Things I Learned At Work This Week

I work at a radio station.  Sometimes things are crazy, sometimes they’re surprisingly dull.  But I’ve been doing this crap for nigh on twenty years, so there are very few surprises. But as I age, I realize that I’m surrounded by a crew of children.  And I mean that in the most literal sense: I am older than everyone in this building now, and some of our salespeople could feasibly be my children.  They were born about the time I was graduating college.  Damn.

Anyway, this was a good week to learn things from our salespeople.  Like, for example, how little some of them know about stuff that I find very important or fascinating.  I’m not calling our young sales staff stupid; quite the contrary, some of them are very bright.  They’re just…green.  And young.  (Did I mention how young they are?)

We’ll throw in a free remote! Also, I just shit my pants!!

Example number one: One of the cuties in the sales pit asked what I was doing for Halloween.  I proudly answered that I would be going as Captain James T. Kirk.

She stared at me, and I couldn’t figure out what to do next.  I stood there, looking around, waiting for her to say something. And so she did.  She replied “You mean Kirk?” and pointed at one Kirk T. Flatter II, another member of our crack sales team.  Kirk shrugged, because he “gets it” and probably hears jokes about his name every goddam day.  I then tried to explain the history of the U.S.S. Enterprise, but got more blank stares.  Okay. I learned that no everyone is a geek. Fair enough.

I take it all back. They’re both Captain Kirk. Fine.

Later in the week, I had a more fulfilling convo with a Senior Member of our office staff.  Now we’re talkin’. We discussed childhood candy, and I learned that I was not the only kid to collect their weekly cash and then make a mad dash for the local convenience store for an exercise in fiscal responsibility (or at the very least a lesson in worth.)  See, our old Kwik Pik had the standard Aisle O’ Sugar (sometimes called The Golden Mile or Cavity Alley) that featured the usual strata: Snickers, Milky Way, and the like, i.e. the Premium Candy was at the top shelf, and ran at least fifty cents a piece, sometimes more.  Right below that was the B-list candy.  Clark Bars, Charleston Chew, and their ilk. Third shelf was Lemonheads, Wacky Wafers, Lik-M-Aid, Laffy Taffy, Chick-O-Stix.  Finally, the lowest shelf was for those in steerage:  five cents (or LESS!) per. We’re talking That crappy PAL gum.  Bazooka gum.  Jolly Ranchers (not the big ones.  Those were one shelf up, and if you sucked on them long enough you could fashion a shiv in case a playground rumble got out of hand.  Absolutely true.)  But the lesson was always this:  Johnny has $1.25 in assorted change.  Should Johnny go big and pick up two Butterfingers with change to spare or buy Big League Chew for EVERYONE?!?!  In retrospect, I see why my parents let me blow all my money on candy and comic books.  There was a tangible risk/reward system.  That is, until the store put in a Ms. Pac-Man arcade cabinet, and any fiscal conservatism went right out the fuckin’ window.

THANKS A LOT, OBAMA!!!

Back to the cute little 20-somethings in the sales department.  One of them wore some sort of crocheted afghan-looking skirt.  Conservative.  Nice.  Like something draped over the back of grandma’s couch, only with much less cat hair. I asked her if she made it herself.  “It’s knit,” she responded.  Okay. I wanted to learn some more, so I inquired whether it was “knit” or some sort of macrame, and what the difference was.  She didn’t seem to understand my question, so I got a little smarmy and asked if it was fabricated from some sort of nano-particles.  Her reply: “What are those?”  Okay, you got me.

So again, I learned a couple of new things.  One, nobody in this country knows anything about science and two, I am so glad I met, fell in love with, and married my wife, because there’s no WAY I would be getting laid in the current state of the world.

No, really.

The final lesson of the week was from a dude who works down the hall producing a local sports-talk show.  Like everyone in radio NOT doing sales, he’s poor and worries about his job.  But like many of us, he’s also learned that he’s probably not making enough to fire.  In other words, finding people to do what we do and do it well for LESS than we’re getting paid is a longshot, so we’re reasonably safe.  Anyway, this guy mentioned that he’d just gotten a text from his mobile provider telling him his bill was overdue.  I thought that was awesome.  I learned that yes, apparently your cell phone company will keep your phone service going even if you’re behind in your payments…so that they can tell you you’re about to have your service shut off.  That’s fantastic.

“Eligible for upgrade? The fuck is wrong with THIS phone?!?”

See, kids? You really do learn something new every day.

Watch the Magic Pumpkin! Watch!

I wasn’t gonna blog this soon.  I was gonna take some time and do it up right.  But that ain’t my style, bub. Sometimes an opportunity presents itself, and you grab that big pot of gold and dig in.  (Chili.  Not gold.  In my dreams it’s always a pot o’ chili.)

Firstly, on the little radio show I do, The TNT Show, we play a stupid game called “Getting to Know Ya” wherein we ask the listeners a buncha stupid questions.  There are no right answers, simply good answers.  Savvy?  Good.  On Monday’s show, we asked a guy what his favorite Halloween candy was.  His answer?

Skittles.  Fucking Skittles.

You're fucking with me, aren't you? Yeah. You're fucking with me.

Now, don’t get me wrong:  Skittles are a fine candy.  I love playing the “which colors/flavors work best together” game.  Fan-fucking-tastic, Skittles.  Good candy you’ve got there.  But…it’s HALLOWEEN, MAN!!  I’d be less disappointed if he’d declared in a strong, authoritative voice that “Those crappy peanut-butter-taffy things that get stuck in your teeth are the finest confection known to man.  In particular, I prefer the ones in the orange paper wrappers to those in the black paper wrappers, even though I know them to be the exact same candy.  Perhaps I bear some sort of subconscious racism.  No matter.  Hands-down, those particular treats are the finest in my Halloween bag, make no mistake.  I am as firm as the Rock of Gibraltar on this issue.”

Skittles.  Fuck. No.

See? We're all sort of beige on the inside! Just like Lord Vader!

Another Halloween-themed goodie dropped right into my lap via Facebook.  My friend (and excellent drummer, BTW) Joe had posted the following as his status on this fine Monday: “Still have no clue what I should dress up as for Halloween! Come on smart asses what ya got?”

Oh no he DIH-UNT! Joe got a variety of ha-ha replies, and he nixed them all as being “stupid.”  That’s where I came in.  I wanted to just take a screen shot of his Facebook, but it would’ve been all compressed or worse, too frakkin’ big to display properly.  So what follows is a transcript:

Me: Milton from Office Space.

Joe: So far, Turner is winning

Me: Or Mitt Romney.  That’d be cool.

Me: I know! The Iron Giant!

(non-important person): Snooky!

Me: Papa Smurf!

Me: Mitchell S*****n! (*editor’s note: Mitch is a dealer and hockey guy we know who also digs street drag-racing.  Basically a pimp.)

Me: Two chickens!

Me: A tasty McRib sandwich!

Me: Rhubarb!

Me: The Grinch!

Me: Footballing legend Pele!

(some girl): Papa smurf! Lmao ya go as that!

(another, hotter girl): The Hamburgler

Me: Amy Winehouse!

Me: Daft Punk!

(girl again): Joe Dirt!

Me: Willie Nelson’s bar of soap!

Me: Meatsicle! http://www.foundshit.com/raw-meat-popscicle/

Me: A crablouse!

Me: Rusty’s chin! (*editor’s note: Rusty is a smaller, older version of Mitch*)

Me: A mule!

Me: A mule in a sombrero!

Me: Trivial Pursuit!

Me: Gravy!

Me: Harry Potter’s “wand!”

Me: Cthulhu’s cat!

Me: Top Ramen!

Me: Tron!

Me: The Sugarland Stage!

Me: A pair of Vicegrips!

Me: The Boudoir Bombshells!

Me: Knee-high socks and a bloody pitchfork!

RUSTY: Turner wants you to be a Hipster so you can be Hipster butt buddies with him. (*editor’s note: I actually “liked” this comment.*)

Me: A brown tooth!

Me: Barry Thickk’s Old Navy sweatshirt! (*editor’s note: Barry is my co-host.  He is the dude least-likely to own any sort of Old Navy merchandise that I’ve ever met.  And yet, he does…*)

Me: Ray Finkle!

Me: Soap on a rope!

Me: Pope on a rope!

Me: Hop on Pop!

Me: Flubber!

Me: Flash Gordon!

Me: Crash Bandicoot!

Me: Ned Braden!

Me: Ned Ryerson!

Me: Headless Ned Stark!

Me: Tony Stark!

Me: Tony Hawk!

Me: Dolph Lundgren!

Me: Rudolph the Red-Nosed Lundgren!

Joe: I would like to combine all of these into ONE costume!

And then something amazing happened.  The perky young lady that follows our morning show decided I needed reinforcements.  What followed was beautiful…

Jenna: A salad bar.

Jenna: A guy with hair. (*ed: see, Joe’s bald.*)

Jenna: A robot.

Jenna: A banana.

Jenna: A tampon.

Jenna: Apple-bottom jeans.

Jenna: Boots with the fur.

Jenna: Timmy.

Jenna: Poop.

Me: Tommy!

Me: Scoop!

Jenna: Measles.

Me: Weasels!

Jenna: AIDS.

Me: Kool-AIDS Man!

Me: Pierce Brosnan’s colon!

Me: Colin Powell’s piercing!

Me: Powerman 5001!

Me: Jodie Foster!

Me: Steve Buschemi’s used band-aid!

Jenna: Nell.

Jenna: Tay in the weeeend.

Me: Chicka-pay!

Jenna: Harold.

Jenna: Kumar.

Me: Maude!

Jenna: A chicken ring sandwich.

Me: That’s it. Chicken ring sandwich.

Me: Jenna wins.

AAAAAANNND SCENE.  There was more after that, of course.  Banter.  Mainly banter.  But, wow!  What a way to go out!  Chicken ring sandwich!  I don’t have the slightest fucking clue what that even is, but it’s perfect!  Did she mean to type “chicken wing sandwich?”  Or is this some weird internet phrase to which I am not privy?  Will that be tomorrow’s big meme?  Fuck, now I want a chicken ring sandwich, whatever the hell it is.  It’s too good not to be something.

So, there you have it.  Joe’s status garnered 90 comments by the time I wrote this.  Not too shabby, Joe.  And thank you, dear reader, for taking the time to scroll all the way down that bitch.  I owe you a chicken ring sandwich.  I do. But instead, I’ll give you the quick and easy recipe for the celebrated summertime drink the IdaJoe (named after my boy Joe, who’s Facebook is now the stuff of legend.)  Here ’tis: Over ice, pour three parts Sailor Jerry, one part pineapple juice, and add a splash of Grenadine.  It’s bliss. 

When Joe was younger and had hair, he hung out with better people.

Here’s to you, Joe! Happy Halloween!