Paying The Price – Part 1

Jonny put his hand over the phone and sighed, then gave it another go.

“Aw, c’mon bro, how often do I ask you for anything? You know how my ratings are since that guy offed himself. Al, I’m begging you. I need this.”

“Look, Jonny, I’ll think about it, okay? I have to start making dinner. Call me before you go on tonight.”

Jonny grinned to himself and put down the phone. Good ‘ol Al. He’d come through for him, he was certain of it now. He had a soft spot for his little brother. Besides, none of his deadbeat friends would help him out. Man oh man, why did that loser have to go and commit suicide? Who really takes this shit serious?

He cracked another beer and shook his head. Maybe he had been a little hard on the guy, but how was he to know the fool was that soft? He was a shock jock; he was just doing his job. But now his ratings were plummeting and the manager was making ominous noises. But Jonny was a can-do kind of guy and he had come up with a plan. The only hard part was getting someone to go along with it, and he really didn’t like leaning on his big brother like that, but he nowhere else to turn.

He went over his ideas for the night’s show, making notes and adding things as they came to him. He had to turn things around quick or he was going to be looking for work real soon. He was pretty sure Al would go along, and he only needed him to call in once tonight to get the ball rolling. He jotted down some ideas for what he wanted Al to say. It was going to be terrific. Al would pretend to be an outraged listener who wanted revenge on him for making the guy commit suicide. As if that was the truth. Who knew what that fool had going on in his life? They always wanted him to be the patsy when people did stupid things. Well this time it wasn’t going to happen.

It had to sound good. Nobody would ever guess he knew the caller; it wasn’t as if his listeners knew what his brother sounded like. He just had to get them believing someone was so outraged by the whole thing they couldn’t control themselves. Bread and circuses, that’s what brought in the advertising dollars. He could spin this thing for a couple of weeks if he could get Al to play along for that long and then his ratings would be back up and by then everyone would start to get over the dead guy and he’d be back on top.

He was lost in his notes when the phone rang. There it was, it had better be good news.


“Okay, Jonny, fine, I’ll do it, but let’s not let this get out of…”

“Great, Al, you’re the best brother a guy could have. I knew you’d come through for me. Now look, I’ve written a loose script. You only have to call once tonight, just copy this down. If you want to adlib a little, that’s fine. Other than that just follow my lead. I really appreciate this, Al.”

Al rubbed his temples after he hung up the phone and shook his head. What was he getting himself into?

Tomorrow, Part 2


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