The Adventures of Ogden: Man of the Suburb
Episode 7 – June – Investigative Journalism
“Hi, I’m Guy Goodmountain. I am an investigative journalist for “Heads Up!” a nationally syndicated news program. Do you . . . recognize me?”
Ogden, who had come to the door of his home, interrupted from reading an anthology of poems by famous computer scientists, had to admit that he didn’t really recognize the large-jawed journalist.
“Would you be willing to answer a few questions for me?”
“And would it be all right if I recorded our conversation” Guy pulled out a microphone.
“Well, what is this about?”
“Oh, you could say it’s about . . . artwork.” replied the journalist, and he cleared his throat.
“I . . . I guess that would be okay.” agreed Ogden, getting a bit nervous.
“Mr. Fenfert, what are your feelings about art, in general?”
“Well, I’d have to say . . . ” and over the next few minutes Ogden responded to Guy’s emotionless questions. The general thrust of what Ogden said was that, although he himself wasn’t an artist, in general he liked art and respected artists.
“That’s interesting, because just this week we received a phone call from the American Society of Artists for Corporate America. I would assume that someone so . . . respectful of artists as yourself would have heard of the A.S.A.C.A., haven’t you?”
Again, Ogden had to admit that he hadn’t heard of it.
“They provide artwork for large companies to place in the hallways of their corporate offices.”
“Many companies including . . . your company.”
“I . . . see.”
“Does this sculpture art look familiar to you?” Guy suddenly produced a picture of a large dark piece of twisted and smashed-up black metal on a thick black metal podium. Ogden did indeed recognize it.
“Yes,” he replied, starting to feel a little perspiration on his forehead
“So, you’ve seen it before?”
“Yes, at my office.”
“This work is entitled “Youth strangulation” and was created by Biff Trippenbinkle last year. Did you know that?”
“And do you recognize this?” again, Guy pulled out a piece of paper with a picture of the same piece of artwork, but this time, above the black hulk of metal, taped to the wall was a homemade sign that said “This could happen to your vehicle. Please don’t drink and drive.”
“The A.S.A.C.A called us and let us know that some . . . person decided that it would be humorous to put up this posting which we can only assume was meant to suggest that the artwork looked like a car wreck.”
“Did you put up this poster, Mr. Fenfert?”
“I did not,” Ogden replied, truthfully, although he wasn’t telling the full truth. He had thought that the metal looked like a twisted car and had mentioned it to his department. He was pretty sure he knew who had put up the sign, but he wasn’t going to say that into a microphone.
“Did you find this funny?” asked Mr. Goodmountain, pressing. Ogden now noticed a video camera, mostly hidden by the “Heads Up!” van parked in the street. The camera was focused on him.
“I – ” began Ogden, but his interviewer interrupted him.
“Did you know that the artist meant for his work to symbolize children living in hardship throughout the world?”
“I wasn’t aware of -“
“Do you it funny that children around the world are suffering, Mr. Fenfert?”
“I most certainly do not. I -“
This time Ogden was interrupted not by Guy, but by two vehicles moving at a fairly quick pace towards the Fenfert home. One was a police car, with siren’s blaring, the other a van with the logo which read “Who Dem Cops! Investigations”. Ogden feared the worst.
But when the policemen came up to them holding handcuffs, it was not to Ogden, but to his interviewer that they spoke.
“Mr. Goodmountain, we are placing you under arrest for insider trading.”
As they were bringing Guy, now handcuffed, to the squad car, the “Who Dem Cops!” microphones were in his face.
“Do you realize that many of the families who owned stock in your company and lost thousands own pets?”
“How does it make you feel that cute little puppies may go hungry as result of actions you took?”
After watching the three vehicles drive away, it took a few minutes for Ogden to calm down, but he finally managed it.