Define "transparent."

I believe the Mayor's office has been spending more time than necessary digging through dictionaries.

I believe that there was, at one time, a Merriam-Webster Task Force assigned day and night (on forced overtime) to suss out and nail down that one word that defined the administration.

And I believe that Julian Assange hijacked the @dcfireems Twitter account… and has just leaked everything to me. Today, I share it with you.

I am actually so terrified to share this information that I will be fleeing the country for ten days soon after this post. I assure you that it has nothing to do with my upcoming wedding; I maintain that this is a quest for asylum.

Perhaps I should change my plans from a European beach town to a non-extradition country.

If I do not return, please know that I have befallen the same fate as our Department's official Twitter account. Dearest @dcfireems: your dedicated citizens miss you.

 

EXT. DC GOVERNMENT BUILDING – LATE AT NIGHT,  - ESTABLISHING.

 

Few cars amble by, as window lights show only a few dedicated employees still at work.

 

INT. CUBICLE FARM.

Underneath humming, poorly-maintained fluorescent lights, coffee cups litter the desk of frazzled aide CANTER VYING.* A harsh incandescent slung over the desk illuminates his only task, a dictionary of massive proportions.

 

CANTER

(suddenly; he springs up)

Holy… holy shit. Here it is.

 

CANTER stands. Finding nobody in the office, realization sets in how late it is.

 

INT. HALLWAY – DOUBLE DOORS SMASH OPEN

CANTER is sprinting down the hallway, clutching a sheaf of paper.

 

CANTER (V.O.)

This was it. I knew I had found it, and

the boss was gonna be so happy.

 

INT. LOBBY

CANTER sits at a public-use computer.

 

CANTER

(grumbling to himself)

Can’t even give us our own computers…

like it’s my fault that TeleStaff was

actually a spyware installer.

He sits.

CANTER (CONT’D)

It does make some sense, though.

 

ANGLE: COMPUTER SCREEN – FRANTIC TYPING

 

COMPUTER SCREEN, TYPED:

We can say that we are 100% “transparent.”

Despite what most people think it means,

I’ve found a strict definition that we can use.

It’s even supported by the online community

 of unquestionable intelligence, “Wikipedia.”

Transparency /trans?pe(?)r?ns?/(n.)

performing in such a way that it is

easier for others to see what is wrong.

 

CANTER grins evilly, wrapping up his cunning argument with fingers flying over the keys.

 

TYPED (CONT’D)

You see, boss? They can see what’s wrong,

plain as day! But this word makes us sound really

good, because that’s totally different than having

the people know what we’re actually doing.

 

     CANTER chuckles to himself.

 

TYPED (CONT’D)

Our current failings and our day-to-day

operations are two different things, but

Joe Public is probably too dumb to know

the difference!

 

With a satisfied CLICK, CANTER sits back in his chair.

 

CANTER

(he sighs)

Damn, that feels good. Nothin’ like a

little spinjob to make you feel like a ma—

 

The computer emits a PLINK, surprising CANTER and echoing through the empty lobby. The screen lights up his eyes as he reads:

 

COMPUTER SCREEN, DISPLAYED

Excellent word choice; you’ve done

a fantastic job, [insert employee’s

name here]. Now we just have to figure

out how to make us 100% transparent,

immediately.

 

CANTER doesn’t even hesitate. Diving back to the screen:

 

COMPUTER SCREEN, TYPED

The solution is simple… and is as old as

time itself. Eliminate access to those

who like to write; filter access to those

who like to read; and eradicate those who

like to photograph. We ain't giving parties.

 

A man named George Orwell wrote an

instruction manual for everyone a few

decades ago. Before we ban it, you

should read it.

 

A triumphant CLICK as the email sends and disappears from view.

 

ANGLE: CANTER’S face, lit by only the corporate-blue glow of the monitor. He licks his lips, as if to taste the blood of a journalist glistening upon them.

 

His eyes flare greedily; SMASH CUT to BLACK.

 

-END-

 

 

 

* It's an anagram. Figure it out.

 

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Alex Capece

Washington, D.C. Firefighter and Paramedic

FE Talk: Humpday Hangout

Comments
stephen miller
St. Baldrick’ Support a Fellow Brother Fighting Pediatric Cancer!
Great job, brethren ... be bald (bold) even off the fire ground.
2014-02-22 09:33:24
John Struve
St. Baldrick’ Support a Fellow Brother Fighting Pediatric Cancer!
As I read all the above I wondered "How does it work?" Are fire personnel asking for pledges from the public to be paid to this charity when the personnel have their heads shaved? The ad above was not clear to me. I will read it again. The charity is certainly a very worthwhile cause.…
2014-02-22 06:20:28
“Social Media Policy”how does it affect the bloggers? | Raising Ladders
A word of caution for the chronic Facebook addicts.
[…] over three years ago, I penned a post regarding how firefighters and EMS providers were landing themselves in hot water by using various […]
2014-01-07 17:55:57
Jonny Hope
Farewell, brother.
So very well said Brother. Mike was such an awesome guy. Sure am gonna miss him and his stories. Mike touch so many people on and off the job. Mike will continue to live on in so many of us. Thank you for sharing such a wonderful tribute with us about Mike. 
2013-12-04 21:49:48
Scott Jones
Farewell, brother.
A Very toching tribute from a true brother. Thoughts and prayers to his family and his brothers and sisters in DC.  Scott Jones, BC Springfield, MO
2013-12-04 19:38:25

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