A Bus Full of Nuns

June 2005 - I was sitting in my boss's office the other day. We were talking about river dredge and fly ash. Don't ask. It's not important. What is important is that suddenly, out of nowhere, right to my face, without any warning at all, he drops the j-bomb. He had the nerve – THE NERVE! – to call me a journalist!

Even though this all came as quite a shock, I can understand why he would call me that. I have been in the television news business for 17 years, after all. I even list "broadcast journalist" as my occupation. Thing is, I never meant to be a journalist. So how did this happen? I'll tell you how it happened. It happened because of a bus full of nuns holding babies.

See, it's like this. I've always been something of a cynic. My humor tends toward sarcasm. So, I fit right in with the journalistic crowd. When something, anything, happens, we speculate about the most outlandish scenario, the basest motives. It's in our nature. Then, we wait for actual facts. Sadly, more often than you might think, the facts prove us right.

Jennifer Wilbanks, a.k.a. the "runaway bride," is a case in point. The day after she disappeared, police found hair along a path where the "runaway bride" was known to jog. It appeared the hair had been cut. My BS alarm went off. I speculated to a co-worker that Wilbanks probably planned the whole thing. She stashed a knapsack, with some clothes and a bus ticket along the path in advance. Then, the night of her alleged disappearance, she picks up the sack, cuts her hair and takes off. I didn't know for sure that's what happened until later but, cynic that I am, I had a pretty good idea.

And that's where the bus full of nuns holding babies comes in. Years ago, and I don't know when, some cynical person, and I don't know who, had too much time on his hands. He got together a bunch of his cynical TV journalist friends, who also apparently had too much time on their hands, and they got to work. The result? An original music video of biting satire called A Bus Full of Nuns Holding Babies.

Imagine, if you will, a slow day in the newsroom. Suddenly, there's breaking news. This just in: A bus has gone off the road and tumbled down a cliff. Oh, the horror! The news team springs into action.

But, wait. It gets worse. We interrupt programming so we may bring you this new information. We've just learned that the bus was full of nuns. And they were holding babies. Oh, the humanity! This is a real tragedy. Team coverage. Could things possibly get any worse?

Yes! They can! The nuns were blind and the babies were refugees!

As a broadcast journalist, that's what I call great news!