It's December, 2019. Christmas approaches in rural New England. Yesterday a light snowfall dusted the town green and adjacent pines in white, the young folk went house to house in the early evening, the holiday house lights already twinkling as they laughed, sang carols, were rewarded with offers of hot mulled cider and fresh-baked cookies. This morning you stop by your favorite diner, sharing a booth with a couple of your buddies. Ramona the waitress doesn't really need to ask what you want, it's "the regular" all 'round. Orange juice and hot tea or coffee, here come those eggs and hash browns, and . . . what the hell?
A hubbub at the door, which stands open now, the little silver bell ringing and jingling, admitting cold gusts of wind as a gaggle of bulky New Yorkers wielding wind-filtered microphones long enough to scare a brood mare and bulky shoulder-mounted television cameras crowd inside, surrounding some strange figure wearing television makeup, brightly colored clothing, and the kind of footgear your daughter would wear to a dance recital. And jeez, here she comes, pressing right up to your table!