Sunday, 9 June 2013

Elevator Music

Having moved to Ecuador from Canada several years ago now, Fred & Sigred often meet new people exploring that wonderful option themselves.  When the time is right, when the topic has come up in the conversation, Sigred will often tell people that Fred was in the radio business for much of his life.  Most people find this semi-interesting and it leads to Fred & Sigred finding out the past occupations of their new friends and generally is a decent conversation starter. 

Recently, Fred & Sigred met a new fellow who was very interested in meeting a "professional" radio voice as he'd done a talk show several years ago, having been invited because of his viewpoints, not his training.  During the course of this conversation, he told Fred he loved being the sharp sword with another person to fence with but was terrified of being on the air alone.  Fred gave him a couple of (too late) tips:

"You always have a couple of things in reserve.... like teenagers.  The talk lines always light up if you talk about teenagers... or animals."

"Well, no one gave me those kinds of tips at the time" our new friend quipped.  "...or I would have talked about teenage dogs."

Everyone laughed.

In any case, the whole conversation pricked Sigred's memory and she proceeded to tell the following story:

"Several months ago we had a new couple to dinner.  During the course of that dinner I also told them that Fred was at one time in the radio business, and the fellow's rejoinder was:  'I too was radio announcer before I got a real job." 

Our new friend laughed and Sigred continued with her story. 

"The guy actually had quite a bit to tell us about when he was a radio announcer, way more than your stories or even the stories Fred would tell if given half a chance, but in the end he told us he quit the business because (a) they didn't pay enough and (b) they played elevator music, and then he gestured to our stereo and said 'like this'."   Sigred paused in her story for effect and then exclaimed:  "We were listening to Wynton Marsalis!"

"The thing is" our new friend told us "he probably didn't even know he was being a fool". 

"Oh no" Sigred agreed.  "We're Canadian" she told him tongue in cheek, "and so we were polite but, needless to say, we never invited them back again."

Later, talking to Fred alone Sigred mused:  "I guess that's why so-and-so never invited us back.  We inadvertently insulted them without even knowing it." 

"That and another million reasons" replied Fred.  "Stop thinking!"

And Sigred did... (for a while).

The Hook