The Hall of Infamy – a short story

Here’s a little short story:

The Hall of Infamy

Wednesday morning at five o clock as the day begins. That’s when we started putting the final touches for the show together. It takes a lot of work to put together a Media Show. I don’t think anybody knows how much effort goes in. The team spends all week gathering all the little clips on our candidates – clips that will get the crowd going, and that final day is madness as we rehearse, write the links and decide the final format.

That’s where I come in – Bang Max – the man who gets the crowd roaring. It’s my job to pull it altogether and make a show out of it. I’m Bang Max the showman. I have, even if I say so myself, made the Hall Of Infamy the biggest show on Earth. Our ratings are through the roof.

Last week we focused on the mucilaginous gunrunners. This week it’s the politicians turn.

Time to hit the boards. Cue flies, hair and smile.

‘OK you Crazy Crew!!!’ I started with my trademark greeting to get the show off the ground, looking right into the camera and gesticulating, wide-eyed and looking suitable manic.

A great roar went up from the audience that I milked for all it was worth.

‘Last week you chose that slimy scumbag Leonid Minin, the Ukranian gunrunning thug, as the latest entry to our Hall of Infamy.’

Another great roar of approval went up.

‘A good choice,’ I agreed, nodding my head and grinning round at them all.

I quietened them with a motion of my hands, changing my expression to one of seriousness.

‘This week we turn our attention to politicians,’ I told them what they already knew.

A big oooooh went round the studio. They understood their role and were playing it to perfection – an integral part of the show.

‘So which one of these scurvy shysters is going to join Minin in the Hall of Infamy?’ I asked, mouth open, hands upturned.

Shouts and hollers echoed round as they bellowed their choices. I let it run a few seconds before cutting back in. The show depended on their energy but it had to be controlled. There was only one maestro here, and that was me – Big Bang Max. I called the shots.

‘Well you’ve already expressed your views,’ I told them in conspiratorial tones. ‘The votes are in.’ I paused dramatically. ‘You’ve told us who you want.’ A great murmur went round the studio. ‘It seems that dithering May, Blithering Boris and moldy Mogg didn’t make the cut.’

There were cries of dismay but the excitement still built. They wanted to know who was in.

‘No!’ I told them, pausing again, raising the level of tension a notch and dragging it out just long enough. ‘We’ve got it down to two. You’ve instructed us that it’s between these two behemoths of populist ugliness. That it is down to these two purveyors of hate and division.’

I allowed the bated breaths to hang as they waited on my words.

‘Which of these two lying, disgusting perverters of democracy are you going to vote in to join the savage Minin and the other sleazy paedophiles, murderers, rapists, serial killers and warmongers in the Hall of Infamy?’

They roared. They wanted to know who it was that they had to choose between. They were chanting names, on their feet, stamping and waving their arms.

‘You’ve chosen……………..’ having to raise my voice above the din, I waited for exactly the right moment, ‘a run-off between the gun-mad, scourge of the Amazon – Bolsonaro!’ A great bellow of approval nearly took the roof off. ‘And the hate rallying, Muslim bashing, epitome of arrogance – Trump!’

A bigger roar shook the walls.

Over the next half hour we ran through the video clips, juxtaposing the carefully chosen cameos, as I gave each one a nice little intro and biting comment, as I played the audience, working them up into a frenzy and maintained the balance of humour, disbelief and anger that made the show the success it was.

We had Bolsonaro threatening to build a motorway through the Amazon, Trump working up his base with evocations of ‘Drain the Swamp’, ‘Crooked Hilary’, and ‘Lock Her Up’, Bolsonaro taking away all environmental restrictions and opening up the jungle for logging and farming. There was Trump urging his mob to beat up hecklers, Bolsanaro looking to arm everyone to beat crime. Then Trump, looking surly as he pulled out of the Paris Treaty, while Bolsonaro stated how he was going to hunt out and shoot all the leftists. Trump building walls, supporting the NRA and exaggerating the threat of the refugees, portraying them as an invasion of rapists, murderers and Muslim terrorists and Bolsonaro saying the Blacks were not even good enough for procreation and should go back to the zoo and that an opposition politician was too ugly to rape – that the Juntas mistake was to torture but not kill.

I brought it all to a head.

‘Which one of these clowns is the most repugnant? Who’s the most despicable?’ I asked them as they bayed and chanted their choices. ‘Which one deserves to be included in the Hall of Infamy?’

‘Who’s your choice? Grab your buzzers.’

‘Time to vote!’

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