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All Da King's Men

Eyes Wide Shut

By Da King Published: March 18, 2011

The buzzing of Mike's Sony alarm clock awakened him and told him it was noon, time to get up. Cracks of midday sunlight shone through his energy-efficient Pella windows, filtered by the Levolor blinds. He arose from the Serta Perfect Sleeper, slipped into his Ralph Lauren silk robe and Uggs slippers, and walked across the Stainmaster carpet to his bathroom. He flipped the switch, and the GE fluorescent bulbs brought artificial sunlight to life. There would be no time for a shower today, because Mike had to be at the studio in one hour. He was accustomed to skipping showers. He dampened a Martha Stewart washcloth and scrubbed his face with Dial soap, drying with a matching Martha hand towel. Then he shaved away his one-day beard growth with the Norelco electric, and brushed his pearly whites with an Oral B and Crest Whitening toothpaste. He noted thankfully that his bad tooth no longer ached since his recent visit to American Dental Center. A quick pass over each pit with the Right Guard Sport Stick, followed by a splash of Old Spice aftershave, and Mike considered himself clean.

His morning constitutional on the American Standard presented the day's first snag. The low-flow toilet backed up, as it so often did. Whose brilliant idea was it to design toilets that didn't flush ?, he wondered. Good thing he had that K-Mart plunger handy. After several thrusts, the toilet bowl cleared properly.

Back in the bedroom, he slid into his Levis, Izod polo shirt, and Nikes, and then slapped the John Deere ballcap on his head. He headed to the kitchen where the Braun automatic coffeemaker already had his Folger's java piping hot and ready to go. Mike's Frigidaire was stocked full of groceries, because he had stopped at the local Supermart on his way home last evening, but he figured he'd just zip into the Mickey D's drive-thru on the way to the studio to save time. He opened a kitchen cabinet and popped one of his Bristol Myers Squib blood pressure pills. He also plopped a couple Alka-Seltzer into a glass and swigged those down. His sour stomach sung the regrets of those two extra slices of cheesecake he had at the Olive Garden last night. The Alka-Seltzer helped almost immediately.

Mike went to the garage, jumped into his Cadillac Escalade, clicked the Genie garage-door opener, and headed out. One of the Goodyear radials appeared a bit low, but that would have to wait. The Escalade's gas gauge told him he was down to 1/8th tank, so he'd have to fill up at the local Exxon station. He started scanning the 50 or so stations on his Pioneer car radio, finally stopping on a station playing the classic rock tune Taking Care Of Business by Bachman-Turner Overdrive. He liked that one, and that's what Mike would do when he reached the studio. He'd take care of business.

He made a quick stop at a Bank Of America ATM to replenish his cash supply before hitting McDonald's, then consulted his Garmin GPS system for an alternate route to the news studio. His normal route was backed up due to road construction. It would be worth it if the city would ever get rid of all the darned potholes, thought Mike. The GPS charted out his route, telling him each turn to make.

He arrived at the studio, brushed the Happy Meal crumbs from his shirt, and exited the Escalade. His iPhone told him he had a call, but that would have to wait too. There was no time. He entered the lobby, took the Otis elevator up to the correct floor, and entered the television studio. Ten minutes later he was fitted with an Audio-Technica wireless microphone for his MSNBC segment. MSNBC was initially a collaboration of Microsoft and the National Broadcasting Company, and was now a subsidiary of General Electric. Mike was in the corporate big-time now, and was a frequent guest commentator on MSNBC. Today, he was taping a segment for the Rachel Maddow show, where his words would be broadcast from this little studio all across North America and beyond. Modern technology was a true wonder. The whole world was connected almost instantly these days. Mike only wished MSNBC's ratings weren't in the dumper. How could they be so low when the station had guests like Mike on to educate the people ??? Hard to fathom.

Then he was on-air.

Maddow: "Welcome to MSNBC. This is Rachel Maddow. Tonight, we have the Oscar-winning documentary filmmaker Michael Moore with us to discuss the state of corporate America. What say you, Michael ?"

Mike: "The free market doesn't work".

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