“Paul, we’ve got a story for you.”
That’s what I was told when I went to work today. My co-worker and friend, Clark, then directed me to the Boss who told me about this revolutionary group called the Knights of Discord. Anarchists. That’s the best word I can use to describe them. They’re a gathering of people so displeased by the government and it’s catering towards large corporations that they’re starting a revolution. Apparently they want no government and they feel that a violent takeover is the only way to get what they want. Not likely that they’ll succeed. They’re based in Minnesota of all the places! How will anyone take over the government from there?
My co-host, Jake, asked me what I thought of the story; I gave him exactly what I thought. Soon afterwards we were on the air.
“Hello my friends and listeners, this is Paul Davis”
“And Jake Wiles”
“Of 102.9 WWLK and here’s the news for the day: We’ve got a revolution on our hands folks! That’s right, revolution. From what I know many citizens of Minnesota, especially those in the northern lakes region are planning to overthrow the government.”
“Whoa! That can’t be good. And it isn’t, these people want there to be no government, and maybe that might be pushing it a little bit far.”
“That’s right, but you know what I think? I think that this revolution won’t last very long. I think the police and – if they’re needed – the military are going to round up these disgruntled and violently angry people if they get too riled up.”
“Well, Paul, what do you think will happen if these Knights of Discord actually succeed at their goals? Because I’m not sure what to think of this, the government has gotten a bit off track as far as serving the people go.”
“I’m pretty sure they won’t get much further, but if they do then I think – self-serving government or not – this won’t go as far as anarchy. Someone will be able to step in and help bring order and peace to the people. Then we’ll be able to fix the problems we currently have. All we need to do is work together to bring some integrity to the system.”
“Alright, I wonder now what do the listeners think? Kyle of the Windy City, you’re on the air.”
“Um, hi Paul, Jake, I’ve been listening to your show for years now. I love it, thanks for letting me on the air.”
“Thank you, Kyle, what do you think?”
“I think it’s stupid! Trying to overthrow the government? Why haven’t they tried other methods like petitioning the government? I hate it when people go straight to the worst action, when if they just thought about it for a bit they could find a better way.”
“Thank you, Kyle. Now, Julie, from New York, you have some insight?”
“Yes, Paul I do. I think they could do worse. Revolution? Sure it might not be the best option, but I bet that these people feel that this is the only option they have left. If they think they could succeed and make things better for all of us, I say go for it.”
“Yes, thank you. Terry from North Dakota, what’s your opinion?”
“I’m scared. I’ve got two kids and a wife to take care of and now we’ve got revolutionaries? What are the chances that innocents will be involved in this? I don’t want my family to get hurt. I hope the government shuts these guys down before too much happens.”
“I pray that no innocents get involved in this, but I’m confident this will not go far. Thank you, Terry. Next we have Warren of California. What have you to say?”
“Go man go! Viva la revolution! We should put down the stupid feds, they ain’t done nothing good for us. All they been doin’ lately is screwing us good people over. I think the Knights of Discord rock! Peace!”
I winced at that. “Um, OK, thank you for your opinion. Rachel of Maine?”
This went on for about fifteen minutes. The phones rang off the hooks the entire time and we got the full spectrum of what people thought. In the end, about half of the people were for it and the other half weren’t. There were no calls from Minnesota, which I found odd, but then again there were also no calls from Alaska, Florida, or Oregon, and not everyone that calls makes it through.
Thankfully at the end of this Jake said the magic words. “That’s all the callers we can take for today, now for some of your favorite music! Starting off with a new band: the Ever Lost.”
After we took our headsets off, Jake turned to me and grinned. “What do you think of that?”
The only word that came out of my mouth was “Wow”. I bet my face looked stupid because Jake’s grin widened after I said that.
He chuckled and spun in his chair. “The great Paul Davis, awestruck by the Knights of Discord and the opinions of a few dozen people, that’s a new one to me.”
I smiled at that and kicked Jake’s seat. “Shut up, you’ve got your show to run.”
As I got up, he turned to me. “Oh I’m running it.”
I left the studio room saying. “Oh and floss your teeth you’ve got something stuck in them.”
“Can’t fool me,” was what I heard as I closed the door behind me.
The Boss then approached me from out of nowhere, something I had learned to expect from him.
“Great work, Paul! The phones are ringing off the hook. People want to say their piece about the Knights and you’re going to keep covering them.”
I didn’t want it, but when the Boss wants something you keep him happy. It took me a moment to respond, and the response was a pathetic “OK”. OK. There was something condemning about those two letters. I had a bad feeling that the Knights weren’t going to go anywhere soon, and things would spiral out of control in no time. I only can hope that this feeling is wrong.
The Boss wasn’t done talking. “What do you think we should do? Should we keep the opinions coming in? Wait. Don’t answer that. I have an idea: we’re going to take people’s opinions and before advertisements come up were going to air a randomly selected opinion. Paul, I know you usually head out soon, but stay around for a while longer. I want you to listen in on the people and their thoughts.”
I found my voice this time. “Sir, I’ll do it, but I’m not feeling too good about this whole thing. First, you know I don’t think these guys have a chance against the government. Second, this feels all wrong.”
The Boss put his hand on my shoulder. “Relax, it’ll all work out. You’ll see.”
The rest of my day at work, I spent by listening to hundreds of thoughts and opinions on the Knights and the government. When I left, my ears were ringing and my brain pounded angrily against my skull demanding freedom from the stresses of today’s life. I got in my car and made the daily trip back home. I found my way into the kitchen and put a teapot of water on the stove.
“Bad day at work?”
I turned startled toward where my wife, Jenna, stood – correction – leaned against the wall at the base of the staircase up. I stared at the only woman I ever loved.
She smiled. “The great Paul Davis at a loss for words, you must have had a bad day.”
She walked seductively over to me, and we embraced each other. I slid my hand through her long, straight, jet black hair and found myself relaxing.
“A bad day is right.”
I then explained to her the entirety of my day with a mug of hot chamomile tea being the only interruption. She listened like a saint, and only said anything after I was completely done.
“I’m sorry you had such a rough day. I heard about the Knights of Discord and am sorry that you have to be involved with covering them at work. This will get better though. It always does. You can work with the cards you’ve been dealt, just make it something you enjoy, and don’t let it bring you down.”
I smiled, taking her hand. “Thank you, honey. You’re right, I can make this work. In fact I will.”
“Good, because I know you can. Why don’t we watch a movie and then go to bed?”
I nodded and that’s exactly what we did.