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The Strange T.V. Show
By Colleen Messina

1     Elton flopped down on the old sofa in the den to watch T.V. after school. The saggy cushions enfolded his body like a second skin. He sometimes watched I Love Lucy or Leave It to Beaver, although The Andy Griffith Show was his favorite. He was so proud that his family was opulent enough to afford a television set! Elton's friends begged to come over to watch. All his friends had chores or homework today, so Elton watched T.V. alone.
2     Elton had a vague feeling of apathy, but he wasn't sure why. He flipped the dial and watched the black-and-white pictures flick across the screen as he tried to find something new to watch. He felt revived by the smell of his mom's pot roast and apple crisp, and the savory odors made his mouth water. Suddenly, a fuzzy man appeared on the screen. The picture wasn't great. Elton got up and made a small adjustment to the antennae that controlled the reception to try to improve the picture.
3     "Hey kid, pay attention!" the man said. He had horn-rimed glasses and a black bow tie. He looked like a skinny, bespeckled penguin!
4     Elton laughed. The man glared intently at Elton, almost as though he could see the boy. Then something mysterious happened.
5     "Yes, I am talking to you, kid, and don't you dare laugh," the little man shouted as he poked a bony finger toward Elton.
6     This was creepy. What was going on? Elton slowly pointed to his chest. The man nodded. Was he a promoter of some new program? Wow, television was so personal!
7     "How would you like to see some shows from the twenty-first century?" asked the man.
8     "Sure!" exclaimed Elton.

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