Tuesday, July 14, 2009

If the code monkey thing doesn't work out

This morning I sat in for Toni on WBHP's The Morning Show with Toni & Gary.

I haven't yet gotten the all-clear from Dr. Byrd, so Sam, the kids, and I all left at 7 this morning for the radio station. The instructions sent me to the back of the building where there was a ten-foot fence with razor wire at the top. I called Nate the producer, and he met us at the door. Sam and the kids headed off for a hearty breakfast at Cracker Barrel.

I learned later that the razor wire and security door were there because a woman was working nights there, and a stalker would hang out around back, peeking in the windows and engaging and other unwelcome behavior. What's with people?

So Nate and I traversed the twisty passages (all alike!) until we came to the broadcast booth. He hooked up my earphones and mentioned that Gary was still at the TV station. I opened up my Ducks Unlimited portfolio and glanced over my notes while I listened to prerecorded banter between the two regular hosts where Gary was talking about getting in trouble as a youngster for setting a fire in the woods.

Today wasn't my first time in a broadcast booth. Back in 2002 when I ran for state senate, WVNN's Fred Thompson and Peter Thiele (no, a different one) invited me to be on their morning show where I botched my opportunity by failing to stay on message.

Five or ten minutes later, Gary strolled in, and we exchanged pleasantries. He offered to fetch me a cup of coffee, and when he returned, we laughed about my own pyromania-gone-bad story. A neighborhood kid and I were lighting pine straw on fire in a hole and then snuffing it out&emdash;with more pine straw. As you might imagine, we soon lost control of the fire and had to run to a nearby road crew for help. While they dug a control ditch, I ran home and told Mom between breaths to call the fire department. Somehow I managed not to get in trouble for that: maybe an unusual bout of willful ignorance.

Finally on air, Gary introduced me and broke the ice by asking, as people commonly do, whether I'm related to Kevin Bacon. I told him I've learned to answer to Kevin because my last name is evidently easy to remember, but the first must be a little trickier.

The remainder of the show was gone in an Augenblick. We talked about family, work, and topics such as the state's slow-pay record on tax refunds, California versus Texas, whether I'd consider running for office again, and Dave Ramsey's Financial Peace University. For the last one, I wondered aloud about requiring sending FPU kits to all members of the congress.

Toni likes to ask trivia questions, so I brought a few with me. I wanted to ask about outlaw William H. Bonney Jr. (a.k.a. Billy the Kid) because it was the anniversary of his capture, but Gary covered it in a prerecorded segment. The questions (and answers) I did ask:

Which American patriot emphatically declared, "Is life so dear, or peace so sweet, as to be purchased at the price of chains and slavery? Forbid it, Almighty God!" Patrick Henry

A 2006 study published in Cancer Research showed that capsaicin, the chemical that makes buffalo wings, for example, hot is effective in fighting what form of cancer? Prostate

On this day in 1798, a bill was enacted in Congress that criminalized "false, scandalous, and malicious writing" against elected officials. What was the name of this act? Sedition Act

In an essay called "Gold and Economic Freedom," a well-known economist wrote, "In the absence of the gold standard, there is no way to protect savings from confiscation through inflation." Who was this economist? Alan Greenspan

One caller correctly answered the question about Patrick Henry. I was pleased when another caller guessed Murray Rothbard instead of the world's most famous counterfeiter. My friend Jenny texted me promptly about the Sedition Act because she'd recently seen the John Adams series.

I managed to work in a couple of plugs too. In another text, Jenny (a huge Alabama fan) asked, "Can I get a Roll Tide?" Last night, I told Carey I'd mention Haskell somehow, but the best I was able to do was a parting shot. Gary gave me a puzzled look and said, "I hope we shouldn't have bleeped whatever it is you just said."

I was sorry to see nine o'clock roll around. Gary mentioned the possibility of having me sit in for him while he's out next month, and I told him to just say when.

1 comment:

Bo said...

Dude, you did a great job. I don't have a ton of that kind of "react right now" communication experience that's necessary for a broadcast environment, but I have enough of it to know it's harder than it looks.

If you've got time and motivation, you ought to pursue this.