Such an excess of nothing happened today that I have nothing to say. All I can do is betray my family by telling you tales of their foolishness.
KMOX Talk Radio, Circa 1985
One weekend while I was engaged to Gary I was driving to see my parents. Dad was at my parent's house. Across the Saint Louis metro area, Mom was driving home, and Gary was driving to his parents seven miles away. Mom, Gary and I simultaneously I heard a voice on the radio say,
"Got a wife."
I wasn't listening to the radio carefully, but I was aware that it was KMOX (The Voice of St. Louis). "Huh," I thought. "That guy sounds like Dad."
"Got a daughter."
I thought, "Wow! He sounds just like Dad when he's drunk. I wonder if that guy's drunk."
Then I realized it was Friday. Every Friday, Dad went to Rizzos in North County and got roaring drunk.
I was hypnotized by my Drunk Friday Dad going out over the airwaves at 50,000 watts. I missed my exit as Dad continued, "And my wife makes $17,000 a year working for the state. This kid makes that much as a first year teacher, and let me tell you, she could never make that much working in the public sector."
"Hey!" I yelled at the radio. First of all, I made $12,000.
The talk show host, a very polite man, asked "Sir, are you saying that you think teachers are overpaid?"
Dad said, with great significance, "What do YOU think?" Not, "Whaddaya think" but "I am very interested to know your thoughts on the subject."
The host said, "No, sir, what do YOU think?"
Dad replied primly, "No, what do YOOOOOOOU think?"
"I think it's time to go to a news break," said the host.
Unbeknowst to me, as I was yelling at the radio and missing my exit, Mom was pulling into the driveway and Gary was making a U-turn to go to my parents instead, because he knew there would for once be more chaos at my parents than his.
Mom walked in and said, "You really shouldn't call up the radio on Fridays."
Gary walked in five minutes later, thrilled, thrilled to have heard Dad on the radio. "Why were you asking the DJ what he thought about it?"
"I had a cogent thought," Dad said. "But he cut me off before I could say it. I can't remember it now."
Gary said, "Do you think Ellen heard it?"
For some reason, I didn't have a key to my parents door, so I had to knock. Dad opened the door. "OVERPAID?" I roared at him.
"So I guess you heard it," Dad chirped like this was the greatest thing ever. Ever! Really great! Great like almost having a cogent thought expressed on the radio while you are hammered great!
But you know what was really great? All my new teacher friends at the school heard it too. "Hey, did you hear that guy on KMOX last week?" "Yes, he's my dad, it was Friday, I don't make $17,000."
Other than that, there was no fallout except that "I had a cogent thought" entered our family lexicon.