I am tinkering with the idea of writing a book of compiled radio stories - and by radio stories I mean things that I have witnessed with my own eyes during my on-again off-again radio career that has spanned 11 fucking years. (Wow. That went by fast.) I also plan to include tons and tons of stories that were told to me by all the old school radio vets.
You see, I can proudly say that I have one awesome characteristic: I learn from the mistakes of others. I avoided a lot of pitfalls by asking the older guys to tell me about some of the radio messes they made for themselves back in the day. All those other dumb kids never thought to listen to these wise old fuck-ups. (Sorry, the beloved jadedness that comes to me when talking about anything radio causes me to cuss a lot. It just comes out naturally. Please forgive. We are rough bunch. OMG, I said "we." I try not to associate myself as "one of them." I don't even socialize with other radio people anymore. It's better that way. Two radio people together is too much. I learned that the hard way. I don't sleep with, drink with, or even go to a movie with other radio people anymore. Life is better that way. Trust me.
Still, I love this salty business. And in that year and a half that I was out of the business, I learned a couple of things about myself. I learned A: I can absolutely live without a microphone. Life is managable without a big megaphone to let everyone know what the fuck I think about fucking everything. And B: That being said: I do love access to the mic. I enjoy having a big megaphone that let's everyone know what the fuck I think about fucking everything. In conclusion, I prefer the mic. But I can live without the mic.
Here's what I was getting to, before I got all distracted by my self: because I was smart enough to inquire the thoughts of all these radio vets, I learned a lot of funny stories along the way. As a result, I think I could compile a funny book of radio stories. However, I don't want to get knee-deep in an endeavor only to find out that it is only funny to me and other radio people. So, with your help, I plan to write ten straight totally true radio stories. And your job is to tell me if it's actually funny, or just funny to me. Thanks. Here goes. I'm gonna pull a tale out of the bag.
Here's a true story that was told to me by my delightfully Jewish-turned-Christian production guy friend from Wisconsin. He's about 50. I will tell it as if I'm him.
"I've seen a lot of radio contests screwed up by a lot of people... but never by the actual contest winner. Until we encountered "THE GIRL." Oh, I still dread... THE GIRL."
"It was back in the 1980's when I worked at Rock 92.3 in Greensboro. We busted our butts to put together this really big promotion with a really big prize. It was two first class airline tickets to anywhere in the world... on our dime. Anywhere, sir. I'm talking anywhere. So this girl won the contest. And we interviewed her live on the air. Our jock said to her, "So where do you want to go? Paris? Brazil? Italy?""
"And do you know what her answer was? Do you know what THE GIRL'S GOD DAMNED ANSWER WAS? It was this: "I'm going to fly to Myrtle Beach to see my boyfriend."
"She said, "I'm going to Myrtle Beach to visit my motherfucking boyfriend!" Do you know how bad she screwed us. She had a chance to go anywhere in the world for free! And she took the wind out of our gigantic sails by saying she was going to take a thirty minute flight on us... for the weekend! That dumb bitch could drive to Myrtle Beach in 4 hours! A flight takes just as long when you consider check in and check out. She could've gone to Hawaii!"
"And this girl who had two tickets to anywhere had the nerve to ask us if she could us the two tickets separately! Both for herself, so she could make two flights to Myrtle Fucking Beach to see her stupid, stupid boyfriend. ANYWHERE IN THE WORLD!"
"And this burn she gave us had only begun. Think about the after-glow we had to do. In case you don't know what the after-glow is, the after-glow is where you pat yourself on the back and brag in commercials about the big fucking prize you gave out to a lucky listener. The intent is to make the listeners think: "Next time it could be me! I'm gonna keep listening to this awesome station."
"We had to send off copy for our voice guy to read that said: "Rock 92.3 is your contest station. We've always got the best stuff for you! For example: just last month we sent THE GIRL on a flight to anywhere in the world!!!!!!!!! And now she's living it up in.... MYRTLE BEACH!!!!!!! YEAAAHHHHHHH!!!!!11 ROCK 92.3 IS YOUR CONTEST STATION! MYRRRRRRRRRRRTLE BEEEEEEACHHH!"
"Sir, take my advice. Never do a contest to anywhere in the world. Never give the listeners control over their own destiny. They will screw you everytime. If you are gonna send them somewhere, you tell them exactly where they are going to go. You say: "You're going to GD Paris whether you like it or not!" Otherwise you got a voice-guy that thinks the copy you sent him was a prank. Who in the hell flies to Myrtle Beach?" Oh right! The Girl. I still hate the Girl.