Not terribly important (but relevant to this story) factoid about me in the winter: I hate boots. HATE them. If I didn’t have to wear them, I wouldn’t. I wore them to work today anticipating the slight possibility of a little snow. When I get to work, I indulge my inner Firesign Theatre I-Think-We’re-All-Bozos-on-This-Bus muse and take ’em off. I like to think I’m liberated from the 9-to-5 vibe, harking back to our radio ancestors in the free-form cusp in the late 1960s and early 1970s. Plus I’m not slowly cooking.
So, shortly before zip at 7:35 this morning (like 20 seconds before Paul turns on the mics), still barefoot, I’m walking around the other side of the control board in the main studio, specifically to get an ink pen and jot down the name/address info from our upcoming Morning Music Mindbender winner. We’re preparing to ask a question regarding Eric Clapton and Marcy Levy; savvy readers of this blog will probably know which song I’m going to ask about, since I mentioned it in my blog entry on “The Core” earlier in A to Z. On the floor near the control desk is one of those – how do I put it? – carpet equivalents of those plastic things you use to cover furniture. You know, those things that are smooth on one side, with spikes on the other so they don’t skate out from under you at an inopportune moment…like say during shameless webcam flirtation.
I walk onto this thing, making my way to the handy dandy official WTTS Pen Cup, which has been such an institution that it has old design logoing and info on it (like, maybe one degree away from saying SPIRIT OF ’76! on the handle). And then I promptly levitate, grabbing my foot and making Paul glad he didn’t ghost the mics in early, as I utter words in combinations that my mom wouldn’t have heard if I’d been a sailor trapped on an deserted island where all the English words the natives know consist of things they picked up from a George Carlin cassette that washed ashore. Some genius has put this floor protector spiky side up. Of course, I put my full weight down on my right foot when I stepped onto the thing.
Now, picture yourself in this position: you’ve just impaled your foot in – rough guess – 56 different places at once, like you just walked into a bin full of accupuncture needles. It’s not becoming, as a radio pro, to get on-air wailing and gnashing your teeth and sobbing. You’ve got MAYBE 15 seconds to suck it up, while limping back to your microphone, preparing to say words like “slowhand” without gasping in pain. Roiling under this is the thought process of “who the @#$% thought it was a good idea to DO this with the floor protector? Are we planning to kill our next in-studio guest, and not with kindness? GAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAH!!!”
(Slight aside: bear in mind that some of our more free-spirited singer/songwriter guests have also been known to have a similar aversion to wearing shoes when performing. Which is also kind of hot, in a few cases. But I digress.)
All I know is it that it took about six minutes just to get to where I could bear standing on my right foot again…and also, that the guy who coined the phrase “if you ain’t bleedin’ you ain’t hurtin'” needs to be introduced to this particular bit of torture, ’cause I beg to differ.
All this, plus trying to ask a question about “Lay Down Sally” to our teeming millions. O, How I Suffer for My Art.
Now you are.