One in five people admitted to having watched kiddie porn.
One in five.
When the item was bandied about in the newsroom that afternoon, the mere mention of the survey had invoked stunned silence.
The anchor’s mind had wandered to his friends, his family. Statistically speaking twenty percent of them was an inexcusable pervert and he couldn’t cope with that.
As the day progressed and it became clear the survey would be the lead-off story of the evening news, the anchor gradually became incensed. He thought about his grandchildren and how some sweaty ugly man could be lusting after them as they spoke. He had to get round to the cold fact that as long as there was a market for it – and the survey proved there was one, an unfathomably large one even – children would be sexually abused. It disgusted him. More than anything had disgusted him in a very long time.
The run-up to ten o’clock was not all that different from other nights. There were the same last-minute alterations to the running order. There was the link-up to Baghdad that wasn’t working quite yet but – “don’t worry” – would be by the time they’d go live. Yet there was also a palpable tension, an outrage waiting to be vented.
The final seconds ticked away before the leader was beamed to millions of households across the country. When the camera swayed his way, the anchor, now visibly enraged, decided to ignore the the full stop between the second word and the third, replacing it knowingly with a comma.
Hence the nation was greeted with:
“Good evening, paedophiles.”
Did you enjoy this story? Then why not try the 101 stories in 300 words or less in YOU’RE GETTING SLEEPY, THE HYPNOTIST’S APPRENTICE YAWNED.