While still at breakfast the other morning, we ended up discussing the
“Warm up your coffee, guys?” asked Tina as she started refilling Sam’s cup.
“I’ll have more ice water,” I told her.
“You guys know how long this writer’s strike’s going to last?” asked Tina. “I saw Letterman run a show the other night from 1998. Can you believe it?”
“My wife likes to watch David Letterman’s show, though she usually sleeps through it,“ I said. “Half of the time, if I see any of it at all, it’s reruns, and that was before the strike.”
“I can’t imagine Johnny Carson ever doing reruns,” said Survival Sam, “though I seldom watched.”
“What a hoot it was to me that national newscasts carried on so much about the story that Letterman would be in reruns when writers went on strike,” Tina said. “How would anybody know the reruns weren’t scheduled to be on anyway?” She finished pouring my water. “You boys let me know if you need anything else.”
Sam piped up. “Since I don’t watch much TV, I really don’t care how long the
Duane put his toast aside and uttered his first contribution. “You know, a few weeks ago I heard a portion of an interview about all of this, which gave me some new perspective. It was a pretty somber interview on some dippy morning radio show that’s usually too silly and stupid for me to pay attention to.”
“What did they have to say,” I asked.
“They were talking to one of David Letterman’s writers, but I don’t remember the guy’s name. Bill Somebody-or-other. If I understood him correctly, he said Letterman’s show has 150 people employed in various capacities.”
I said, “That sounds like a high number to me, but then I have no real knowledge of what it takes to run a big time TV show.”
Duane continued, “This Bill said if the strike lasts more than a few weeks, these people will be out of work, out of health insurance and everything. That’s something I hadn’t considered.”
“A little while back I heard Leno’s show let 80 people go,” I said.
“Well, Bill said Letterman wants to take care of his people somehow, if possible, in the tough spot he’s in as a writer’s guild member himself. I think Letterman pretty shrewd from what I’ve seen. I think he knows his business well and probably does truly care about the people who work for him.”
“It’s never pleasant when anyone finds himself or herself unemployed,” Sam said. “What strikes me as noteworthy about the situations with Letterman and Leno is that it demonstrates how adverse circumstances can affect people you wouldn’t dream of.”
“That’s for sure,” said Duane.
“There’s always a ripple effect when people lose jobs,” Sam said. “It affects not only their immediate families but the local community. When we hear of 4,000 jobs being cut at XYZ Mega Corporation, ten to twelve thousand other people might feel it, too.”
“That’s staggering to think about,” I said.
“These are sobering thoughts,” said Duane.
“As I’ve said before,” Sam resumed, “we live in uncertain times. Are either of you setting aside cash for emergency situations, such as a job layoff?”
“Not when I’ve got a wife who still thinks we ought to have a surround sound theatre in the basement she wants remodeled,” Duane said.
“You’ll have to work on that, Duane,” Sam said. “You’ll have to keep talking with Diane about these things. Sounds like you’ve made a little progress already.”
“Yeah,” said Duane. “I’ve been rethinking a lot of things. I’d rather we maybe put some storage food downstairs to last a while. And we should get some other things, too, but I’m just beginning to learn.”
“Keep it up,” said Sam. “Gentlemen, let’s leave Tina a good tip. And breakfast is on me this morning.”