Alan Zendell, October 7, 2017
Megan: I’m here today with Ronnie Stomper, the star of the longest running and from a sponsors’ point of view, the most lucrative reality show ever produced. Mr. Stomper has offered this exclusive look into what has made him successful.
Stomper: Please, call me Ronnie, Megan. I don’t usually grant interviews like this one, but I wanted everyone to see how magnanimous I can be even with someone who has been as harsh a critic as you’ve been.
Megan: Thank you, Ronnie, that’s really very generous of you. I’m here because the millions of Americans who watch your show, blog about it, and fill chat rooms talking about it would love to have some insight into how you make it work.
Stomper: It’s about a full team effort, Megan. Everyone rowing in the same direction. Total commitment.
Megan: Every show strives for that kind of effort, but only you seem to be able to pull it off and keep your audience on the edge of their seats. What’s your secret?
Stomper: It’s simple, Megan. I’m not just the star, I’m the Executive Producer, the Head Writer, the one who comes up with the ideas, and the overall production manager. I’m the boss and everyone knows it.
Megan: That’s very impressive, Ronnie. How can you manage all that yourself, especially in an environment when gossip journalists are lurking in every corner looking for dirt?
Stomper: Zero tolerance, Megan. They know we’re doing something great here. Everyone wants to be part of something as wonderful as what we’re doing here. And anyone who speaks out of line or shows even a hint of disloyalty knows I’ll fire his ass in a second. Or her ass, especially if it’s her ass.
Megan (visibly gritting her teeth): So you rule by the sword? But doesn’t that suppress creativity and meaningful input and advice from your staff?
Stomper: Ahh, Megan. I thought you were smart enough not to fall for those liberal Hollywood myths. My show needs only one creative input. We don’t do things by committee, and people who question my ideas don’t survive around here very long. On the other hand, I can be very lavish rewarding people who follow my lead.
Megan: So all those great plot ideas, all the cliffhangers that keep viewers mesmerized, all the apparent infighting. The constant succession of situations that could end in catastrophe, that all comes straight out of your head? Wow, that’s really remarkable.
Stomper (smiling benevolently): That’s the secret, Megan. I’m glad you’re such a quick learner. Always stay a step of ahead of everyone, your staff, your competition, your audience. Keep them guessing and they’ll be back next week glued to their television screens. Throw ideas, threats, terrifying scenarios at them so fast they never know what’s coming and you have them right where you want them.
Megan (appearing starry-eyed now): Ronnie, I can see why anyone with talent would want to be around you. No wonder you have their loyalty. Who knows where clinging to your coattails could take them? I’ve even heard rumors that you’re thinking of getting into politics when you get tired of reality shows.
Stomper: I guess it’s inevitable, what with how incompetent our leaders are, that eventually people would turn to me. People love success, you know. They crave being part of it.
Megan: That’s so true, Ronnie. So what about it? Think what you could accomplish on a bigger stage. I’ve even heard you might run for president.
Stomper: Yes, Megan, so many people see the wonderful job I’ve done here. They come up to me all the time. I’ve even had women throw their arms around me begging, saying things like, “If only you were running the country, things would be so much better.”
Megan: That must be quite a rush for you Ronnie. You think you’ll do it?
Stomper: You’ll just have to wait and see like everyone else, Megan. I know it must be frustrating for you, but I don’t confide that sort of thing unless we’ve developed a special bond of trust first.
Megan: I want you to be able to trust me, Ronnie. It’s very important to me that a powerful, successful man like you feels he can share anything with me.
Stomper: Have you seen the view from the penthouse, Megan? Why don’t I have them send up a couple of bottles of champagne and have my chef prepare us a private dinner, so we can continue our interview in a quieter setting?
* * *
To my loyal followers: no, I did not take Ronnie up on his offer. I was already shaking from the specter of imagining what it would be like to have that narcissistic, self-aggrandizing womanizer running the country. I went home and went straight to bed, unable to sleep, plagued with nightmares. My mother always warned me not to watch horror movies before bedtime. – Love, Megan