The Finch Formerly Known As Gold

2 October 2005

Hysterical note

It was buried way down in the paragraph, but Google didn't seem to mind:

[B]ack in the Eighties, a bunch of us BBS freaks put together an online soap opera called Brentwood Bay, set in a small Florida Gulf Coast town dominated by a family in the news business; one of the characters I portrayed was crusading reporter (and Major Babe) Sharon Sheeley of the rival Sunova Beach Sentinel.

Not to be confused with the real Sharon Sheeley, a songwriter of considerable prowess, alone or (usually) paired with Jackie DeShannon; Sheeley passed away in 2002.

Our Googler, as it happens, was looking for the original Brentwood Bay soap; turns out he was a participant (he played Rev. Bernard Bradshaw). [Insert "small world" reference here.]

Just for the hell of it, here's an actual excerpt: a phone conversation between the fictional Ms Sheeley, then still working in local radio news, and the Brentwood Bugle's Bill Badderley.

"City desk. Badderley."

"Hello, Bill. This is Sharon. What's the deal with your boss?"

"Mrs. Brentwood? Far as I know, she's going on a trip. My guess is, she's having a nervous breakdown and doesn't want it to get out."

"Don't kid me, Bill. Blanche Brentwood hasn't taken a vacation since I don't know how long."

"Thirty-one years, to be exact. She spent almost the whole year in Europe, and believe me, everyone at the Bugle had to listen to her endless tales. I'm just grateful she didn't have slides."

"What happened in 1955, that she'd want to be gone a whole year?"

"Beats me, Shar. That was the year Benjamin was born, and you'd think she'd want at least one of her kids born in the U.S.A."

"What do you mean?"

"Oh, that's right, you're new here. All the Brentwood kids were born in Bougainville, France, at some villa that Mr. Byron Senior used to own. Mrs. B sold it after he died. Uh, Sharon, maybe I shouldn't be telling you these things...."

"Perhaps you shouldn't. Well, don't worry about it, Bill. I certainly won't."

"That's okay. I just get a little jumpy when I talk to the competition, you know?"

I still don't know Badderley's agenda, though I suspect he was basically biding his time until he could retire and was close to the NGAS point by then. (NG = "Not Giving"; you can figure the rest.) And this was before Sheeley was hired away from the radio station by the paper in the next town.

Posted at 7:48 AM to General Disinterest