A inventive dialogue between Fish Obituaries editors Cousin Rob, Margaret, and Robin concerning Google Alerts as the Answer to Writer's Block, Treasure Troves, Crocodiles and other Domestic Problems, Loneliness as related to Cruelty, and Succumbing to the Digital Age.
Rob: Ok, Team. Chop, chop. Let's relight our engines. We need content, content, content.
Margaret: We put up the Hula Hoop Interview up. What more do you want?
Rob: Let's aim high. I'm thinking Pulitzer.
Robin: I signed up to get a Google Alert any time "Reptile House" appears on Google. It's a treasure trove.
Margaret: Awesome! Whatcha got?
Robin: Here's one from India: "Crocodile-sneaks-into-house-caught-by-forest-officials." Says here, "The villagers then started trying to get the reptile out of the house. They tried to distract it with stones and also hit it with sticks, albeit from a distance, to get it moving, but the reptile refused to budge."
Margaret: We could use that for sure.
Rob: It is an arresting headline, yes, but readers are looking for serious news. The election, the Senate, the Keystone Pipeline.
Margaret: Crocodiles are pretty serious.
Robin: Those teeth snapping backbones.
Margaret: Crocs used to hang out on the golf course near my mom's on Sanibel. Or were they alligators?
Robin: Says here...the Crocodile in that story almost ate a kid.
Margaret: Oh my gosh. Then what?
Robin: ...Police tried to stick a piece of wood into the Crocodile's mouth... then...
Rob: A stick would never work. Let me see that.
Robin: Hey, back off. Says here, yes, the stick failed... tied up the crocodile with ropes..released in the river...everyone was fine in the end..happy ending.
Margaret: That story has everything.
Rob: I agree, but what about ISIS or a discussion linking our modern obsessions with zombies with terrorism or the whole Ebola thing? We need to challenge our readers.
Margaret: Our readers don't want challenge. They want happiness, like that video of a cat and a squirrel playing like friends. Maybe Putin will watch that clip and get some ideas about peace and learning to be a good neighbor.
Robin: Has Vladimir accepted our Facebook friend request yet?
Rob: Do we really want to be Putin's Facebook friend? He seems nasty.
Margaret: Don't be so narrow minded. Putin's a human. He can change. He has connections.
Robin: And his girlfriend is an Olympic gymnast.
Rob: Yes, but I'm thinking of something exploring our society's deep unconscious fears that fester under the surface of our safe, antiseptic culture.
Margaret: What else do we have from Google Alerts?
Robin: Here's one: "Exotic Reptiles Living in Terrible Conditions in London Home."People love that British stuff.
Margaret: Sounds a little sad. Why do people do that?
Robin: Ok, ok, here's another. "Pet rescue: Lizard given oxygen through tiny mask as firefighters save reptile from house blaze "
Margaret: Better but still depressing.
Robin: Ok, here's the ticket: How 'bout "Reptile hotel offers spa, massage and nail clipping for exotics."
Margaret: Way better. Has a High-end sort of New Age vibe.
Rob: I could use a little Reiki. My knees are killing me after that marathon.
Margaret: I like it.
Rob: Let's run it.
get out of our house
remove your claws
from our cookie jar
Go back to the river
to some island
far out at sea
build your own
then a Senate Chamber
Run for office
vote on this
say terrible things about
bomb the elephants
quarantine the giraffes
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