|Dangerspouse Rides Again|
Garage - Track
Mar. 16, 2006 - 7:34 a.m.
By My Own Petard
I came home from work last week and was greeted by a pile of bloody staples mounded up on a paper towel in the bathroom. True to her word, NewWifey(tm) had yanked every last one of them out of her forehead herself, although not with the grimy needle-nose pliers she'd threatened to use. Her sister, an RN, mailed her a pair of surgical staple removers, along with the name of a highly recommended divorce lawyer.
I don't think her family believes my side of the story. THEIR kin would never mix alcohol, prescription narcotics and power tools.
Also, I must thank all the (mostly) women who wrote to compliment the DangerAss (featured all too prominently in my previous entry). It seems to have spawned its own fan club. I praise each and every one of you ladies on your discerning good taste in buttocks...and excoriate the few men who joined them. When I say "not that there's anything wrong with that", it's only for appearance sake. I don't mean it. Back off.
Unless there's cash involved, of course. Then let's talk.
Do you know what I do for a living?
I'm a radio announcer.
I know what you're thinking: a different babe every night, VIP passes to clubs where even the owner can't get in, beefed up shocks on my car so they don't collapse from all the cash I wallow in, and a home that had to be toned down before they'd feature it on "Cribs".
You'd be right.
Well, other than the babes, VIP passes, cash, and palace, that is. Otherwise, spot on.
Despite this surprising paucity regarding rewards, I've been toiling away at it 6 days a week for the past 12 years. And I do mean toil. I get up at 1:30am, my day starts at 3am, and I'm out at 9. For those of you now thinking "Gee, it must be great to have the whole day to fuck around with!", well, that was my initial reaction too.
12 years later and I can confidently say: ZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz.......
Seriously, all I ever thought about was sleep - on and off the air. I've been a zombie vampire, staggering along painfully during daylight hours, then dropping into my coffin for a fitful doze only to re-emerge in the middle of the night to feed off the living. (Or leftovers from the fridge, whichever was easiest to chase down.)
However, that all comes to an end as of two weeks ago.
I know, I know. This is a boring work entry. But it means a lot to me, and if you love me as much as you told me you did over gamahouche the other night, you will at least feign interest.
Ok, now that we've go that straight, see if you can follow along:
I'm on 7 or 8 radio stations every day, doing mostly traffic reports. I do a report on Station WXXX, then punch a button on my board and I'm on-air with Station WYYY, then the next...and the next...and so on until I arrive back at station WXXX and the whole cycle starts again. On some stations I get to be part of the morning team (usually as comic relief, go figure), while on others I do straight "just the facts ma'am" reports. The time goes by pretty quick, and I then get to go home and drink Makers Mark all day while watching NewWifey(tm) clean and do laundry.
It's actually more fun than it sounds. Perhaps not as hilariously egotistical as my previous music show, and in a way I feel bad for abandoning "pure" radio to become a faceless cog at Soulless Media Conglomerate, Inc. But this gig pays 5 times as much as Mom-n-Pop AM radio ever did, and throws in medical, dental, and 4 weeks vacation to boot. Considering I once sold my sister's virginity to a high school friend (well, gym teacher) for the remains of his Peanut Butter and Fluff sandwich, this deal was a no brainer.
One thing I've been almost overbearingly proud of is that one of my stations is the largest all-news radio station in the known universe, and beyond (or so go their promos). They allow only very few announcers to grace their airwaves. So even though I was granted a shift in non-drivetime hours, it is a staggeringly bright feather in the ol' chapeau. In addition, I am the ONLY announcer allowed to step in front of their hallowed microphones when the regular drive time guys take off on vacation. Me. ONLY me.
They love me.
But, just like in your own life, how quickly love fades.....
See, a few weeks back I was sitting in my studio, playing Minesweeper before my first report (we call it "show prep") when I heard our Program Director come barrelling down the hall bellowing my name.
"TOM!" he bellowed. "TOOOOMMMM!!!
I was sitting two feet in front of him at that last one.
"Ahhhh...you wanted to see me?"
"YES!!!!" Large purple veins danced across his forehead. "Mr. Famous at WZZ is on vacation this week, and BOTH our fill-ins are out with the flu! Can you fit them into your schedule?? You'd have to do traffic and weather."
I knew how desperate he must be. WZZ is a huge, legendary station in New York City. They compete in the popular (and lucrative) News/Talk arena, pulling in zillions of listeners every day.
They pay us LOTS of money.
I had him by the short hairs, in other words.
"What's it worth?"
"You get to come back to work tomorrow."
"I'll do it."
Oh well, it was worth a try.
I gathered up the station's info packet and commercial copy, gave their studio a ring to introduce myself, and away I went.
It turned out to be a lot of fun being part of a high powered NY morning talk show, surprise surprise, even in my limited capacity as Traffic & Weather Guy. But they did chat me up a bit, and I got to show more personality than with the huge All News station I've been with for 12 years. At the end of the shift the producer even told me that some listeners had called to compliment my godlike delivery and on-air demeanor.
If only they knew.
Well, that was that. I turned off the studio light on my way out, drove home to NewWifey(tm) and told her all sorts of lies about what a hit I was on a Big Time Morning Show. I went to sleep figuring I'd just experienced my 15 minutes.
The next morning the two fill-ins were still sick. The day after that as well.
All week, as a matter of fact.
The following Monday saw the return of Mr. Famous to WXX's airwaves, and I returned to relative obscurity.
Upon his return, Mr. Famous (who'd been with the station as their traffic and weather guy since the 70's) immediately announced his retirement. The following Friday would be his last show.
I didn't think anything of it really, as I had my own stations to worry about. One of the fill-ins would no doubt be elevated to Regular Sidekick status, and the world would keep spinning on its axis.
But again, no.
The station owner called my boss and insisted that I, Dangerspouse, fill in while they auditioned replacements. The process could take several weeks.
So fill in I did for several weeks. At the end of which time it was decided that all the loserposerwanna-be's who auditioned sucked, and I should be crowned the new King Sidekick.
Woo hoo, right? Well, kinda. I really enjoy being on this new station. I get along with the host, the news guy, the producer. And most importantly, audience feedback so far has been positive.
My OTHER mega-station, the All News Champion of the World mentioned earlier, did not share in my elation. Their head muckity-muck heard me on the new show one morning recently and called OUR head muckity-muck.
"This will not stand!" he yelled. "Conflict of interest! It's either them or us. He can't be on both."
And he would not be swayed.
Even though I'm on at a different time.
Using a different name.
On a station with a different format.
Targeting an entirely different demographic.
Not to mention the fact that I am on SEVEN OTHER RADIO STATIONS BESIDES HIS EVERY DAY ALREADY.
No appeals to logic or greed (I offered a set of antique sock garters from my collection) would make him relent. If I was to be part of the new morning team at WXX, I would have to leave his hallowed airwaves forever.
As per usual in radio though, it wasn't my choice to make. I'm a hired gun, sent to whatever station my bosses see fit.
And they saw fit to keep me on the new morning show, yanking me off the station I'd been a fixture at for the past twelve years. Their decision was greased by the fact that the new show's contract with us was up for renewal, and my company wasn't inclined to disappoint them in any way while trying to wring out every last shekel.
Basically then, I was being punished for being too talented. I did such a good job filling in that I hung myself!
Oh, the tombstone up there? That's what was waiting on our lawn when I came home after my last on-air shift with All News Giant. NewWifey(tm) fashioned it out of foam. And yes, that was the hideous name they made me use on their station. I convulsed every time I said it.
Now lest you think I'm particularly bitter about this turn of events, I'm actually quite the opposite despite all the seeming hand wringing. Yeah I was somewhat miffed at not even getting a "Thanks, bub!" from my old station after years of faithful service. On the other hand I now start work at 5am instead of 3am, and only work FIVE days a week, not six. Of course, I work extra hours every day to compensate, but I'm still out at 12:30. Plenty of time to catch up on my requisite Maker's Mark consumption. And so far, I am liking this arrangement MUCH better.
Plus I get to have my name and (maybe) ugly mug plastered on billboards, subway posters and taxi roof ads around New York City shortly. So that's cool. What's NOT cool is that there is no pay increase associated with my status increase. Thank you, Radio and TV performer's union. Oh well, I still am liking it more than my old haunt.
One niggling bit of unease about the new digs though. This is definitely a Right Wing Conservative station (they air Bill O'Reilly's show in the afternoon, to give you an idea). I am a Left Wing Liberal. Very left wing liberal. I mean, I am somewhat to the left of Al Franken, Michael Moore, and Che Guevara. What will I say if I'm asked on-air to sign a petition calling for broadening of the Patriot Act to include the permanent repeal of a citizens' right to file a writ of habeas corpus? (Why do I have the sinking feeling that this example may not be as outrageously overstating things as I imagine?) Should I bristle indignantly and tell them where to stick their Patriot Missile? Or do I remember that I have a mortgage payment due at the end of the month and sell out yet again? This isn't my sister's virginity we're talking about any more here. This is important.
Fortunately they've only dragged me into fluff topics so far (today's: whether bald women can be considered beautiful, a la Natalie Portman's current affectation. I, and every other male, opined - verbatim - "are you insane??").
On top of that, they just signed a new (famous) co-host last week. This has meant drastically less on-air repartee with Yours Truly. In fact, I'm pretty much back to the old "just the facts, ma'am" delivery I was relegated to at my OLD station. Ah well. Fame is indeed fleeting.
Of course, this will at least give me less opportunity to expose myself as the godless pinko bleeding heart liberal that I am. Because god knows that would ruin my credibility as a traffic and weather reporter.
Ok, you've put up with a boring Work Entry long enough. This is all big fun when you actually live it, and I really wanted to get this down for my own posterity, but reading about it must be rather trying for you the audience. Sorry. Next entry will be funny, promise.
By way of apology, check out this site. If you are anywhere near the obsessive music geek you say you are, you'll enjoy it.
Everyone's favorite Uncle/Insomniac came up with a great idea a few weeks ago. To wit: set up a place on the web for intentionally bad erotic writing (as opposed to the omnipresent unintentional variety). But, NO ONE is contributing! (Myself either, I must confess. But only because I seem incapable of writing a sentence that doesn't excite someone, somewhere.) Now c'mon, I know a lot of you are supremely talented at penning painfully awkward erotic prose. Why not put it out there for an appreciative audience? If you've got the balls, and you can describe them in cold clinical detail, head over to Bad Erotica. And buy his book while you're at it. If you're one of the few who hasn't yet, that is. Although even if you have, buy a second one. Because esprit d'corps and all that (I'm all about Right Wing Conservative jingo-ism these days).