Ow, my freakin’ ears!

I was listening to another college-owned radio station — not WRCT — the other day when they played an uncensored version of The Chats’ “Emperor of the Beach.” (Lyrics not even marginally SFW.)

Maybe they figure the FCC has gone home on Christmas break, too. Or else they applied for one of those Special Temporary Obscenity Authority permits. (It’s like the Special Temporary Friday-Night Football Authorizations that daytime-only AM stations in the Mon Valley used to get in the fall months. You know, the football game is going to go on past your local sign-off or power-down time, and if you were to somehow be distracted from throwing the transmitter switch at the right time … ?)

“You are a very foolish man.”

Working from home these last few months of The Plague Year has given me a lot of time to work on my audition tape for “The Jerky Boys.” I really need to start taping these calls, I guess, for use on the show …

(Phone rings. Caller ID says “Elizabeth, PA.”)

Me: “Hello?”

(noisy sound of call center)

Me: “Hello? Hello? Are you OK? Hello?”

Caller: “Hello, this is Allen from U.S. Pharmacy, how are you?”

Me: “Lynn? Hey, Lynn, how are you? Are you OK? Everything OK there?”

Caller: “Uh … yes, sir, thank you for your concern. Do you need any medications?”

Me: “Sure. What y’all got?”

Caller: “We have Viagra” (pronounced “vee-AH-gara”) “Cialis, painkillers …”

Me: “How about that marijuana?”

Caller: “Marijuana, sir?”

Me: “Yeah, the mary-ju-ana. Cannabis? Wacky weed? Wildwood flower? A little Tijuana mama-jama?”

Caller: “Uh … yes sir. What is your card number?”

Me: “My what now?”

Caller: “Your medical marijuana card number.”

Me: “I need a card now? This feller down on the corner don’t never ask me for no card.”

(dial tone)

Me: “Hello?”

(Phone rings. Caller ID says “Glenshaw, PA.”)

Me: “Hello?”

(loud click and buzzing noise)

Caller: “Good day, this is (unintelligible) from R.D. Chemists. How are you today, sir?”

Me: “Well, I’m pretty good, there, son, how are you?”

Caller: “You have recently ordered drugs from us, sir, and we want to know if you are ready for refills.”

Me: “What all kinds of drugs did I order there, fella?”

Caller: “Uh … ” (stifles a giggle) “are you on drugs right now?”

Me: “I’m on a lot of drugs, son. What in particular do you need?”

Caller: “I don’t need …” (sighs) “… we sell drugs … You ordered … Wyagra” (pronounced “WYE-ag-ra”) “and Cialis.”

Me: “Oh, yeah, I know her.”

Caller: “You know who, sir?”

Me: “Wyagra Seealis. I went to high school with her.”

Caller: “Sir, well, we are talking about different things. We sell Wyagra and Cialis. We have good deals on Wyagra.”

Me: “Yeah, she gave me a good deal one time after school. Under the bleachers.”

Caller: “You are wasting my time, sir.”

Me: “She didn’t waste my time, I’ll tell you that much. How’s Wyagra doing?”

Caller: “You are a very foolish man. Go away.”

(dial tone)

Me: “Hello?”

Continue reading ““You are a very foolish man.””

Facts revealed in the new Mr. Rogers biopic

The new movie “A Beautiful Day in the Neighborhood” stars Tom Hanks as Fred Rogers, beloved Pittsburgh icon, influential children’s television programmer and one of the best-loved American personalities of all-time.

Here are some of the startling facts depicted in the movie, which opens this week:

  • “Mr. Rogers’ Neighborhood” originally debuted on network radio as “The Johns-Mansville Asbestos Hour Starring Ed Wynn.”
  • “Lady Elaine Fairchild” was not, as most people believe, a puppet, but an actress named Gladys Pryzebelich from Wilmerding who had a rare growth hormone deficiency. When she died in 2014 at age 94, she was buried in a New Balance shoe box.
  • In a 2001 referendum, residents of the Neighborhood of Make-Believe rejected as “too expensive” a proposal from then-City Council candidate Bill Peduto to add bike lanes.
  • Since retiring, X the Owl works occasionally as a docent at the National Aviary on Pittsburgh’s North Side. In his spare time, he enjoys catching voles and other small rodents.
  • For an April Fool’s Day prank in 1973, two PBS staples, Fred Rogers and William F. Buckley Jr., hosted each others’ shows. But the episodes never aired after PBS executives concluded that while Mr. Rogers vastly improved the quality of “Firing Line,” Buckley was easily outwitted by Daniel Striped Tiger.
  • Until budget cuts during the Reagan administration, the Neighborhood Trolley ran along the Parkway East and U.S. 30 to Rogers’ hometown of Latrobe, making the round trip in 28 hours and 14 minutes.
  • Fred Rogers’ red zip-up cardigan sweater, handmade for him by his mother, is in the permanent collection of the Smithsonian Institution in Washington, D.C. His sneakers were purchased by Dr. Scholl’s as a laboratory standard and are used to test all of that company’s various orthotic products.
  • Stay seated until the closing credits to see scenes from the next thrilling installment in this new Marvel Comics franchise.

What to expect during the impeachment hearings

Impeachment is a congressional investigation into alleged misconduct by the President of the United States. At the end of the process, the House of Representatives refers any evidence that has been gathered to the U.S. Senate, which then holds a trial.

In the history of the United States, only two Presidents have faced impeachment — Andrew Johnson and Bill Clinton. Richard Nixon resigned before formal impeachment proceedings began.

Here’s what to expect as Congress begins impeachment proceedings against President Trump:

  • Each day’s testimony introduced by the “Let’s get ready to rumble!” guy
  • Members of House of Representatives will be trying out catchphrases, like “That’s-a good-a testimony!” and “The indictments don’t stop ’til we reach the top!”
  • “Baby Trump” balloon bouncing around in the gallery like a beach ball at a Phish concert
  • Administration officials holding oversized fedoras in front of their faces to avoid photographers wielding Speed Graphics and giant flashguns
  • Witnesses trying to come as close as possible to describing a crime without going over, then risking it all on a “Daily Double”
  • NPR’s Mara Liasson and Susan Davis on the red carpet outside the Capitol, describing who’s hot and who’s not
  • A free small “Frosty” at participating Wendy’s locations if any of that day’s witnesses present evidence that Trump is a Russian operative (limit one per customer)
  • U.S. Surgeon General Jerome Adams in a neutral corner, getting ready to throw in a towel if proceedings become too violent
  • Kellyanne Conway becoming so enraged that she stomps her right foot into the ground, then rips herself in two trying to pull it out
  • An overwhelming sense that the end of American democracy is getting closer and there’s sweet f-ck all that we can do about it