Ever since I was a little young baby boy, I loved the local news. They would show things that happened just down the street, like when the local baseball team went to state or when they found all those snakes inside those bodies inside the janitor’s closet at the elementary school. That’s the kind of stuff that, as a kid, made me love the local news, and carried that love into adulthood.
But then, the other day, I went down to the local furniture store because my beautiful wife wanted me to pick up a new end table that she could keep her toenail clippings bowl on. On my way to the table section, I was stopped in my tracks by a surprising sight. On the memory foam mattress, right in front of me, in the flesh, was none other than local weatherman Frank “The Frank” O’Malley. I was star struck. “The Frank” was a legend around town, drinking and sleeping his way through every bar and recent divorcee in a 12-mile radius for over 40 years. Obviously, this dude was awesome. And we had the same first name! And he was right in front of me!
I approached him to ask for an autograph, but before I could say anything he was already being yelled at by the store manager for “spending all day sleeping in the beds.” He must have seen me staring because he immediately walked up to me. I couldn’t believe Frank O’Malley was talking to me! We went to a bar around the corner and he explained how his “bitch” ex-wife was “bleeding” him dry and so he was forced to spend his days sleeping in furniture stores. I asked him why he didn’t just get a motel room, but that made him very upset. I now know my mistake, as he explained later that motels “are for whores, and I’m a fucking king!” He then threw up into his jacket sleeve and I knew what I had to do.
So, after some convincing, my wife agreed to allow Frank to sleep on our couch until he was back on his feet. Can you believe it? The Frank “The Frank” was staying at my home! That first night was great. But since then it’s all pretty much been downhill.
He never takes his shoes off. Literally, I’ve never seen him without his shoes on. He wears them when he goes into the bathroom to take a shower. He wears them when he goes to bed. And I’m not a neat freak, but it’s still kind of upsetting. He also has extremely loud night terrors. I never realized how psychologically damaging the meteorology industry could be. But the hardest part of this whole thing has been the toll it’s taken on my sex life. The couch he sleeps on is just below the vent into my marital bedroom, so any time my wife says, “Frank,” he responds. It’s not completely his fault, obviously. He had the name first. I just wish he wouldn’t stay up all night listening for his name to be shouted. (I’m very good at sex.)
Thankfully, he still has his job at the TV station doing the weather. I don’t know when he’s going in to tape his segments, because it seems like he never leaves the house, but I see him there on the news every day. I’ve started to realize how much different people look in real life when you’ve only ever seen them on television. On TV, Frank is poised, professional, slick. But the Frank staying at my house doesn’t seem to own a toothbrush or more than two pairs of underwear. Whenever I ask him about his work, he just tells me it’s “all part of the process.” And as the biggest fan of local news, I would never want to get in the way of that process.
I just wish I understood what the process was. But that’s why they make the news and I don’t. That’s why they call him “The Frank” and me the “Big Dumb Frank Who Thinks That Homeless Man On The Couch Is From The News.” Honestly, it just feels really great to have a nickname of my own. Maybe I’ll ask Frank later if I can come into the studio and watch a live broadcast. It might be annoying that he still hasn’t left, but I still feel like I have so much to learn from him. And in the end, it’s just like he always says: “When I was in Vietnam it rained every single day for three months straight. Give me your wallet.”
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