For Those “In-The-Know”




A lake, under best of circumstances, can look very nice. When it starts drying up, a lot of rather unappetizing things get exposed, making it kind of gross in the looks department.


The same goes for television.  This week’s story has to do with what happens beneath the surface of the TV world.  No “breaking silence,” “clinging to life” or any of those other American news cliches, just pure storytelling here.  As a side note, my dad always has told me to be kind to people … you might be working for them someday.

Barbara Beacham is our photo contributor.  Very nice, Barbara!

Rochelle Wisoff-Fields is head of Friday Fictioneers and invites you to the challenge of the 100-word story.


SIDE NOTE:  For those of you outside of America, we call American news announcers and presenters who sit at the desk, “anchors” (don’t ask me why).


The bulletin board read:  “Anchor Susie Stevens is no longer employed here at KQEW-TV 6.”

Floor director Tyler Briggs knew Susie as beautiful, manipulative and incompetent.  It bothered him that the anchors’ morale was nonexistent thanks to her.  So, he invited Susie to a high profile party on his night off. She called in sick and went with him.  Her picture made the newspaper the next day — with a drink in her hand and flipping off the photographer with the other.

Before airtime, the substitute anchor asked Tyler, “What happened?”

Tyler shrugged, pointed to the camera.  “Stand-by!”


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61 Responses to For Those “In-The-Know”

  1. Ha… yes always be kind.. leave out the nasty details.. 🙂

  2. Haha!! LOVED this! Really great opening and description. Great originality. I do like a good story well told! ps you got to me first there, but I think yours and Doug’s really stand out this week so far.

  3. Very nice. Careful who you piss off.

  4. elmowrites says:

    Seems a bit spurious to fire her just on the back of a photograph like that and pulling a sicky – strikes me he wasn’t the only one looking to get rid of Susie! I loved the opening line of the post – showing how you got from the picture to the story. Thanks for that!

    • wmqcolby says:

      Well, Jen, I’ll tell ya. To be honest, this was based on a true incident — what you weren’t told is that it was suspected that she was calling in sick a lot, then got busted when the photo came out. Thanks for stopping by!

  5. Sandra says:

    I had the feeling this came from personal experience… 🙂

  6. We seem to have some true lie going on this week in the FF stories. Glad to know that wasn’t you…unless you’re beautiful, manipulative and incompetent. 🙂


  7. helenmidgley says:

    Definitely felt an air of reality there, great little piece 😉

  8. storydivamg says:

    Nice. Isn’t it great when someone gets what’s coming to her simply by being herself at an inopportune moment?


  9. Mike says:

    Good lesson. Nicely put, and a good rule to follow regardless.

  10. Yep, I know local news is like that just from the folks around it I know. And show business is the same. Umm, can we see a picture of Susie please?

    • wmqcolby says:

      Not without losing my job! Besides, like the guy complaining about sweeping up after the elephants and someone asks him why doesn’t he just quit his job, he’ll say (as we all do) “What??? And give up show-business???”

  11. Ken, A lot of cell phones around these days. I would have guessed she wasn’t fired just for that one incident. It must have been the proverbial “straw that broke the camel’s back.” I bet she’s more careful in her next job. Well written. 🙂


    • wmqcolby says:

      Yes, that’s right. It WAS the last straw. As for maybe being more careful later, I wonder, you know? I mean, some people are just so narcissistic, they just don’t get it. They don’t mean to be what they are, it’s just that’s how they see things.

  12. Dear Kent,

    I’m breaking my silence while clinging to life.

    Guess that incompetent part tripped Susie in the end. The set-up, the sting. Poetic justice and a well-written story.



    • wmqcolby says:

      Thanks. You didn’t quite get ALL the cliches in, but there are only so many of them anyway. 😉
      And you’re right … the incompetence thing usually IS the undoing.

  13. dmmacilroy says:

    Dear Kent,

    Your true life stories are great. More please.



  14. subroto says:

    Did she get her own reality show later on? Cos reality shows are stranger than fiction (at least that’s what Shakespeare said).

  15. Susie – beautiful, manipulative and incompetent. Sometimes this is what it takes to make it in the dog-eat-dog world. Guess Susie blew it by being a bit over the top one too many times. Great take on the prompt.

    • wmqcolby says:

      Thanks. And, yes, stranger things have happened. Sometimes, I think that, in cases like hers, it’s a matter of a job not being a good fit for someone. Behaviors often seem to manifest themselves like that.

  16. Whew. Sometimes people will take themselves down if you just provide the ammunition. I always love when karma triumphs! VERY entertaining, Kent!

  17. Nice job, Kent. Clever and well done!

  18. Honie Briggs says:

    Take THAT, Susie! And way to go Tyler Briggs. I think we might be related. HA!

    • wmqcolby says:

      Hahaha! I had forgotten that was YOUR last name, too! See what happens when you’re gone a long time? Welcome back and thanks for reading, Honie!

  19. Ah, justice. I love it when a story ends with everyone getting their just desserts.

  20. misskzebra says:

    Let’s hope he uses those powers of manipulation sparingly.

  21. ahtdoucette says:

    Well, well. The show must go on. 🙂 Nice.

  22. Now I know what an ‘Anchor’ is… I had no clue what Americans were talking about. And, yes, I agree…. Why the heck are they called Anchors?!! 😉

  23. rgayer55 says:

    Gee, I wish I were manipulative and incompetent instead of just beautiful. You know, silver is the new blonde. 🙂 Great true-life tale, Kent.

  24. elappleby says:

    A cautionary tale to all those who like to take a sicky! This was a fun story (and served her right) 🙂

    • wmqcolby says:

      Thanks, El. In fact, you’re another one who has used that term “sicky” here. I like it. I think I’ll spread it around, get the Americans to adopt it.

  25. Amy Reese says:

    Be careful what you say and do around your news friends! This is not going to be pretty.

  26. Oh yes, it’s best to treat others as you’d wish to be treated yourself…

  27. Machiavellian floor director here. Not only did he get rid of his bete noir, but he had fun in the doing of it.

    • wmqcolby says:

      Oh, I wouldn’t go THAT far as to being Machiavellian.
      But, then, on the other hand, if the shoe fits …
      I figured he got rid of everyone’s bete noir.

  28. sandraconner says:

    You are what you are, and sooner or later, it comes to the surface. A really good job of serving up that moral.

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