You know you're getting older when you can't remember a major chunk of a story that happened when you were younger. For example, I can remember when my friend Rodney slammed his finger in a door and it fell off, but for the life of me I can't remember if it happened at my house or his house. All I remember is that he slammed it in someone's front door, said "Ow! That hurt!," and he went on his way. Then about sixty seconds later he said, "Hey? Where's my finger?"
His finger was on the floor by the door. I just don't remember who's floor and who's door it was. Regardless, he got the finger sewed back on and went on to a career as a NASCAR crew chief (I think he currently works for Michael Waltrip racing. One time my dad accidentally slapped Michael Waltrip in a church league basketball game when they were both going for a loose ball. Dad didn't even know who he had slapped until I told him. Then he said, "Oh, I put the air conditioning in his house, but I never met him in person." So there you have it, when you grow up in Mooresville, the race car driver isn't just your race car driver, he's also a client. And a basketball opponent. That you slapped in the face. I had a point to all this. Oh before I get to that, I do remember that Rodney definitely almost died in my front yard when we were twelve. We were cleaning up debris from Hurricane Hugo when my big sister knocked a loose limb off the tree and onto Rodney's head. It knocked him out and he woke up in a child-like state. As the paramedics and the neighbors gathered around him we suddenly found ourselves with a guy who had reverted to being a three year old. He couldn't say his "r's" and he was calling his mom "Mommy" and saying how his "head hewwwts." It was very bizarre. It was also the first time I ever got to call 911. It was also the first and last time I ever saw my fat pervert neighbor hurdle a fence. He may have been a horny guy, but he was still a helpful guy. Oh yes, my point! It wasn't really a point, I was just wanting to touch on how, as time goes on, we forget the memorable moments of our lives. I will never see someone lose a finger again, yet I already forgot where it happened the one time I was so lucky.
Here's something related, but not. It's kind of weird sometimes to talk to people about working in radio. Why? Because don't get me wrong, I think it's cool. But I'm never quite entirely comfortable when someone else thinks it is cool. If someone just thinks that is the neatest thing that they are talking to someone who works at a small-town radio station, then I feel the need to let them know how much I truly suck, and how the job can still be a shitty as any other job. I appreciate the niceness of others, but I think some mild self-hatred gets in the way. I feel like saying to these nice people, "Look, I think I'm cool, but that's because I'm crazy. You, however, are too good to even for a second believe such a silly notion. Trust me, I suck. I just felt obligated to tell you, because you were going to find out eventually anyway."
Here's where I get back to the forgetting stuff topic. I can't remember who told me the following one time. In fact, I think it may be something I once said to myself. Isn't that crazy that I can't remember if something came from me or someone else? Either way, if it came from someone else then it was wise and if it came from me then it was freaking brilliant! Whoever it was said this:
"If you want to make it in radio, you need to have dueling mental problems. You have to, at the exact same time, truly and genuinely believe that you A) are the shit, and B) are just plain old shit. Yes, you have to love yourself and hate yourself all at once. You need to be your biggest fan and your biggest detractor all at once. And neither emotion can be contrived, you just have to have them both. That way, you have the confidence to do your job well and to sound great, but you also will always be getting better because you hate yourself for everything you've ever done because it wasn't worth shit in your mind and you work to improve it."
Whoever said that was right - I wonder if it was me. Ahh, life with a head-injury is more fun than you can imagine. I'll cover that one another time - it's purely memory and comprehension issues.
So here's the other weird feeling I get when I talk to people who are asking me about radio. Often times, they will say that I am the first person they've ever met who works in that medium (We are very few. There just aren't that many positions. So a lot of people never knowingly talk to a radio guy.) So when I hear this, I feel that now, for the rest of the conversation, everything I say is being said on behalf of the entire radio industry all the way back to when it was invented by that Tesla guy. So then I get worried. I'm like, "If I come across as a douche-bag then this person will get the impression that all radio guys are douche-bags. But then again, if I come across as too cool, then I will give this person the impression that all radio guys are nice, when in fact, slightly over fifty percent of those radio guys DEFINITELY are douche bags. What do I do?"
Yeah, I don't over think shit.
One final thing, and I'll shut up. I had a funny radio related thing happen last weekend. You see, I record my weather and news breaks for the entire weekend every Saturday and Sunday. So even if I only actually work at the station for 6 hours a weekend, my stuff runs every hour on the hour for 48 hours. In fact, I'm on the air right now even though I'm at home. So sometimes, I will be delivering pizza at night and hear my own reports on the radio. For some reason, it always strikes me as bizarre and futuristic that I am hearing myself in my car even though I'm not talking. I'm all like "where the hell did I just come from?" I never get used to it. And last week, I amused myself because I was listening to "Handle on The Law" when it cut from that show to my news break. As usual, I was startled to hear myself on my favorite station. But I listened anyway. Then when the weather report was over, I wasn't even trying to be funny, but I said to myself out-loud in a Butthead voice, "Heh. Heh. That was me." Then I realized that I just said "Heh. Heh. That was me," to myself and realized how much I suck.
BTW: One time this girl told me she would never sleep with me (like I even asked) for one reason alone: "Because you're a radio guy. That's just pathetic."
She kept her word. I bet she must have met other radio guys before.