Friday, December 16, 2005

Mocking the Announcer

I've got to confess that I have an off-the-wall habit, a longtime habit which might make some people question my sanity: when I'm listening to the radio, I talk back to the announcer. I mock the announcer. I make fun of the announcer. Right out loud. I jeer at the announcer mercilessly.

Eating breakfast in the morning, I usually listen on my GE Superradio to 600 WMT from Cedar Rapids. First off, WMT has this annoying policy of doing station identification three or four times a minute. When it gets too bloody annoying, I'll interrupt the announcer in a paroxysm of station identifications: "News Radio 600 WMT! News Radio 600 WMT! News Radio 600 WMT! News Radio 600 WMT!! NEWS RADIO 600 WMT!!!!!"

I mean, it's as if they're afraid we're going to forget which station we're listening to, if they don't keep announcing it every 20 seconds.

Or I'll make fun of the names of the news crew. When the announcer says, "And now for the weather we go to Mark Schnackenburg." I call out, "Schnackenburg?!" Or even, "Schnackenburg?! Where did they get a name like that??!!!"

The lead-in to the morning traffic report always goes, "And now, here's traffic conditions this morning on the highways and the byways." This elicits from me the mocking response, "The highways and... the byways??!!!"

It seems to be station policy to pronounce 2005 as "twenty-oh-five." This sterile, prissy way of saying the year is one of my pet peeves. So I'll interrupt the announcer with: "Twenty-oh-five??!!! Shouldn't that be... two thousand five???!!!!!!"

Morning farm report, everything always seems to be up or down by something-and-a-quarter. Soybeans are up by two and a quahtta, pork bellies are down by one and a quahtta... My response is to sing out, "Quahtta... quahtta... quahtta... QUAHTTA!!!".

When a news story reports on an F3 tornado that hit a town in Iowa, I go, "F3??! Isn't that... 'Fujitsu'???!!" (Actually, it's "Fujita"; but I digress.)

Whenever the announcer mentions the town of Coralville, down near Iowa City, I yell, "Cor'v'lle!!!" Because everyone knows that Coralville is actually pronounced "Cor'v'lle." You know, just like Louisville is pronounced "Lou'v'lle."

And this morning, I was mocking the announcer for using the word "quagmire": "Quagmire??! Are you saying it's like... Vietnam???!!!!" Also had to make fun of a Fox News report, something about "Pennsylvania Senator Arlen Specter said it was a dangerous gamble...": "A... dangerous gamble??!!!"

(What was "a dangerous gamble"? I'm not sure, I wasn't listening that closely, I think maybe it was the Patriot Act. In which case I suppose the Senator is actually right.)

Anyhow. If you ever overheard the way I talk back to the radio at the breakfast table, mocking the mass media and all we hold dear, you'd probably call them to come haul me away to the funny farm. Or at least tell me to get back on my meds. I'm sure I'll be classified as a security risk once the Department of Fatherland Security hears of my disrespectful proclivities.

Though like I say, this habit of mine goes back a long way. Back to my childhood, when my brother and I, in a very similar key, used to mercilessly mock commercials on TV. Call it a self-deprogramming tactic. The late William S. Burroughs was right when he said that Time magazine (and, by extension, much of the mass media) is like the ancient Mayan calendar, which programmed the Mayans to recognize certain days of the Mayan year as lucky or unlucky, times to laugh or times to cry. Mocking the announcer is a way of preventing the mainstream media from (as the moonbats in academia put it) "colonizing my consciousness."



Blogger The Tetrast said...

Very funny. Then I went back and read your post against saying "twenty-oh-five" -- which some of us call "twenty-aught-five" by the way, though not I -- and I started to read it and thought, oh ho! you don't like it, huh? Well I've never heard anybody but myself say it! "Blue-stater," hm? (though I am). Gray, dull, repetititive? Oh yeah? But you just kept on going and going. It would be terrific as a Saturday Night Live skit. Some poor shnook at an award dinner or something says "twenty-oh-five" and you get up and give that speech, while the shnook slowly goes into shellshock, and the guests get wildly enthused and carry you around on their shoulders.

But I realize that I must take a different approach. Resistance is futile. You know it's true. When 2010 rolls around, nobody will want to be bothered saying "two thousand ten" instead of the swift "twenty ten." And then -- in 2020? Fuggedaboudit!

I will spare you the obligatory "bwah ha ha ha ha" which I suspect you find as irksome as I do.

Seriously, that 2005 speech was really funny.

Friday, December 16, 2005 7:45:00 PM  
Blogger The Tetrast said...

P.S. I do prefer irregular verbs, though.

Friday, December 16, 2005 7:51:00 PM  
Blogger Caltechgirl said...

Both of us do this. I frequently wake up to my DH yelling at the idiot on the radio at 5 am.

I do love to wake up to the farm report, though. Too bad LA doesn't have farms....

Friday, December 16, 2005 8:27:00 PM  

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