By Kathy Lynch, Contributor
On Monday evening, 55-year-old Framingham native Harold Smith put on his orthopedic slippers and turned on the local news. He was excited to get the inside scoop on the construction of the town’s new bingo hall, and to issue a scathing critique of the female news anchor’s appearance.
When Harold turned the TV on, Channel 5 correspondent Beth Wilson was delivering thought-provoking commentary on underfunded schools in the area. After taking one look at the articulate woman, he concluded that she wasn’t even hot. “Christ, that blouse does nothing for her! Even that hostess down at Applebee’s is hotter,” lamented Harold. He wasn’t speaking to anyone in particular. His words echoed off the dated wood paneling of his empty living room.
Beth moved on to the local weather forecast while Harold continued his tirade. “Who does this broad think she is?” he complained before dumping the crumbs at the bottom of a Harvest Cheddar SunChips bag directly into his mouth. “What ever happened to sex appeal? I miss Tracey Wheeler with the big breasts on Channel 3 back in the day. She was a real firecracker! Now they just let anybody on TV,” Harold seethed as he wiped a crusty wad of earwax on his pants.
Harold’s 18-year-old daughter Emily came down from her room to investigate the commotion in the living room. “Dad, are you yelling about Beth Wilson again? What’s your problem with her? Beth seems like a nice person and she regularly volunteers for community food drives. She’s also–”
“TOO OLD! Is that what you were gonna say? What is she, like twenty-nine already? That’s the age your mother was when the varicose veins really started showing. GROSS!” Harold replied as he unwrapped another Werther’s Original. As he grew angrier, the white hairs on his heaving chest crept up over his shirt collar.
“Dad, looks and age aren’t things to be ashamed of, and besides–you’re 55 now.”
“Yeah Emily, but I’m not on TV trying to be all sexy, now am I?” Harold fired back. He was awfully pleased with himself for someone who was trashing women in front of his teenage daughter. “Besides, I’m not that old. Do you feel a draft in here?”
Emily took a deep breath and decided to try and explain this shit to him one last time. “Dad, did you ever think that maybe Beth is just trying to do her job? Her job is to report on the news, not to make you…um…aroused,” Emily pointed out as she discreetly vomited into a potted plant. “She is a person with interests and dreams and career goals, just like you and me.”
“What do you mean? Beth’s not on TV so that men twice her age can get a quick thrill from her ample curves?” Harold sat back in his cat hair-covered La-Z-Boy recliner, feeling an unfamiliar sliver of human empathy. It was too much. “Bullshit! I’ve got to get out of here. I’ll be at Applebee’s!”
Kathy Lynch is a stand up comic and writer from Massachusetts. She has performed in the Women In Comedy Festival and at ImprovBoston. Her most recent comedic accomplishment is headlining a show at a pizzeria.