Instant News: a few minutes on the Net by: GF Willmetts (story).

November 30, 2014 | By | Reply More

‘It was reported earlier today that celebrity Grosvenor Plight was tragically killed. Although this has been unconfirmed, not helped by various trolls who claim to be Mr. Plight, we do not recognise such claims and we wish to be the first to report this celebrity fatality.

‘We have consulted with our experts, who describes Mr. Plight’s dilemma as being something depicted by Schrödinger’s cat. You can see that full story at the right link but briefly it is something to do with quantum mechanics and whether a cat is alive or dead subject to being poisoned or not. We have yet to establish whether or not Mr. Plight has been poisoned or not or is, indeed, alive or dead. We are also awaiting confirmation as to the message really came from Mr. Plight or a hoaxer or even if he has been trolled. Wait here for some more news about his life.

‘Mr. Plight has recently had several marriage proposals and has been undecided on any of them. Although he is not in the same arena as the previous hot bachelor George Clonie, Plight has certainly been a babe magnet and a man about town. We have managed to get an interview with one of his ex’s, assuming he is now dead.’

‘Grosvenor dead. Oh…my…god!’

More Pulp

‘It’s unconfirmed, ma’am. Only a rumour, dead or alive. Is it true that you met him on a net dating site? We didn’t think he would need such means as a man about town.’

‘Well, strictly speaking, he doesn’t but he can’t walk into a bar without women flocking around him. We just wanted proof, as a laugh, that this was true love and get a positive date comparison match. It turned out that all of his exs were using the same agency and we were all compatible but he chose me. What about that? Doesn’t that shows he loves me?’

‘Net resources say that he has played that line with most of his amours.’

‘Most? Not all?’

‘According to statistics.’

‘Statistics, hah!’

‘Excuse me, we have just reached out of our contacts. Come in, Doug.’

‘Hello, Tom. I’ve got a good signal.’

‘What have you heard about Grosvenor Plight?’

‘We have lost a great man, Tom.’

‘I should point out, Doug, that his death is currently now unconfirmed. Do you have positive proof?’

‘Does that matter? Surely if he was alive he would have contacted this Net station by now?’

‘There is still the possibility he is…was be out of range. He could have gone to his island home…’

‘Without his girlfriend whom you were in contact with? Surely we must continue with the assumption that he’s already dead.’

‘Don’t get us sued.’

‘I presume you’re showing clips from his various films and speeches on link?’

‘Of course. They’re playing as we speak.’

‘It’s not being pre-empted by any other news at this instance?’

‘One moment. Nothing significant. There’s a potential earthquake but hasn’t happened yet in Japan. A hurricane that has just missed the USA. No news on a plague outbreak. No, his death is still the hot topic of the minute as our viewing hits show and is now spreading onto the other news networks and we’re receiving fees for usage. Why? Is there any dirt you can disclose on Grosvenor Plight that can be said with his apparent death?’

‘In what way, Tom?’

‘Well, there was that case of a couple years back that was suddenly dropped. It was said that Plight paid up than go to court.’

‘Should we be talking ill of the dead, Tom? What about all the good he’s done?’

‘Good?’

‘His work for various charities. He was as famous for this as much as his acting and philandering.’

‘I’ll pulling the statistics to run in a separate link.’

‘Which? His charities or philandering?’

‘Both. Our number count is going up and the news channels are getting excited across the world. No doubt the various newspapers are already preparing their headlines.’

‘I’m sending you newsfeed links so we can’t be sued. Plight might be dead but I’d rather not be sued by his estate if it’s all the same to you.’

‘Huh?’

‘It’s the way the big news companies do it. Trust me.’

‘We’re being relayed into the main news channels now. I’m getting money into the account. Shit! I forgot the mike was live. Sorry for my swearing, folks. Speak, Doug.’

‘It’s your show, Tom.’

‘This is the ThomasNews Net Service. We have unconfirmed news of the tragic death of Grosvenor Plight in the past ten minutes. We are still in the process of collecting information and evidence an…I have a phone link with more news. And you are, sir?’

‘Hello. Are you the head of this news service?’

‘Who are you?’

‘I’m the guy who you think is dead. I’m Grosvenor Plight.’

‘Really. I was expecting a lot of people ringing in and putting that claim. You’re my first tonight.’

‘I bet that none of them can correct some of those bilge links you’re putting on-line.’

‘Such as?’

‘You missed out on some of my recent charity work for UNICEF. Not something that’s been publicly announced yet but you should be able to access on-line.’

‘Er…one moment…Oh! And you say you are Grosvenor Plight and not some troll?’

‘That’s right. There are a lot of voice impersonators out there but there is also a voice print of mine on-line to confirm who I am. This is why this is an audio link and if you press the right button you’ll also see me on Skype staring back at you.’

‘But you were declared dead ten minutes ago.’

‘I was outside of Net range. Incommunicado. OB for a film. It was a quick scene. I’m back. I’m not dead. I don’t understand why I was reported dead, unconfirmed or otherwise. Ten minutes isn’t enough for a toilet break.’

‘No shit?’

‘Not even that. How was I supposed to have died?’

‘The report just came in that you were dead so I ran with it.’

‘Unsubstantiated that I’m dead and buried without any proof? So you bury me anyway?’

‘Well, not exactly buried just…er…dead.’

‘But still unsubstantiated.’

‘You’re not a troll?’

‘Doug, isn’t it? Or are you Tom? Look at my IP email address. What do you think?’

‘I…er…’

‘You’ve upset a lot of people. My parents, my children, my girlfriend and my agent because none of them found out first. They had to get it off a fricking, excuse my language, on-line news service. All in the past ten minutes. My production company pulled me in so I could go back on-line, ruining a day’s filming. My insurance company was shitting itself wondering if they would have to pay out. Do you realise how many people you’ve upset in the past ten minutes? I was told to talk to the source of these rumours so that it would feed back through the news services to reassure everyone that I’m alive and well and to stop the newspaper presses going with the wrong headlines in the morning. The only person who’s happy is my studio’s PA because it means free advance publicity for my next film, which I hasten to add is not my last.’

‘All right. So you’re alive. OK, folks, it looks like we have Grosvenor Plight’s comeback. He is, as you can tell from his conversation, very much alive. Any news media hooked in now should repeated Mr. Plight’s verbal denial that is exclusive to our new ThomasNews Net Service. Grosvenor Plight is confirmed alive and we retract anything that says otherwise. Can we interview you, Mr. Plight?’

‘…!

‘Did you hear me, Mr. Plight? Hello? Excuse me, folks, we seem to have been cut off.’

 

end

 

© GF Willmetts 2014

all rights reserved

ask before borrowing

 

My colleague John Gatehouse reminded me after reading a draft of the above that there has actually been a real life case of this happening but as I don’t look at Net news feeds I didn’t see it. If anything, the idea for the story came from how quickly news can travel without any verification and be wrong. Lesson to be learnt. Don’t jump too quickly whenever you read or hear anything on the Net.

Category: Culture, Scifi

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About the Author ()

Geoff Willmetts has been editor at SFCrowsnest for some 15 plus years now, showing a versatility and knowledge in not only Science Fiction, but also the sciences and arts, all of which has been displayed here through editorials, reviews, articles and stories. With the latter, he has been running a short story series under the title of ‘Psi-Kicks’ If you want to contribute to SFCrowsnest, read the guidelines and show him what you can do. If it isn’t usable, he spends as much time telling you what the problems is as he would with material he accepts. This is largely how he got called an Uncle, as in Dutch Uncle. He’s not actually Dutch but hails from the west country in the UK.

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