Writers’ Workshop: By No Means The Final (Post #4500)

I put 4500 into the Giphy search engine…

I’ve hemmed and hawed about what I was going to write for today’s Writers’ Workshop, because as you can tell it’s a bit of a milestone. Finally, I decided to just wing it and write whatever came into my head.

Having said that, nothing’s coming into my head. Of course.

We had a newscaster in Chicago named Floyd Kalber who did the 10 PM news on the NBC station, and he’d always end the show with a funny news item. Kind of like this:

"Finally tonight… Sheriff’s officials say someone stopped by the post office about 3:30 a.m. Wednesday to drop off a package and saw a seven-foot alligator roaming around the lobby. The building has automatic double doors that allows off-hours entry, officials said.

"That’s the news. Good night."

TV stations used to sign off at night in the early-morning hours, and many stations would have a final newscast before playing the National Anthem and showing the color bars. A lot of the final newscasts were nothing more than the station announcer reading the news while the station displayed a card that said "FINAL REPORT" or something like that. The first time I saw that, it seemed creepy, but at the same time it was kind of cool. I was working the 4-to-midnight shift, and it seemed like the ideal thing to watch when you got home at 1 AM and flipped the TV on. For a long time, even after I started working regular hours, I’d stay up and watch that. Finally, Mary asked what I was watching, and I told her. She just rolled her eyes and said "come to bed."

I know. I’m weird.

17 thoughts on “Writers’ Workshop: By No Means The Final (Post #4500)

  1. It’s crazy how we went from a few stations on TV that “signed off” in the evening and now we just have endless, nonstop programs. Sometimes the simplicity of the good old days sounds lovely.

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    1. There were some stations that were on in the morning, off in the afternoon, and back on at night. They would put it in the TV listings: “11 AM Test Pattern,” and they’d show the old Indian Head test pattern all afternoon. I’m not quite old enough to remember that, but I can remember getting up at 6:30 on a Saturday morning and watching the test pattern until 8, when the cartoons came on….

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  2. Happy, Amazing #4500!! I’m beyond impressed!

    And, as far as the “weird” thing, not at all, John. Not even the slightest bit of the following, copied from Merriam-Webster…..bizarre, bizarro, cranky, crazy, curious, eccentric, erratic, far-out, funky, funny, kinky, kooky (also kookie), odd, off-kilter, off-the-wall, offbeat, out-of-the-way, outlandish, outré, peculiar, quaint, queer, queerish, quirky, remarkable, rum [chiefly British], screwy, spaced-out, strange, wacky (also whacky), way-out, weirdo, wild

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  3. I remember when the TV closed for the night. And then 24 hour news was the first of the all-night programmes. I didn’t have access to it with my first child, but with my second it was wonderful to have something to watch through those long sleepless hours. Even when there were only 3 news stories on constant repeat!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Did you ever deal with Ceefax, or Keyfax (I don’t recall which it was called there)? We had a station in Chicago that would run a teletext news service overnight that was based on it.

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