|MPR News for Headlines, Weather, and Stories|
Dc: This is DCR. We're going to go back to the Spleen home at Collier Bluff, Illinois, for an update on the "kitten in a tree" incident. Jennifer Hampster is there, Jennifer?
(sfx: crowd, fire trucks)
Jennifer: Amazing as it may seem, Senator Spleen has just refused help from the local fire department. With me is the Collier Bluff fire Chief Paul Salarm. Chief Salarm, what happened?
Salarm: We responded to a call about a cat up a tree. We came as soon as we had an available unit, and the homeowner here has refused our help.
Jennifer: Why in the world would he do that?
Salarm: Dunno. We've got a ladder that can reach up there for sure.
Rhonda: Jennifer, excuse me. I think I can shed some light on the Senator's decision making process.
Jennifer: (skeptical) All right. Rhonda Alonzo, Senator Spleen's campaign manager is here. Go on.
Rhonda: The Senator does not think that government should be expected to do every little thing that needs doing. The fire department puts out FIRES. To participate in extending their mission to cats in trees... that would be an example of "mission creep," and would needlessly add to the duties of BIG government. Some things we need to take care of ourselves. This is one of them.
Salarm: We already get cats out of trees so it's not adding to our duties.
Jennifer: But cats can get themselves out of trees!
Salarm: Of course they can.
Jennifer: So why do you EVER do it?
Salarm: To keep PEOPLE out of trees. But in this case, it's already too late so... I don't know what we're doing here.
Jennifer: And you keep people out of trees because...?
Salarm: People tend to get stuck.
Jennifer: Rhonda? Is the Senator stuck? In the tree?
Rhonda: Oh, no! Of course not. He's on a mission of mercy, to save the kitty, as we've told you and all the world's media gathered here.
Spleen: (off mic) Rhonda!
Jennifer: Is that possible, Chief? That one man without a ladder can retrieve a cat from a tree?
Salarm: That's a little cat, and it can get out on some pretty wispy branches.
Rhonda: The Senator is still climbing... in the tree and in the polls. He's going up and he's going to save that kitty, and he'll do it without the help of big government as represented by the Chief here.
Spleen: (off mic) Rhonda, where are you?
Salarm: Usually, as long as they're going up, they think they're OK. It's when they try to come back down that they decide they're stuck.
Spleen: (more panicky) Rhonda!
Salam: But since there's nothing for us to do here, we're gonna head back to the station.
Jennifer: OK, thank you chief. Fire chief Paul Salarm.
Rhonda: Pardon me, will you? I gotta go check on him.
Jennifer: Sure. OK. (voc) And so... Senator Spleen seems determined to follow through on this courageous act of selflessness as he climbs a huge tree here in his back yard to rescue a beloved family pet.
(sfx: fire truck engine, backing up .. beep-beep-beep)
Spleen: (off mic) Rhonda! Where are they going?
Rhonda: (off mic) It's OK, Senator. I fixed it!
Jennifer: (voc) Staying true to his principles, rejecting the help of government, "walking the talk," as they say, and at the same time taking and redefining for himself the term "tree hugger."
Spleen: (off mic) They can't GO! Where's my safety net?
Rhonda: (off mic) Trust me, this is better!
Jennifer: (voc) With the world's media as a witness to every move, this is bound to secure Senator Spleen's standing in the hearts and minds of his countrymen.
Spleen: Whoah! Whoah! Ahhhhhhhhhh!
(sfx: crashing through branches, whump)
Jennifer: And it may land him in the hospital for election day. Back to you, Dale, in the main studios.