Till the bitter end

Bert and Ernie had worked together as radio hosts for twenty years.

They traded jokes, played pop music and generally made people’s lives a touch brighter as they trundled to work.

In one of the breaks they received a Fax. Ernie picked up the page and was in shock. Ernie silently reread the fax message from civil defense. As licensed broadcasters they were legally obligated to alert the public, to tell them the nukes were flying and that in a few minutes, all of the world’s troubles would be over.

What was the point of that though? To torture people with the knowledge of something they couldn’t change?

Their eyes met and a decision was reached. Bert put on their most requested song, a sugary top 60 tunes while Ernie produced a bottle of bourbon from under the desk. As their producer banged on the locked studio door, the colleagues toasted the end of a long career.

Bert, always the consummate professional, turned away from the window as the first explosion split the distant horizon. He straightened his tie, tucked in his shirt and brushed his hair back. He would meet his fiery death with dignity.

Bert turned to Ernie and said in a quiet, resigned voice, “How do I look, Ernie?”

Ernie walked slowly over to his friend. He looked into Bert’s face and saw the closeness they shared, the strength of their relationship, forged over the years. took a deep breath and spoke quietly:

“With your eyes, Bert.”

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