“Good evening,” Les nodded at the camera with his best anchorman smile. “We’ve got some exciting news share a bit later in the program, so stay tuned for that. But first, we have Calli on site with our top story. Calli? Who’s that with you.” Les smiled at the monitor. Calli, pale woman with long blond hair, stood by a stainless steel prep table in a restaurant’s kitchen. A small black curly-coated pup sat on the table next to her wagging its tail excitedly. His pink tongue peeked out of the side of his mouth.
“This handsome guy is Chef Curly,” Calli smiled at the camera as she petted the labradoodle. “Chef Curly is the world’s first dog to receive his food handler’s certificate. Today’s his first day on the job and we’re here to watch him put his first order through.” Calli said. A tall black hole opened in the air next to Calli and the cameraman turned towards it. Calli gave a quick shake of her head and walked around to the other side of the pup to force the camera to follow her.
“Order up!” A loud voice came from behind them, and Chef Curly gave a short yap. He hopped up on his feet and ran to one end of the table to look at a small screen. The camera followed pup, but there was no black hole in sight. Chef Curly looked at a picture of a pepperoni pizza on the monitor, barked, then he scurried to one edge of the table and hopped over a small gap to a stainless steel counter. He dipped his front paws into a small box and pulled them out covered in plastic wrap. He stood on his hind legs and walked to a clear bin. He ducked his head in the bin and pulled out a pre-portioned bag of pizza dough. Chef Curly carried the dough to a circular section of the counter that spun in slow circles like a record player. He dropped the bag on one edge of the turning circle and bit a dark tab that extended from the bag. He jerked his head up and yanked on the tab, the dough flew out of its plastic and landed in the middle of the wheel.
“Very impressive!” Calli commented off camera. Chef Curly fell on the dough with his front paws and continued to half hop on it until it was flattened out into a whirling pizza crust. After that he bit the handle of a ladle submerged in red sauce and pulled it out to empty it in the center of the pizza. He used the ladle in his mouth too spread the sauce around the disc, then he returned the ladle to its spot.
“He’s a real pro, isn’t he?” Calli said. The moment the words left her mouth a portly man walked in the kitchen and went to the counter.
“Sorry Chef,” he apologized. “This particular customer is in a hurry.” He turned to face the cameraman. “He can make another one after this, and you can record that one.” He grabbed a handful of shredded cheese with one bare hand, and a handful of pepperoni with the other bare hand and tossed them on the pizza haphazardly. The cameraman lowered the camera and looked at Calli with a shrug.
“We’re live!” Calli yelled. He yanked the camera back up and pointed it at her. She cleared her throat. “Folks, I’m sure you all know, the customer’s always right,” she gave her well practiced “on-air” chuckle, then her eyes brightened. She put her hands up, palms out at the camera. “Stay put, I’ve got an idea!” She rushed out of the frame, and out of the kitchen. In less than a minute she walked back into frame with a young woman following her. The woman wore a purple and gold hoodie, with its hood up, and what seemed to be black and gold gloves. Calli smiled at the camera.
“I’m here with Jenny. This young lady was in such a hurry she did not have the time to wait for the most adorable chef in the world to make her pizza. Why the big rush, Jenny?” She pointed the microphone at the woman. Jenny shrugged.
“Seen it already,” she said. Calli’s eyes narrowed for a split second, then widened again when realization struck her.
“Oh.” she said. “Well thank you very much for your time, Jenny. Off you go,” Calli started to visibly “shoo” the woman away, but the rotund man appeared again and handed Jenny a box.
“On the house,” he said. Jenny nodded.
“Thanks! You just earned a regular customer,” she smiled and turned to face Calli.
“And you’ve got way more interesting things to be reporting on.” Jenny waved a hand in the air and a pitch black portal opened in the air. Jenny turned to the camera.
“See you guys in the AlterNet!” She jumped into the hole and it disappeared.