NEWS FLASH (hello, Flash): Coronado may forever suffer its modest modicum of traffic woes, but one woe we won’t have to abide (knock on wood) is that modern phenomenon known as the televised high-speed car chase, most common to Lost [sic] Angeles, where miscreant L.A. losers lead cops into hot pursuits, crawling through neighborhoods, careening along crowded freeways, menacing any motorist or pedestrian in his or her path.
It’s fortunate Coronado remains an island (isthmus?) unto itself, its sheltering geography keeping out at least some of the riff-raff. Speaking of riff-raff (silly reader, segues are for kids), some years ago while ever so lazily channel-surfing into L.A.’s evening blues one dreary day, I happened upon the most explosive bit of live television since Ruby shot Oswald (1963), serendipitously tuning-in to a just-jipped (joined in progress) helicopter newsfeed of an ill-fated L.A. car chase, whose wayward driver seemed doomed to a confrontation with the growing gaggle of closely-following cops, an ugly ending in the offing, perhaps?
Please stay tuned.
Well, whoop-de-doo. Another televised car chase? Bor--ing. But riveting! Why?
Because it’s live and unedited, Sherlock, its outcome unknown and unscripted, always a must-watch news event, riveting for the same reason we watch NASCAR. For the wrecks! With imminent carnage lurking around every corner at every turn. For good measure, throw in the chance the cops may use force to resolve the issue, subduing the perp, perhaps permanently, if need be. Just what every bloodthirsty media junkie lusts after! Hubba-hubba! Good times! “Right here on our shew-w-w-w-w!” That’s a little Ed Sullivan lingo for all my fellow geezers out there, but I digress...
Breaking news! The chase is on! Stay in your seat, remain glued to that chair, and don’t you dare touch that dial! It’s cops and robbers in real-time! Dangerous speeds, close calls, near-misses, an armed suspect behind the wheel of a stolen car, weaving in and out of traffic, trading paint with unsuspecting motorists, the poe--leece in hot pursuit. What more could all you NASCAR wannabees wanna see? Egg in your beer?
Well, shee-oot! And boy-howdy! Damage! Dee-ee-struction! Mayhem on our highways and byways! All caught on camera, all shown on the evening news, all during sweeps week, no less, sending ratings soaring through the roof, our law-enforcement tax dollars at work, to boot. It’s all good. Sunday! Sunday! Sunday! Blood and guts on the boob tube during the dinner hour! Viewers mesmerized and salivating for a bad ending to a good chase, rooting for a taut and gripping climax! It’s enough to make any self-respecting newsperson bust his or her buttons, eh, Flash?
«Great Caesar’s ghost!»
Finally, the armed ne’er-do-well bolts from the car and points a gun at the cops. To borrow a little lingo from a lyric by lovely Billie Eilish, the good guys draw down on the “ba-a-a-a-ad guy (…duh)”, and blow him away, right on camera, right on cue. Righteous! And we’ll be right back after a word from our sponsor.