“And that’s why Peyton Manning is my ‘Moron of the Week,'” Jim Rome chirped into a microphone. “That’s it for us today. Tune in tomorrow because we’ve got a big show. We’ll talk about why Miguel Cabrerra should be cut from the Detroit Tigers, why Kevin Durant’s recent charity event was a huge flop, and we’ll have our countdown of hockey’s Five Worthless Defenseman.” With that, Jim slipped his finger onto the blinking orange button and tapped down, bringing the show to and end and cueing a commercial for SportsYapper.com.
“Nice show today boss,” came a voice through the microphone. It was Jesse the show’s intern/producer.
“Do you have the outline for tomorrow’s show done?” the Sportscaster asked, aware of the compliment but chosing not to acknowledge it.
“Yes, sir. I added the two segment’s like you asked me to.”
“So we have some stats to back up the claim that Terrell Suggs is ‘a joke?'”
“I think so,” Jesse said.
“You better know so,” Rome said taking off the earphones and tossing them onto the console. “You don’t make it on the air with think-so, kid. Get your act together.”
Rome exited the building and walked to his car, a silver Mercedes CLS. He popped the door open and shuffled quickly in. The door closed behind him with a smooth and soft thud. Finally, he thought to himself. He tilted his head back against the leather headrest and let out a deep sigh. Silence. In a business where dead air is death, Rome reveled in the small opportunities to savor the soundless interior of his car. The absolute absence of noise was sometimes overwhelming to him. But it was refreshing at the same time, like a cold, salty wave crashing over his head on a hot day.
He drank in the pulses of his own heart beat for a few more seconds before hitting the start button on his car. The engine hummed to life and gave him just enough white noise to jolt him back to reality. He reached over and opened the glove box.
“There you are,” he said.
Rome took out an open package of black forest ham and placed it in the passenger seat next to him. The stench had been growing in the car for the last day or two. He bought three-quarters of a pound of thinly sliced ham at Aldi’s a few days ago but had never brought it into the house. The kids and her were always taking his stuff. He never got a chance to enjoy anything. But this, this he would savor. He took a few rancid slices and rolled them into little tubes, placing each one in a perfect row across the seat. He threw the bag to the floor after all slices had been removed. Rome reached over to the passenger side seatbelt and pulled it across. He buckled in the limp cylinders of pork and rolled his windows down.
“Are you ready?” he asked the slices of ham. “Oh, yeah. You’re ready.” He smiled and put on his sunglasses. The ham remained silent and he loved them for it.