they were honest, they’d admit that they were mostly there to be entertained.  Timmy on the other hand was confused.  How could the supposed heroes of this event just stand there?

It had all started rather dramatically.  A man who had been released from jail the day before had come home to his wife.  The ex-con and the woman got into a fight.  Apparently the man had stashed tens of thousands of dollars before he had been locked up and now the money was gone.  He thought that his wife had stolen it.  She accused him of lying so he could have the money all to himself.  Two gunshots had echoed and now the woman was dead.  Timmy watched as the whole thing took place.

Then the sounds of alarms and police cars entered the picture.  Before he knew it, two men introduced themselves as police officers.  Timmy had never seen these men before, but he knew their voices sound familiar.  He tried to get closer to them, but the guards made sure that he stayed on out of the way while the officers worked.  The little boy watched as the two men interrogated the murderer.

Timmy expected much more from these supposed cops.  From what the eight year-old boy had heard, there should have been a lot more excitement.  Cops were supposed to be rough with their interrogations.  They were supposed to grab thugs by the collar and slap them around a little bit. Maybe they would even hold a gun to the crook’s neck.  None of that was happening, though.  The three of them were just standing there, still as could be, talking.  Timmy would never see the woman again.  He might never learn what the woman did with the money.  He was just supposed to watch from the sidelines and assume that he didn’t need to know.  Timmy had been watching this scene play out for twenty-five minutes and was getting restless.

Finally, Timmy got his answers.  The guy who was supposedly the head officer read off of a piece of paper.  They’d found a deed in one of the desk drawers in the killer’s house.  The officer explained that the woman had taken the money and used it to buy a house in the country where the two of them could live.  She had wanted to save the news as a surprise for her husband.  The crook broke down, was cuffed, and music was played from somewhere.

The announcer walked in, thanked everyone for visiting, and reminded them what kind of toothbrush they should use.  Timmy didn’t get it.  He had been lost when this guy had started talking before; even the cops had stopped talking when this guy had spoken.  Now Timmy was hopelessly befuddled.


“Yes Timmy?”

“Why were they just standing around the whole time?”

“They weren’t just standing”, his father said as they stood up and walked away from their seats and towards the aisle.  “They were acting.  The microphones in front of them recorded their voices and then it all gets transmitted over the radio so we can hear it at home.”

“So the woman didn’t really die?  They’re not really cops?”

“No Timmy.  I explained all this before the broadcast.  I wanted you to see how shows like The Shadow or Gangbusters worked.  This radio drama is all pretend, like the movies we watch.”

“But with no picture”, Timmy added.

“Exactly”, his father replied.  “They weren’t just standing there, they were doing their job.”

Timmy still didn’t understand.  He decided he’d have to think the whole thing over.  In the meantime, he asked his father for twelve cents to buy a new comic book from the drugstore.

As he looked at the Batmans and Captain Marvels on the stand, Timmy got an idea.  When it was time for bed, he would simply stand there and stay up as late as he wanted.  If his parents got upset, he’d tell them it was his job.  That must be how it works, Timmy reasoned.


About Cosand
He's a simple enough fellow. He likes movies, comics, radio shows from the 40's, and books. He likes to write and wishes his cat wouldn't shed on his laptop.

2 Responses to Distressing Sounds

  1. verasilver says:

    Loved the last line.. made the whole thing worthwhile 🙂

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