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Ode to WGN Morning News
by Fred Sasaki

O WGN Morning News, how I love!

Robin Baumgarten you are the woman at Grand Lux, fecund-looking, eating and drinking. Relax! You love the Olympics. You get the Olympics fever and do that hand jive dance every chance you have, but nobody likes that. Let's laugh! Why do they say you talk too much and that you are a lush? I remember when you were in a helicopter, your big ear muffs. You watched the wheels go round and round. Then you rose to co-anchor. An older-looking but more sexy-looking co-anchor left and you replaced her, like a cherubic ghost sent from a helicopter. You are a modern woman! It is OK for you to like young men! And what are you when we do not see you, singing Hannah Montana, surrounded by Jonas Brothers posters? You want to touch Zac Efron and that is liberty! You want to introduce him to Journey, Boston, your tree enclosure. Your orchard!

O sportscaster I am so comfortable with you. Pat Tomasulo you could never beat me at sports. And you are angry! Maybe because of that but who cares? It's about sports! I saw you walking your dog in front of my mother's house. How stern you were! You told the dog to stop at a little driveway. A muscular bull or boxer. Your figures are similar, your diminutive frames and short muscles, your equine postures. Even still there is no chance for you on Good Morning America. Do you know Mike Barz? He was a wonderful WGN Morning News sportscaster but so much more than a sportscaster. He is so funny he lives fun! Now he is a FOX anchor! He was like Scottie Pippen to the WGN Morning News team. You are like Pete Myers. I bet Mike Barz could really beat you at sports.

Enthusiasm. Warmth. Athleticism. Ana Belaval. Trifecta! You will throw yourself in the lake! Into the salt mines! Everything! Dignity! Pride! Ana Belaval you get around town. This is Chicago but you show us something in places that we will never go to. You are loving it like McDonalds. You are so human when you talk to the people around town. The odd discovery, the off the bleeding path of razzle tazzle. You are the idol of a young professional I know. Some times it is like you are the only sane one but that's crazy! Who can justify sanity, the mundane, the plain old Chicago hot dog, the Hancock, Dick Butkus? The relish is insufficient. Important is not important. Have to do is not necessary. You are the next best thing!

Dean Richards you are our aperture to glory. Entertainment! Dean's List film picks. Brilliant! How is it that you are an instrument of normalcy? That is baffling. You are Nosferatu's uncle. Svengoolie's brother. Bozo's nephew. The twin Billy Joel. Zyzzyballubah! Are you wearing eyeliner? You dance and engage and have some dignity! Some famous people talk to and know you! How exciting. I saw you at Nordstroms going up the escalator. Our eyes met. I wanted to say something and you wanted me to say something but we said nothing. You waited like you wanted me to say, "Hey Dean! Dean's List!" but I couldn't remember. You went amid the shopping universe known but unknown. Slightly known, you would say. But where is your sequel?

Erin Mendez what a surprise you are when, POOF, you are on WGN morning news. Where are you? When you do traffic I wish we did not have to see times or green or yellow or red. We could just see you saying everything! Erin Mendez you are the hot to my cold shower. I could watch you the entire morning, telling us traffic, weather, sports. I could watch you eat fruit. You are so indifferent! How! Does nothing flatter you? What a divine insult to words. O conqueror! If only someone could be sick or on vacation all the time. For you the whole world should be sick or on vacation!

Valerie Warner you hide. You hide away and sometimes are you lonely? It is the morning and it is OK. The WGN Morning News team loves you. Lately you do not hide as much but I think you still hide. You can sing and play the piano like a debutante. So you say. So you say. I think you could have been a beauty queen, because the talent portion and poise category is really what makes the difference and I am assuming you have a fair-marks bikini walk. When you fill in for Robin Baumgarten it is not so disappointing. You and Larry Potash cut a striking team, so what second-rate? Everyone is second-rate! Like when you might have been a beauty queen.

Kurt the Cyber Guy, you are such a chipmunk microchip. I hate you for Robin Baumgarten. Why do you desire her so fiercely? It is embarrassing. If we were choosing teams I would so pick her over you. Everyone over you, unless we were stranded in cyberspace, but even still I would rather not be around you. Especially in cyberspace. People in L.A. must be so annoyed by you. And in L.A.! How you fit in and must stick out like a sticky keyboard. I see you making love to electronics and it sickens me.

What can be said of you that isn't true, Paul Conrad? It is like you are Odysseus drunk with delicious sweets. Doughnuts! You wear different suits every day that are the same. Sometimes no tie? How bold! I can see us in Vegas, as valet entertainment, noodling the buffet, hitting slots. What a life! I could be your wife. You are comfortable with your sexuality and that is so nice. You are a big little teddy bear. You play with your fingers. Why on earth did you go into broadcast journalism? Who told you? Did you have a college advisor? Something for you is out there. An odyssey. You are like Homer with more hair.

At first glance you are a Bentley, Larry Potash. On second glance you are the Chrysler 300. You are an anchor! But there is Larry's World when the funny music plays. O Larry Potash, Mike Barz has nothing on you. What a straight man you are! A tender man like a giant broccoli sprout. Do you remember the Jolly Green Giant? That could be you. I knew someone who was set up on a date with a Potash and she thought it would be you but it was one of the descendants of Potash Brothers Supermarket. He didn't have brimming curls like you! My father once bought a pair of shoes from Wal-Mart that were like leather. They were not. They were "Genuine Authentic." Larry Potash! We are all "Genuine Authentic" and we love you because we are all Larry Potash. You get serious. You ask questions that undermine your guests and clasp your hands and say, "O really?" What a funny joke we have on them, Larry, you and me. We are like The Courtship of Eddie's Father.

O WGN Morning News team I love you. I will tell!

Fred Sasaki is a writer and editor living in Chicago. He publishes in or works with Poetry magazine, Stop Smiling, ACM, MAKE, THE2NDHAND, and other places.

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