For The Daily Prompt (A Bend In Time)
BY Joseph E. Rathjen
Anticipation; it can be a harrowing experience, and it can totally consume you. Whether it is the excitement of a new job, a new baby being born or the news that your first novel may get published, it can suck the life out of you and make time stand still. When I think of great moments of anticipation in my life I think about the night they shot J.R. on the hit, TV show Dallas. “Who Shot J.R.?” was one of our country’s greatest moments of anticipation.
I remember it well. It was March 21, 1980 and the entire country held its breath. No one cared about the Polish Revolution, the hostage crisis in Iran, the Iraqi-Iranian War or even what was going on in the presidential election. There was only one thing everyone was talking about and there was only one thing everyone wanted to know – who it was that shot J.R.
Who could blame them. He was a scoundrel, a womanizer, an adulterer and a ruthless Texas, oil baron who would suck the last drop of blood out of anyone who stood in his way. He would gamble his entire family’s fortune away to make a few hundred-million dollars more. Didn’t he almost do that anyway?
I got totally consumed by it myself. My anticipation had got the best of me. I wanted to see him die. I wanted to see him suffer. As far as I was concerned, there was no evil that could be bestowed upon him that he had not brought upon himself.
But who would it be? Would it be Pam Ewing, Sue Ellen, Clive Barnes or his mistress Kristen, or maybe even his brother Patrick? Surely if I had a brother like J.R., the thought of killing him would have crossed my mind more than once.
So it came as no surprise that night when the streets were empty across the world as the big moment came. The anticipation of it all had locked the entire nation into a hysteria of madness. Rumor had it that London’s Big Ben had actually stopped ticking for a few moments as the fateful moment came.
It was too bad that Carly Simon’s song “Anticipation” was released earlier in 1971. It would have made the perfect soundtrack for the opening of that show, although, I don’t see how you can relate Simon’s “anticipation” of going out on a date with Cat Stevens as being befitting of the moment.
One of the Merriam-Webster Dictionary’s definitions for anticipation says that it is “b: the act of looking forward; especially: pleasurable expectation.” It certainly was pleasurable for a lot of people to see J.R. get shot.
© Joseph E. Rathjen – All Rights Reserved – 2013
Here’s some of my blogger friends thought on this topic:
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