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Who You Gonna Call?

My son has gone through many ideas in the last year of what he would be for Halloween 2016: Scooby-Doo, Gizmo, etc. Some would require more work than others on my part. And my heart is still kind of in love with his Marty McFly from last year, his obsession so perfectly timed with Back to the Future Day. You also can’t discount the reusability of that costume, which totally still fits him this year.

But about two months ago, he settled on being a Ghostbuster. We had received a Ghostbuster costume many months ago, just for playtime. So, that was already taken care of. But, well, my demanding son demanded a proton pack.


So, I present to you, a step-by-step on how I made my son a proton pack.

I took the back panel and straps off of a holey old backpack and glued them to a piece of cardboard. I added on a bunch of crap from the recycling bin and glued or taped it on as best as I could.

Recycled crap. The partial backpack and straps and cardboard are under this stuff.

Recycled crap. The partial backpack and straps and cardboard are under this stuff.

NOTE: I tried to avoid using cardboard as much as possible, since it tends to precipitate around here on treat-seeking holidays.

I bought some black spray paint and sprayed it all because it seemed way faster than hand painting it all. And it was.

Melted styrofoam, which I had to substitute out at the last minute.

Melted styrofoam, which I had to substitute out at the last minute.

NOTE: Apparently some types of Styrofoam melt when they come in contact with spray paint. Before using a large quantity of it for this project, you should probably test it first and see if you will have this issue. I had to make a minor adjustment for my son’s costume.

Secured with hot glue and Gorilla Tape, prior to painting.

Secured with hot glue and Gorilla Tape, prior to painting.


Old clothes and the great outdoor made for good spray painting conditions.

Old clothes and the great outdoors made for good spray painting conditions.

I glued on some color elements I purchased from Dollar Tree, such as a sound tube and jump rope.

The painted pack with added color elements.

The painted pack with added color elements.

I got glow sticks from Dollar Tree as well. I taped them onto the gun to make it glow. I also make it so that I could slip them into the egg cartons and it would glow. It looks cool, was easy, and provides better visibility to a shorty on Halloween.

The finished product, bustin' ghosts! (Glow sticks not yet attached.)

The finished product, bustin’ ghosts! (Glow sticks not yet attached.)

Can you tell that I am just not quite as passionate about this project as I was last year about making a DeLorean time machine out of cardboard and duct tape? While not movie quality, the proton pack was relatively easy (except for my glue gun is a piece of shit), and size and weight appropriate for my almost six year old boy.

The finished proton pack in action.

The finished proton pack in action.

AND this is an AWARD WINNING costume!!! He WON Funniest Costume at the YMCA for his age group.

Me, well, I of course wanted to be Harley Quinn this Halloween. Ponytails with multi-colored hair? It is like she was the comic book character created just for me. But in practicality, ponytails do not a Harley Quinn costume make. And while it will not deter many others, I neither have the body nor the inclination to run around half-naked on a cold Halloween night in Michigan (anymore).

So, I went with my most recent obsession: WKRP. I present to you, Miss Bailey Quarters. For some fan fiction featuring Bailey and Johnny, please click here:

I just HAD to have the Black Death shirt.

I just HAD to have the Black Death shirt.

Now, I realize my glasses aren’t big enough, but I need to wear my regular glasses so that I can, you know, cross the street and see and stuff. This is from the episode Rumors. I ordered the Johnny Fever shirt from I was really happy with it. I ordered a medium and it was a little big, but I kind of wanted it to be so that I could procure the illusion that I rolled out of bed in the morning and borrowed it from Johnny himself. You know, the same story Bailey gives the staff at WKRP.

My WKRP jacket I made. Attached with safety pins for easy removal.

My WKRP jacket I made. Attached with safety pins for easy removal.


My favorite WKRP in Cincinnati meme. Because I made it.

My favorite WKRP in Cincinnati meme. Because I made it.

Just because I can.

Follow the romantic entanglements of The Riley Sisters in my books:
Be Careful What You Wish ForAVAILABLE NOW!
The Wind Could Blow a BugWHERE IT ALL BEGAN!

WKRP: Baby, If You Ever Wondered What Would Happen If Johnny & Bailey Got Together – Part 2

Fan Fic written by Jennifer Friess

Based on characters lovingly created by Hugh Wilson

An episode for the non-existent 1982-1983 Season 5*

*Not approved by the CBS censors.

If you missed Part 1, you can find it here:


PHOTO: MTM, Fox, Shout Bailey and Johnny together.

PHOTO: MTM, Fox, Shout!
Bailey and Johnny together.



Bailey and Johnny were some of the last people to walk out of the hotel banquet hall after the ceremony.

“Look at it, John! I didn’t expect it to be so…shiny. I feel like I just won a Grammy or something.”

“Oh, Bailey. That will be just the first in a series of awards.”

“You really think so? I’m not sure I could handle it. All those interviews and photos I just got done with, dang. I’m exhausted.”

“Oh, you are, are you?”

“Why? Did you have something else planned? You can’t take me out to dinner, we just had dinner.”

“If you call that dinner—a piece of rubbery chicken with some sticky mashed potatoes with yellow grease on top. I would love nothing more than to take you out for a good pizza right now. But I actually was thinking something, well, naughtier.”


“Well, we ARE in hotel right now.”

“John,” Bailey cooed.

“It is all up to you. No pressure. Just, gosh, I’m so proud of you and you are so beautiful and radiating all that broadcaster stuff!”

“Yes,” she whispered, kissing him gently on the lips.

“Yes? Really,” he said, wrapping both his arms around her, crushing her arm holding her long winter coat between them.

“Sure, if you pay.”

“It’s a deal. Who needs to pay the water bill this month anyway. I’ll take sponge baths in the sink at work.”

“That’s the spirit.”


“Les,” Travis asked, drawing out his name. “What are you still doing here this time of night.”

“Well, Andy, you see, last night some more of my stuff went missing. This time all my paperclips.  I can’t very well affix my documents together with staples. These stories are still works in progress. And I can’t let my notes just float willy-nilly all over my desk.”

“Alright Les, calm down. But what do you think you will accomplish by staying late?”

Mr. Carlson walks into the bull pen right then, surprised to see Travis and Les still there.

“I am going to catch the thief. Or at least guard my things so that he won’t strike again.”

“Well, Les, I thought that’s why I agreed to build these walls of yours.”

“But they aren’t building them fast enough, sir.”

“Well, I’m sorry about that Les. But the construction should go faster now.”

“How so?” Travis drawled.

“Because I told them to put in windows instead of solid walls.”

“Windows? I’m not so sure…”

“Calm down, Les. Windows are more modern. Louis Grant has windows. I hear Walter Cronkite does as well.”

“Oh, well, OK then. If they are good enough for Walter, they are good enough for me.”


PHOTO: MTM, Fox, Shout! Actual dialog between Bailey & Johnny during the episode "I Am Woman"

PHOTO: MTM, Fox, Shout!
Actual dialog between Bailey & Johnny during the episode “I Am Woman”

“This is a nice room,” Bailey said, surveying the tastefully decorated hotel room.

“Wow, we get out own coffee maker and everything. You know, just in case we are still here in the morning,” Johnny ducked his head sheepishly at his assumption.

“John, are you having second thoughts about this?”

“No, no. Why would I? Just because you have probably been imagining this in your head for the past five years and now I have to live up to those sick, twisted thoughts. It is enough to give a guy performance anxiety!”

“John, calm down. It’s not like that.”

“God help me, I love it when you call me John,” he said, spinning around and taking her in his arms for a long, deep kiss. He backed up to look at her. “You look so great, I’m not sure I want to destroy Jennifer’s masterpiece.”

“I don’t belong to anyone but myself. Destroy away.”

“Ah,” he sighed, before kissing her and fumbling with the closure on her dress.

“Let me take care of it,” she breathed. She unzipped the back of her dress and let it fall to the floor. She then took the ten pins out of her hair that were holding it up, shaking it loose in front of him. She knew she was making an impression on him, standing there in only her bra and panties. Then she reached over and began unbuttoning Johnny’s blue shirt, the only button-down shirt he owned, the one she had seen a million times during the monotonous days at the station. How often had she dreamed of unbuttoning it and having him like this, usually against the control board in the booth? Probably thousands. He was looking down at her, watching her hands make quick work of the buttons through the worn button holes. When Bailey looked up, their gazes met. He leaned into her, catching her bottom lip in his teeth and gently sucking it. A small moan escaped Bailey, she couldn’t help it. A very Johnny sound rumbled in his chest as his right hand reached up and cupped her left breast. At first he handled it very gently. But as their kiss deepened, he kneaded the satin covered squishiness with more urgency.

Bailey pushed his shirt down his arms and onto the floor. She ran her hands across the blond hairs on his furry chest. It drove her crazy the way it would peak out of his shirts, tempting her. He began pulling her back with him toward the bed, but she didn’t seem to notice. She began to unzip his jeans, and could feel them straining to keep his erection contained. What she didn’t expect was for it to burst forth unhindered.

“John. You went without undergarments to the National Association of Women Broadcasters awards?” she asked in disbelief.

“I wanted to wear some, I just couldn’t find any that were clean.” He hung his head, looking ashamed. “Oh Bail, I might as well come clean to you now. I—I’m a mess. I always will be. I have good intentions, I do. But when it comes to things like being organized or having clean clothes, I will ALWAYS fail you.”

“John, you silly. I don’t expect you to be those things. And if you suddenly could be all that, I am not sure that I would like you as well. Anyway, I think I’m probably organized enough for both of us.”

“Oh, thank God,” Johnny breathed. They kissed again as they removed the rest of each others clothes and climbed between the sheets of the bed. When Bailey tried to pull the sheets over her, Johnny touched her hand, stopping her.

“No. Don’t. I want to see this beautiful body of yours.”

“It’s not—”

“Oh, but it is. I’ve always imagined what it would look like uncovered. And it beats all my expectations.”

“Always? Since when?”

“Well, since I saw you at work that day wearing my Black Death shirt. God damn, girl. I almost had to rip it off you right then and there in Travis’s office.”

PHOTO: MTM, Fox, Shout Bailey between Johnny and Travis again, in Johnny's Black Death shirt.

PHOTO: MTM, Fox, Shout!
Bailey between Johnny and Travis again, in Johnny’s Black Death shirt.

“So, why didn’t you do anything sooner?”

“What do you mean?”

“You could have had me like this at any time, John. Why now?”

“I guess I just thought you deserved someone better than me–and that is not something I usually care about—whether I am actually ‘good enough’ for a woman or not. But I knew damn well that Travis wasn’t.”

“That is so sweet, in a sick and twisted kind of way.”

“Oh, Bail, I do love you.”

“What?” she asked, blinking back the tears that immediately sprang to her eyes.

“I guess I probably shouldn’t have said that—”

“It’s not true?” Now even more tears came.

He noticed and kissed her quickly. “No, it is true. I just shouldn’t tell you so soon. Might scare you off…”

“It isn’t soon. We have been friends for five years.”

His lips met hers, then traveled down her neck and her chest, making little licking and nibbling sidetrips on their way to her breasts. That mouth that spewed forth golden radio wisdom to listeners every day was sucking her nipples and making her writhe between the sheets. This only made him look at her and smile a devilish, slightly insane grin. She loved it.

“Do you want me to slip something on?”


“Oh, I thought,” he looked confused. It was so cute on him.

“I’m on the pill, John. Go for it.”

“OK,” he said, all giddy.

She felt him hard at her entrance. She couldn’t resist grabbing him and rubbing the tip against her clit. He moaned at the sudden change in course, but he did not seem unhappy with it. She pumped his cock a few times before helping him slide it in.

“Oh, Bail. You feel so good.” They quickly found their rhythm. The pleasure in her pelvis kept building and building, like waves rolling to shore, warning of an impending storm. She clung to his back, for a second wondering if her fingernails were hurting him, then no longer caring as her pleasure peaked.

“I love you.” It had escaped, and she knew it. But it was how she felt at this moment, and she didn’t want to hold it back any longer. She was with her best friend in a way she had only dreamed of before tonight. And it all felt right.


“I’m so glad you suggested ordering pizza. I’m starved.” Bailey proceeded to take a large slice out of the box, aiming the pointy end toward her mouth.

“Ya, I’d say we worked off that little congealed chicken patty and mashed potato adhesive hours ago.” He paused, looking at her.


“You are even beautiful when you eat.”

She gave a small laugh, avoiding meeting his eyes, scared of the emotion she would find there.

After their first love-making, Johnny had proposed ordering pizza. The pizza place had said it would be a forty-five minute wait. They did the only logical thing to occupy their time while they waited.

“I guess it will be a little weird seeing each other at work, eh?” Johnny said, after he finished one slice and reached for another.

“Are you planning on pretending you don’t know me? Boys do that in high school, you know. Make out with an innocent girl behind the bleachers, and then ignore her in the halls. It’s just rude.”

“You talk as if from experience.”

“Just an observation.”

“Ya. I bet the girl wasn’t as innocent when she LEFT the bleachers.”

“Ah!” Bailey cried, throwing a pillow at his head. It made some of his blond hair stand up in that crazy way it sometimes did. She loved it when it did that.

“Although, I guess the fist fight with Travis outted my intentions this week.”

“Why did you go so crazy? Andy was just going to escort me to the awards. Nothing else.”

“Ya, and look where WE ended up,” Johnny said, motioning to the hotel room.

“That wouldn’t have happened with Travis.”

“Can you be so sure?” Maybe Johnny had a point, but Bailey tried hard not to let any guilty expression cross her face.

“You know I date outside of work. Why did my going out with Andy cause you to freak out so badly?”

“Because, he’s Travis. I can tell myself you aren’t serious about guys that I don’t see. But he is this ‘pretty boy’ with long flowing hair and a good job. Realistically, he is who you should be with.”

“You have long flowing hair too.”

“And there is a little less of it every day.”

“So you think I should be alone forever?”

“No. I—I want you to be with me.”

“Oh, John.”

“I probably don’t deserve you, but it’s the truth.”

“Imagine how crazy it will be when we tell our kids we worked together for years before we got together.”

“Our what?”

“Kids, you know. Young, short people.”

“Yes, yes, I’ve met some. I actually already have one of those, although she is taller now.”

“When I met her she was so sweet.”

“Ya, so, I’m done with all that.”

“You are? I didn’t even think you were around that much to experience her growing up.”

“Well, I really wasn’t. But from what I’ve read and seen on TV, it sounds like I missed out on lots of awful things like diapers and broken hearts, oh, and puberty. I hear that one is the worst.”

“I bet you missed out on a lot of good things, too.”

“Maybe. But I like my life. And with my last kid I ended up with a wife. I don’t want another one of those again. Two ex-wives is enough.”

“So you are saying you would never take that chance again?” Somehow their conversation had gone from being intimately about the two of them, to some sort of hypothetical future. She had just made love to the only man she wanted to spend her life with. And now his commitment to her seemed rather unsure.

He laughed. “No.”

“And your mind is made up on that?”


“Even if someone fell into your life who was your soul mate and you could imagine yourself spending the rest of your life with them?”

“When you find your soulmate, you don’t HAVE to marry them. I used to be old fashioned and believe you should, but times have changed. And alimony has drained my account six ways from Sunday.”

“I see.” Bailey said, more loudly than all her other questions. The conversation had flowed easily between them. But at her sharp retort, Johnny looked up at her, realizing he may have revealed too much. There was hurt in her eyes. But she said nothing more, only looked away at her pizza. She had lost her appetite.

They made love again the night. But Bailey no longer felt the same connection with him she had perceived earlier. This was the problem with being a woman. So much of sex was in your head. Before she had pictured a future together with him, many more years of times like this together, their bodies joining into one. But now she knew he thought no such thing. At least not in the way that she needed. And it made her feel kind of sick. She wanted that future, one that a week ago she never believed would exist, and it felt like it had been given to her & now it was ripped from her grasp.


Les entered the lobby looking very serious with a newspaper tucked under his arm. It was already ten o’clock. He had called, of course, to let Mr. Carlson know that he would be late. It was the responsible thing to do. But he had been at the station so late last night that he had had trouble waking up on time this morning. He was going to head straight back to his “office,” but decided to stop at Jennifer’s desk and check for his mail instead.

“Late night Les?”

“Uh, you might say that.”

“You were working?”

“Yes, yes. I am working on a story about a government anti-pork conspiracy. I think I may be about to break it wide open.” It wasn’t a lie, he really was working on that. But that wasn’t why he had been at work late.

“Did you SEE anything while you were here?”

“See? What do you mean? You must be more specific Jennifer,” he replied, his voice suddenly shaky with nervousness.

“Calm down, Les. The rumor is that there was a raccoon in the building. He has been on several floors, he has even been sighted on ours. Was stealing stuff from people’s desks. They are attracted to anything shiny. And they are such thieves. Did I ever tell you I had a pet raccoon for a while back in Rock Throw, West Virginia?”

“No, Jennifer you haven’t. And I would appreciate if you would quit spreading that particular rumor.” Les grabbed his mail and turned for the door back to the bull pen. “Woodland creatures roaming about the building. It’s nonsense,” he muttered by way of departure from Jennifer.

Jennifer shrugged, returning to her task of sorting the mail. She took a handful and got up to go into Mr. Carlson’s office to deliver it. She also needed to check on him. One never knew when he might be tangled in a fishing line or trapped by an inflatable raft. It was best to check on him every half hour or so, as one would a sleeping newborn baby.

“Oh, sugarbuns, you look even better standing up than you do sitting down,” Butch crowed.

“Sugar. Buns,” Jennifer repeated slowly, making it into two distinct sentences. She was so insulted.

“Yes. And they are looking mighty sweet today,” he leered at her.

“Well you look like you just crawled out from under a rock.”

“Oh, that’s harsh,” he said, going over and filling up a coffee mug, uninvited.

“Now, scram.” Jennifer waggled her perfectly-manicured red nails at him. “Leave my lobby. You have work to do elsewhere.”

“But I couldn’t possibly leave before I get a little sugar to go with my coffee,” he said, coming uncomfortably close to her.

“Jennifer, is this guy bothering you?” Herb asked. He had entered the lobby behind them and quickly recognized what was going on. He looked mad.

“Butch here was just heading back to work on Les’s office.”

“Ya? Well it looks more like he is loitering to me.”

“I’m just enjoying the view,” Butch said, not intimidated by Herb and his plaid leisure suit.

“Hey, I am the only one who gets to sexually harass her against her will, buddy. So back off my Jenny-poo.”

“Alright, alright. I see there is already a previous stake on this claim.” Butch retreated with his coffee back to the worksite.

“Are you alright, Jennifer? I would hate for that creep to spoil your day.”

“Nope. You saved me just in time. Oh Herbie, my hero.”

Herb blushed, embarrassed. He scooted around Jennifer and into Mr. Carlson’s office.


“John, I care about you so much. But I just don’t think we should keep seeing each other when we want such different things from our futures,” Bailey said, earnestly. The emotion in her voice was breaking Johnny’s heart.

“But, I want you.”

“And I want a wedding and a marriage and children and maybe even a white picket fence. You are content without those things. And that is your right. But I don’t want to be in a relationship that isn’t leading to those things.”

“Are you sure? What about our feelings? I love you. I know you love me, I think…”

“I do. I would do anything for you. Except wait around for something I keep wishing for that won’t come true. That is not fair to either of us.”

“I guess you are right. Can I, like, send you a postcard if my priorities change?”

“Sure. But, you know, you will see me here every day. Is that going to be weird? Maybe. But at least we didn’t have a screaming, knife-throwing break up,” Bailey said.

“Oh, I had one of those once. Actually, a few. I got six stitches here in ’72, see?” Johnny pulled up her shirt to show her. She just smiled and touched the scar on his furry arm, before turning to go. As she walked out the door, Johnny yelled, “But we can still have sex together, right? Maybe here in the booth?” She kept walking, but he could tell she was laughing. He loved to make her laugh. That would never change. And now he had new innuendo to use on her.

Travis walked in, apparently hearing that exchange. “We need to talk about this thing between you and Bailey. And I am sure I am the LAST person who should be talking to you about this, but there can’t be any, ah, sex around the station. Let’s start with that.” If Bailey was still in the room, he would have trouble saying that with a straight face.

“Don’t worry, Trav.”

“Don’t worry. Uh, why’s that?” Travis drawled.

“She likes to do it outside, under the stars…”

“She—does? Our little innocent Bailey?”

“My little Bailey, and she ain’t so innocent anymore.”

And that was the truth, although more with her mature feelings than sexual positions. But Johnny wasn’t about to clarify that with Travis. And Johnny also wasn’t ready to give up possession of her yet, either.

PHOTO: MTM, Fox, Shout From the episode "Fire". Check out the heat between Bailey & Johnny.

PHOTO: MTM, Fox, Shout!
From the episode “Fire”. Check out the heat between Bailey & Johnny.


“Look Herb. I TOLD YOU I would have walls. And look, a wall!” Les stood in front of the single pane of glass and spreads his arms wide.

“Les, why is there only one?” Herb asked snarkily, pointing out the obvious.

“Oh, the panels are on backorder. Mr. Carlson said it had to do with the budget. That it was cheaper to buy discontinued styles or something. But you know what they say: where there is one wall, more shall follow.”

“Nobody says that Les,” Venus chimed in from the disc jockey desk across the room as he sat there filling out his play logs.

“Well, they should!” Les declared indignantly as he moved things around in his office area.

“You know, you don’t even need those walls anymore. Your big thief turned out to be a furry little animal. You got all your silver pork back.”

“That is the Silver Sow and the Copper Cob to you. And it doesn’t matter, because it is too late now. My walls are already going up.”

He lifted his typewriter, awkwardly at first, then more confidently. He went to sit it on a table in front of his window wall. But he tripped on the power cord before he could reach it, and the bulky typewriter went sailing through the window just as easily as if he had thrown it on purpose.

Les’s hands flew up on top of his head, gripping his head with its ever-receding hairline, displaying the bandage wrapped around his ring finger.


PHOTO: MTM, Fox, Shout! Yes! Yes! And more yes!

PHOTO: MTM, Fox, Shout!
Yes! Yes! And more yes!

Johnny & Bailey have to not be a couple because it was a classic sitcom where the characters generally didn’t get together. And I left it open that later maybe he would change his mind (or he could knock her up) and they would get together anyway. In the television universe in my head, WKRP goes on for many more seasons. And The New WKRP in Cincinnati doesn’t count.

Johnny & Bailey & Travis have to go back to more or less what they were before these episodes, so that the character dynamics don’t change. Plus, it makes the episodes more cohesive when viewers may watch sporadically in syndication. The same can be said for the quest for Les’s walls being left unfulfilled. If he actually got his walls, his life would have no end goal. He would have to wander his days with nothing to strive for.

Like what you read here? You should try reading one of my books.

Then my son decided he needed to write a WKRP story. He dictated it, I typed it. If you know the series really well (which, why the hell else would you have read through two of my blog posts about it if you did not), you will notice some similarities to some actual episodes.

From M: If you are a big WKRP fan, please look at my story…

WKRP Story

By M.

Mr. Carlson fell and hurt his leg because he tripped on the tape recorder. Travis and Les went to the baseball game. They played baseball. Mr. Carlson was at the hospital because his leg was broken. And then Venus Flytrap and Johnny and Bailey came into the room with the records. Les Nessman came into his office. Jennifer visited Mr. Carlson at the hospital. Travis took over Mr. Carlson’s job since he was at the hospital. When Mr. Carlson came back, Travis went back to his regular job.

Mr. Carlson came back from the hospital and Jennifer. And Travis went back to his regular job. Jennifer came into Les’s office.

Follow the romantic entanglements of The Riley Sisters in my books:
Be Careful What You Wish ForAVAILABLE NOW!
The Wind Could Blow a BugWHERE IT ALL BEGAN!





WKRP: Baby, If You Ever Wondered What Would Happen If Johnny & Bailey Got Together – Part 1

Fan Fic written by Jennifer Friess

Based on characters lovingly created by Hugh Wilson

An episode for the non-existent 1982-1983 Season 5*

*Not approved by the CBS censors.

PHOTO: MTM, Fox, Shout Bailey Quarters, Station Billing & Assistant in Promotions & News

PHOTO: MTM, Fox, Shout!
Bailey Quarters, Station Billing & Assistant in Promotions & News




“Bailey,” Jennifer cooed, entering the bullpen. “Why didn’t you tell me?”

“Oh, it’s no big deal, really. It just sounds impressive,” Bailey replied, sitting at her desk.

“Uh, what isn’t a big deal?” Travis drawled as he leaned on the file cabinet, sucking on a lollipop.

“Tell them!” Jennifer pushed. Bailey only shook her head.

With an exasperated sigh, Jennifer announced, “Bailey won the inspirational woman award from the National Association of Women Broadcasters!”

“What has she done that’s so inspiring?” Herb guffawed.

Finally speaking up for herself, Bailey said, “They sited how I went from an intern fresh out of journalism school to doing all the station traffic and billing, to how I helped usher WKRP into the digital age with a computer to streamline my workload, how I assist with promotions and news.”

“I should really be given credit for that last point,” Les Nessman blurted, adjusting his glasses on his nose.

“Well, I think that’s great news,” Travis acknowledged.

“So, who are you taking with you to the banquet?” Jennifer asked.

“Wait, there is a banquet?! That’s it. I need to join this National Association of Females thing.”

“Sure Herb, you can become a member. But you’ll have to check YOUR member at the door,” Jennifer pointed out.

Herb swallowed loudly, adjusting his tie nervously. “Nevermind. Forget I said anything.”

Andy laughed as he headed for the booth. “Congratulations again, Bailey.”

“Thank you,” she hollered after him.

“Uh, I’m going to take Troy to the banquet. You know, that guy I have been seeing,” Bailey said, finally replying to Jennifer’s comment.

“Oh, fun. Let me know if you want to go shopping together for a dress.”

“Oh, I would really love that, Jennifer.”

“C’mon. Too much talk about clothes going on in here,” Herb grumbled like an annoyed father.

“One time I had to listen to you and Venus go on for an hour critiquing each other’s clothing,” Bailey pointed out.

“That’s different. We’re guys.”

“Well, maybe if you acted more like men and less like ‘guys’, you could find the secret to getting a woman out of her clothes sometime,” Jennifer teased, throwing her platinum blond hair over her shoulder and strutting out the door back toward the lobby.

“Humina-humina,” Herb replied to her vanishing form through the glass.

“Oh, take a cold shower Herb,” Bailey muttered.


The next morning everyone filtered into the office for a new day’s work. Bailey, looking distraught, headed right over to Jennifer’s desk, still wearing her coat. But before she could reach her destination, Les came in and cut her off from the back hallway. Mr. Carlson stood by Jennifer’s desk talking with her.

“Mr. Carlson, Mr. Carlson! This newsman has had enough. You promised me walls. And what do I have? Only lines on the floor. I want walls today!”

“Well, um, Les. Things like that take a while to plan and build and hire for. And I am not positive I ever promised them to you. I think maybe you just assumed that I did. Why is it such a big deal today?”

“Because, sir, I have been violated. In the most heinous act imaginable.”

“You—you have?” Mr. Carlson stuttered.

“My pork is missing! And my cob as well!”

“Well, that is language you don’t hear in the lobby every day,” Johnny remarked as he went to the coffeemaker to refill his mug. All his previous on-air personalities were listed on the side:


“Shut up, Fever! This newsman is hopping mad and I’m not going to take it anymore!”

“C’mon Les. Let’s take this into my office. Maybe we should call Andy in as well. Jennifer?” Mr. Carlson hated having to deal with Les on a one-on-one basis.

“I’ll tell him as soon as he gets in.”

“Thanks,” Mr. Carlson said, holding the door open for Les to enter, and then rolling his eyes behind his back.

“Oh Jennifer,” Bailey began. “Troy broke up with me last night.”

“Oh, you poor thing. But I thought you two weren’t seriously going out or going steady or whatever the kids are calling it these days.” Jennifer waved her hand in the air dismissively.

“Well, we weren’t. But it still FEELS like a break up.”

“Just remember, there are other fish in the sea.”

“Yes, I suppose so. But you know what sucks the worst?” Jennifer shakes her head. “Now I don’t have a date for the NAWB banquet.”

Travis entered the room. He greeted Johnny, who was still hanging around, then gave Jennifer and Bailey a friendly wave.

Bailey turned to Johnny. “John, what are you up to Thursday night?”

“Oh, I would love to come with you to your award hootenanny thing, but my daughter is in town that night. You know I only see her like once a year.”

“Oh, well, of course.”

“Sorry, Bail,” Johnny apologized as he headed back to the booth, presumably to catch the record before it ended. Except it already had, as could be heard on the speaker playing in the background on the wall in the lobby.

“Well, uh, if I’m not being too presumptuous, I would love to escort you,” Travis said, smiling at her.

“Really, Andy? You would do that for me?” Bailey asked.

“Sure, sure. You make it sound like an imposition.”

“Well, it kind of would be.”

“No, not at all. What do I need to wear to this thing? Tux? A suit?”

“Oh, a nice suit will probably due.” Her voice got deeper at the end of the sentence as it sometimes did when she was feeling shy and embarrassed.

“Bailey and I are going out shopping for her dress after work. We will let you know after that, so you can coordinate,” Jennifer cooed.

“Sounds great,” Andy drawled.

The door to Mr. Carlson’s office opened.

“Jennifer! Is Travis here yet?

“Oh, Andy, Mr. Carlson wants to see you.”

“Excuse me,” Travis said, smiling sweetly to the ladies before heading into whatever fire was going on in the big guy’s office.

PHOTO: MTM, Fox, Shout! Travis & Bailey

PHOTO: MTM, Fox, Shout!
Travis & Bailey


“Bailey, hey,” Johnny said to Bailey as she prepared to leave the booth, paperwork in her hand from her just-completed newscast.

“I just found out my daughter is passing me up to go to some music festival instead.”

“Oh, she sounds like a chip off the old block,” Bailey laughed.

“Ya, ya. So, that means I am free to take you out Thursday night.”

“Oh, John. I’m sorry. You weren’t available, so I found another date.”

“Oh, well. You don’t have to apologize to me. I have a full evening planned of Magnum P.I. and Jiffy Pop. I was just trying do you a favor is all.”

“A favor? Well, just know, in the future, you don’t have to do me any favors.”

“What? What did I say?” Johnny threw up his hands as she walked out, passing Venus on his way in.

“What did you do to make her mad?” Venus accused.
“I don’t know. I told her my plans cancelled, so I could take her out after all.”

“Oh ya, chicks dig that. Being second choice,” Venus said, as if this was information Johnny should already have gathered from life experience.

“The weird thing is, I was actually looking forward to it.”

“Getting dressed up and listening to boring speeches? That doesn’t sound like you.”

“No. But anything with Bailey involved just seems more appealing.”

“Mmmm-hmm. You like her,” Venus said, smirking at Johnny.

“I do not.”

“You do too.”

“Just as a friend,” Johnny allowed.

“No, as more than a friend. I’ve noticed it for a long time. You two always have your arm around each other.”


“What if I am?”

They both laughed.


“Les, how can you work with all that noise around you?” Bailey asked. Les sat dutifully at his desk shuffling papers and making phone calls whilst contractors hammered and drilled wooden studs that were the skeleton of Les’s future walls.

“Because, Bailey, a good newsman perseveres in the face of challenges. As my apprentice, you should know such things.”

“Quit calling me that,” Bailey grumbled.

“And plus, when one’s biggest wish comes true, how can one not watch it be birthed into fruition!”

“Well, I sure would escape this noise if I could.”

“Well, I can and I shall. I can’t be sitting around here all day chatting it up with you two. I have important business calls to make,” Herb informed them.

“Funny, because you have been sitting there all morning playing cards,” Bailey pointed out.

“I was preparing my mental game, babe.”

“Oh. Well, let me know when you are done with that.”

Just then everything gets quiet as the contractors all start to file out of the room.

“Wait! Where are you going?” Les cried desperately.

“Lunch, pal. Union rules.”

“Oh, OK,” Les acknowledged, sheepishly.

Johnny walked into the bullpen and collapsed into the chair at the desk reserved for the disc jockeys. “Finally, a little peace and quiet in here.” He leaned way back, put his feet up on the desk, and closed his eyes behind his amber sunglasses. In a few minutes, it would be very possible that he would be snoring.

Travis walked in then, putting a file folder in a tray, and looked at Bailey.

“Hey, what time should I pick you up on Thursday?”

“Oh, well, let’s see. The event starts at 7:00pm. It will probably take an hour to get there with traffic. Oh, but there is a 6:30pm cocktail hour.”

“So, let’s say 5:30pm, shall we?”

“OK,” Bailey agreed.

“Wait? This is your new date?” Johnny said, a coma patient awakening.

“It’s not a date,” Bailey argued.

“Interoffice fraternization?” Herb bellowed obnoxiously.

“I thought we had rules against this sort of thing,” Les chimed in, indignant.

“You had them overturned,” Herb clarified.

“Oh, right,” Les remembered.

“But Travis?” Johnny said, incredulous.

“And what about Travis?” Travis said, offended.

“Hey, there is a long history of station staff going to these types of events together. Mr. Carlson and Jennifer, Les and Jennifer. Wait, I see the issue here… It is only alright if Jennifer is the arm candy,” Bailey argued.

“Are you saying I’m arm candy?” Travis smiled.

“I think your taking advantage of your subordinate,” Johnny rallied.

“What? What has gotten into you, Fever?”

“OK, both of you. Just stop this now,” Bailey said, making a move to get between them, but Johnny blocked her with an outstretched arm as he advanced on Travis. Herb snuck out the door to the lobby to let the Big Guy know what was going on.

“You are a superior to her. Maybe you have been waiting to make a move? Maybe this is your opportunity. I see how you look at her.”

“This is ridiculous! You just have a problem because you know she has had the hots for you since before I got here.”

“Ah! I don’t have ‘the hots’ for anyone!” Bailey screamed.

Venus came in from the booth to look for a sleeping Johnny, but was surprised at the scene playing out in front of him.

“If you were interested, you should have made your move sooner old man,” Travis drawled. He wouldn’t usually say such a thing but Johnny was really starting to piss him off.

No sooner had a smile popped up on his face than Johnny landed a punch right in the middle of it. Johnny, obviously more street smart, landed a second punch before Travis landed his first. Johnny held Travis against the file cabinet, which was now dented from the impact of their bodies. Venus ran over to try and pry his two best friends apart, but he wasn’t quick enough. Herb returned with Mr. Carlson, and Jennifer just then, but no one paid them any attention. When Andy dove to the left, they both toppled to the floor, taking the wood studs and drywall for Les’s walls with them.


“That is it! I am not taking either of you.”

“Really?” Johnny asked, looking up at Bailey with his puppy dog eyes while still lying in a heap on top of Travis.

“You are going to go by yourself?” Travis asked.

“Yes. No. Oh, maybe I just won’t go at all. It is a stupid award anyway.”

“But Bailey, don’t let them spoil it. You have to…,” Jennifer tried to reason, but Bailey just grabbed her coat and purse and left for the day.

“I don’t know what is going on here, but I want to see you all in my office. NOW!” Mr. Carlson bellowed.

PHOTO: MTM, Fox, Shout Johnny and Travis with their hands both on Bailey...and in a XXX theater, no less.

PHOTO: MTM, Fox, Shout!
Johnny and Travis with their hands both on Bailey…and in a XXX theater, no less.


Two contractors walked through the lobby behind Jennifer, on their way back to Les’s desk in the bull pen. One continued through the door, but the other hung back.

“Yes. May I help you with something?” Jennifer asked, never turning around. She could sense when people hovered. That is why she never needed her desk to face any of the doors.

“Ya, dollface. You got the time?”

“Oh, for you, I don’t think so.” It wasn’t that Jennifer never said rude things, she just always said them nicely. Some people missed that.

“C’mon. My old lady left me last week and took the kids with her. I got an empty house and a high truck.”

“You sound like quite the catch, but I will have to decline. On the other hand, your wife sounds like someone of character I might like to get to know.”

“With you on my arm, it would sure make her jealous down at the bowling alley. I’m Butch.”

Jennifer’s face twists into an expression of surprise and disgust.

“My tastes run a little more expensive than waxed balls and rented shoes. When you can afford Che` Alexander, come back and look me up.”

“Ah, you’ll give in. There is quite a mess back here. If your guys keep knocking the walls down as fast as we can build them, you may be seeing a lot of me around here.” With that, he followed the same way his co-worker had gone.

“Oh, I am going to kill Johnny & Travis,” Jennifer muttered.

PHOTO: MTM, Fox, Shout Actual exchange from the episode "Dear Liar"

PHOTO: MTM, Fox, Shout!
Actual exchange from the episode “Dear Liar”


“Hey, Bailey.”

“Yes,” she answered, her nose pointed high in the air.

“Can I please see you for a minute?” Travis asked.

“I’m free.”


“Alright, I guess.” She was glad no one else was in the bullpen to ooh and ahh at this exchange.

Travis held the door open for her. When she started to enter his office, he touched her arm and lightly guided her into the album storage room. They both entered, closing the door, but not bothering to turn on the light switch. The only light filtered in from the hallway through the frosted window on the door. Bailey heard the click of the lock behind Travis.

“Say what you came here to say. I have lots of work to do.”

“I’m sorry, Bailey. About all that happened. The fight, calling Johnny an old man…”

“Seems you should be apologizing to Johnny for that one.”

“I know. I will get around to that. But I figured I owed you the biggest apology first.”

“Well, apology accepted. Can I get back to work now?” Her voice faltered at the end as Travis moved closer to her. “Andy,” she breathed, feeling her back press against the far wall of the room.

“You know, Johnny was right about one thing.”

“Oh ya.”


“What’s that?”

“That I have always found you attractive.”

“But you never did anything about it.” She could feel his breath on her face now. He was so close. She hungered for him to kiss her, for a chance to run her fingers through his thick, feathered hair.

“I guess cuz we worked together. And I wasn’t lookin’ to get serious with anyone.”

“That hasn’t changed.”

“We still work together, but I am not getting any younger. I am thinkin’ I would like someone to share my life with.”

“If you felt strongly about me, you would have made a move sooner.”

“Maybe, maybe not.”

Bailey’s brain swam in confusion. Did that mean he liked her or not? But it didn’t matter now, because his lips were on hers. They inhaled each other as his tongue slipped into her mouth. His hand wrapped around her back, pulling her against him. She wrapped hers around his neck, realizing he was taller than her. She had never guessed how their bodies would match up in such a situation. Unlike Johnny, who she had sized up many a time. As Travis pushed up against her, she could feel the hard outline of his cock through his tight jeans. She was glad he had worn jeans today. She liked him better in casual clothes.

What was she thinking?!

She pulled away.

“Andy, I—”

“Shhh. It’s OK. Just enjoy. I have had dreams about having you this way.”

“Really?” she said in surprise, her mouth hanging open.

Travis caught her lower lip between his teeth and nibbled it. Unfortunately a loud sigh escaped form Bailey.


“No. There is nothing to be ashamed of,” he whispered into her neck as he nibbled it. She took the opportunity to run her hands through his hair as she had wanted to. It was never-ending. Now a small groan escaped him before he claimed her mouth in another kiss. His right hand slid to her side, then to the hem of her shirt. She let his palm cross the bare skin of her stomach and up over her bra-covered breast. She hadn’t been touched this way in so long. It was all just raw lust. It wasn’t going through the motions like t was with Troy. And it wasn’t love as she imagined she could one day have with Johnny. But there was searing-hot heat and she couldn’t get enough.

“What if someone comes in?”

“That’s why I locked the door.”

This only made her want him to do dirtier things to her. As if he read her mind, he pulled his hand from where it had made its way inside her bra, and unbuttoned her pants. A small whimper came from her, but it was not a protest. If anything, it was cheering him on. He unzipped her jeans, and then pushed his hand down into her underpants. He took a few, fast swipes at her clit, making her almost collapse to the floor. She couldn’t hide her arousal now if she wanted to. It was like a slip-n-slide down there. And thinking that in this context only turned her on more.

He began to stroke her in a rhythm that had her writhing against the wall. She never wanted it to stop, but she knew she couldn’t take much more. She reached around and grabbed his ass in those tight jeans that teased her every day. He took this as a sign that she wanted more, so he dipped two fingers into her moist opening. The dark room suddenly got very bright. Lightning went off behind her eyelids. She buried her mouth against his shoulder to muffle her cries of pleasure. Smelling his cologne and laundry soap in the fabric of his shirt only drove her to a higher climax.

“Shh, shh. It’s okay. It’s okay, baby,” he whispered to her as she came down from her high. Something about him calling her “baby” felt wrong, artificial. It wasn’t the word, it was the person. There was only man she wanted to hear affectionately refer to her that way. She quickly fastened up her pants and pushed past him to leave.

“This can’t happen again. I’m sorry, Andy. I just don’t feel that way about you.” She got held up at the door while she tried to remember how to unlock it, then ran out. Travis made no attempt to stop her.


Bailey hid in the bathroom or kept her face behind her computer at her desk as much as she could. She didn’t want to face anyone for fear they would know what she had been up to today. She would deck Andy herself if she found out he had told anyone. She wasn’t going to tell anyone. It is not like it was sexual harassment or anything. She wanted it as much as he did, if not more.

But Les had already asked her this morning if she would do the five and six o’clock newscasts for him so that he could go out and look for accessories for his gestating office. And yup, those are the exact words he had used. And as luck would have it, Johnny was still here, mucking about in the booth. Bailey knew he had a home to go to, but he seemed to enjoy loitering around the station more. She so didn’t want to face Johnny. Not after the fist fight, and definitely not after what she had let Travis do to her. A shiver went through her body just thinking about how good it had felt.

She walked into the booth as noiselessly as possible. Venus turned and acknowledged her. Johnny sat on the stool by the back wall reading a magazine, not noticing her presence until she reached for her news intro cart. She was so glad that she and Les each had their own. His was, as some would say, over the top.

“Oh, Bailey. I wanted to talk to you,” Johnny said, jumping to his feet.

“Not now John, I have to do the news,” she said, her voice all business. Johnny visibly backed up a step at her tone. She hadn’t meant to be so curt with him. “Sorry. I have a lot on my mind.”

“Oh, sure, sure. I’m sorry if I contributed to any of the stress on that pretty little mind of yours.” His voice was smooth and soothing, like hot chocolate on a cold winter’s night. People thought he put on a fake voice for being on air. But Johnny didn’t have to. It was perfect just the way it was.

She couldn’t reply to the comment because it was time to start her cart and take Venus’s seat at the microphone. She tried to flatten her papers to that they wouldn’t rattle while she was on. It seemed kind of useless. She would have to remember in the future to not wring her hands while holding the newscast.

“I think I’m going to go grab some more coffee. I might be a few minutes. John, can you handle the board while I’m gone?”

“Shirley,” Johnny replied, imitating Herb Tarlek’s signature line.

It was so obvious that Venus was leaving to give them privacy. This is not what she needed right now as she tried to get through the newscast. She could feel Johnny’s eyes watching her. And the fact that he could be thinking about her “beautiful mind” only made her more nervous. She must have flubbed at least five things in the broadcast. She breathed a sigh of relief when she was done.

Johnny played a station ID and then started Venus’s record for him. They were such good friends. Johnny needed someone to keep an eye on him. If Bailey couldn’t be that person, she was glad that Venus was there to fill the role.

“Bailey, I just wanted to apologize for my behavior the other day. I realize now, in the harsh light of day, that tackling Travis probably wasn’t the best way to let you know I cared about you,” he stated.

“John, it’s fine. I know that you are a good friend. Don’t worry about it. Gotta go.”

She tried to rush by, but Johnny put a hand on each one of her arms to stop her progress. Bailey and Johnny often touched each other. That was one of the things she liked about him, how affectionate he was. It made her skin tingle, but she always did her best to hide it.

“Please, let me apologize.”

“You already have,” she said, finally looking him in the face. He had his trademark sunglasses pushed up on top of his head, making a few blond wisps of his hair stand up and wave in the circulated air. She loved it when it did that. She smiled in spite of herself, and then met his pleading blue eyes. He was like a puppy you just wanted to take home and feed and bathe.

“Bailey, I do care about you, probably more than you realize. And I probably should have told you before now, but I do.”

“Oh, John. Thank you. You, you know I care for you too.”

“I do. And I’ve probably abused that kindness over the years, and for that I AM sorry.”

Bailey was speechless. She looked down at her shoes. Johnny put a finger under her chin and raised her face up to make eye contact again.

“You have to go to the awards thing, Bailey. And I would love to be your date, if you will still have me.”

“Yes.” She didn’t think about it, it just came out. Because it was the true answer.

“Thank God,” he sighed. Then he tipped her head up as his face moved closer. They had been this close many times before: playing poker, looking for a certain record, eating popcorn at the movies in adjoining seats. But this was the real deal. His lips touched hers, and it was everything that she had ever dreamed. All the times she had bided her time with kisses from him on the cheek, this is what she had been really craving.

He kissed her on the lips for a long moment. He pulled back, but when her face seemed to trail his with unsatisfied desire, he returned for a few more like the first.

“Please,” she breathed. Johnny didn’t even think that she knew she had said it. But he met her once again, this time he sliding his tongue onto her bottom lip. She opened for him willingly. And she felt like she was home.


“Hey man, you still here?” Venus asked.

“Ya, ya. I thought Bailey would be here by now,” Johnny replied.

“Oh, you know women, man. They take forever to get ready. Why are you guys meeting here?”

“Because I don’t have a car. And it was cheaper for MTM.”

“Ah, ain’t that always the way.”

“Hello, gentlemen,” Jennifer announced as she entered the lobby. “I present to you the recipient of the inspirational woman award from the National Association of Women Broadcasters, Miss Bailey Quarters!”

Bailey entered then, in a fancy dress and high heels, with her hair done up on her head. Her makeup was very subtle, but still striking.

Sounds came out of Johnny’s mouth, but no actual cohesive words.

“Damn, lil’ mama. You like fine,” Venus said, admiring her.

“Why thank you, Venus. John, are you ready?”

“Except that I just swallowed my tongue, yes, I’m ready.”

“Have fun,” Jennifer said as she departed, giving Johnny and Bailey a knowing look.

“Don’t do anything I wouldn’t do,” Venus said to Johnny and winked, heading back to the booth.

“Bailey, you look great. I mean, you are always beautiful, but tonight you have taken it to another level.”

“Thank you. You look very handsome yourself.”

“Oh, well, you’ve seen me wear this old thing before.”

“I have, and I always love it.” Bailey approached him. It seemed like the time for a kiss, but she didn’t know how to initiate it, so she just turned for the door. Johnny caught her arm and pulled her back, giving her the repeat kiss she had been dying for since yesterday. She melted a little in her heels, and he put both his arms around her to steady her.

“I supposed we should probably go,” he said, his face still so close to hers that she could feel his wiry moustache tickle her cheek.

“Yes, we should. I—I’m not sure I am brave enough to read my speech though.”

“Bailey! You are not the little Ohio State graduate you used to be. They are giving you this award for a reason. And at least a small portion of that reason is that you can read words out loud from paper.”

“Ya,” she giggled. “I guess you are right.”

“And I will be there right beside you.”

“OK. That sounds nice.”

They walked out of the lobby, her arm hooked in his.


This only the beginning. Please stop by next week on this same “channel” to read Part 2. You can find it here:

Like what you read here? Maybe you should try one of my books.

Johnny freaks out over a tornado on WKRP in Cincinnati.

I use this meme every chance I get because I made it and I love it.

Follow the romantic entanglements of The Riley Sisters in my books:
Be Careful What You Wish ForAVAILABLE NOW!
The Wind Could Blow a BugWHERE IT ALL BEGAN!








The Automated DJ Has Left the Building

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Located at Point Iroquois Lighthouse, Lake Superior

Located at Point Iroquois Lighthouse, Lake Superior

The other day I turned on my weather radio so I could listen to it (or zone out, as is usually the case) while I folded laundry, as I usually do.

I was in for a rude awakening.

The voice on my weather radio was just not the same.

Now, let me give you some background, some history.

I have a habit of obsessing about the voices that come out of my radio. For more background, click here. Listening for a DJ I like to back announce a song is sometimes just as good as waiting for a favorite song. I still remember the names of some of them I listened to 25 years ago. I have looked up their Facebook pages and befriended them. One of them even stalks me (who know who you are). This phenomenon was partially responsible for me studying radio and TV production in college. I have a story outline based off of one of them I wrote years ago, and someday soon I will fill it in with actual nouns and adjectives and verbs and junk. When a favorite DJ would leave a station (which they frequently do, a good reason for me not to go into that line of work), I would get very depressed.

This is what happened with my weather station.

Well, sort of.

I had gotten used to the old voice. He was friendly and reliable and reasonably easy to understand…for a computer.

Yes. I admit it. As I felt depression crushing me as I listened to the stranger on my radio station, I realized it was true. I had become attached to a voice coming through my radio that I was fully aware was automated all along. When I was first researching a weather radio before I purchased one ten years ago (Ya, I’m a giant nerd.),  I found on the NWS website where they blatantly tell you all about the various versions and upgrades on their voices.

I don’t like this new voice. It is too smooth. For a sample, click here. I liked that the old one stumbled over a few words now and then, sort of a digital pixelated hiccup. Even computers are allowed to mess up sometimes. We are only human, right? Oh, wait…

I even messaged my local weather service office in Pontiac, MI to find out what they changed. Their response:

We switched over to a new digital broadcasting system. The old system was the Console Replacement System (CRS) and the new one is the Broadcast Message Handler (BMH).

That means they went from the voice named Tom to the voice named Paul (There was also another Paul several years ago.). I am sure it is faster and will save more lives in an emergency and blah, blah, blah. But I will miss Tom dearly.

Unlike other DJs, it is unlikely I will find him up and down the dial.

Oh, did I mention that I am watching WKRP in Cincinnati these days. Probably the rest of the formula to why I wanted to study radio.

Have you seen that Dr. Johnny Fever?

Johnny freaks out over a tornado on WKRP in Cincinnati.

Johnny freaks out over a tornado on WKRP in Cincinnati.

Follow the romantic entanglements of The Riley Sisters in my books:
Be Careful What You Wish ForAVAILABLE NOW!
The Wind Could Blow a BugWHERE IT ALL BEGAN!




Air Conditioning

It is something lots of people in the U.S. take for granted.

When I was a child, we didn’t have air conditioning in our house or our assorted cars. And I never thought anything about it. The lack of it was not hardship in my life.

Then when I started 2nd grade, my mom and I moved into a trailer (a.k.a. mobile home) in the trailer court. Crazy thing here is that it had an air conditioner–in my bedroom, no less–(and a washer and dryer) when we moved in, but she sold them, with the excuse that they would be too expensive to run. Then she spend the next 16 years that we lived there complaining about how the laundromat was so much more expensive than having a washer and dryer at home. Go figure. A lot of what she does doesn’t make sense to me. But if I ask her, she will double-talk me until it does. Until I talk to another rational human being, who points out the holes in her logic, or lack thereof.

My old hoome was just pulled out to the curb to be sold for best offer.

My old home was just pulled out to the curb, to be sold for best offer, like some used car or piece of trash.

Anyways, if you are not aware, trailers heat up faster and retain more heat than your typical wood-frame house. Actually, you can liken them a lot to the greenhouse affect that happens to your car on a hot day. You know how they say “no matter how far open you leave your windows on a hot day, it will always get too hot to leave your dog in there?” Works the same way with a trailer. No matter how many windows you open or how far, it will always heat up in the midday summer sun to an unbearable level. (And we had the old, slanted crank windows that blocked any potential breeze. And eventually became too stripped to crank, no matter how careful you were each time, and had to be propped open with a chunk of wood.)

I was that dog.

While my mom scampered off to work in an air-conditioned office, I was at home for three months every summer, with nothing but an oscillating fan.

Most days I could ride my bike outside and make a little breeze for myself. With little tricks like aiming the fan to blow hot air out the kitchen window when running the oven, then turning it around to suck in the cool air at night, we managed. Barely.

Do you remember that Married with Children episode where the Bundys were so hot they went to live in the frozen food aisle at the grocery store?

The Bundys camping in the grocery store.

The Bundys camping in the grocery store.

That may be based on a true story. I used to travel to the little local grocery store that was only a four minute walk from my house, just to loiter and absorb as much cold air as possible before my short, sweaty walk home again.

On 80 or 90 degree days, it was just so miserable. Where my current house may equalize with the external temperature, it never gets hotter than that. In that trailer, it was always at least five degrees hotter inside than the temperature outside. There was one summer where the high temp was 100 or greater for four days straight. All my mom and I could do was lay in front of the fans and sweat. Well, she was recovering from surgery, so she couldn’t do much else anyway.

And I realize I sound like I am whining, but I’m not. I actually don’t even like AC because it dries out my sinuses and makes it hard to breathe. And I know some people work construction or road crews and are subjected to high temps for hours. This post isn’t really meant for them.

I want to campaign for if you are going to live in a tin can, you need to provide air conditioning for your child. I used to ride my bike all through the trailer court (there must have been a couple hundred parked in there) and look at each and every home as I went. Some had central air, some only window units, but were all running. MY TRAILER WAS THE ONLY ONE WITHOUT AIR CONDITIONING!!!

After that, I lived in an apartment and now I have a house, in both I have had access to window AC units that I rarely use, because it just doesn’t get as miserably hot as the trailer did.

My mom bought a different trailer after I moved out, and guess what it had?

Central Air.

My favorite quote from the movie The Last Starfighter

My favorite quote from the movie The Last Starfighter

I write about things that stood out in my childhood. Being HOT (and not in the leggy supermodel way) and bored and lonely all summer long is something I will never forget until the end of time. It indeed felt like I was in hell.

If I win the lottery, I think it would be awesome to start a fund that would help poor people living in trailers to get an air conditioner, and maybe supply a stipend to help offset the increased electrical usage annually. Maybe that is silly. Food and medicine and such are always looked at as more pressing necessities for the needy. But heat can be dangerous. That is why NOAA has heat advisories and there are community cooling centers on really hot days. It can be a danger as much as any forest fire or volcanic eruption.

Individuals who live in trailers have enough issues to deal with. There is the stigma of being trailer trash, white trash, or redneck. Then their is the fact that Mother Nature has it out for you in other ways as well.

Johnny freaks out over a tornado on WKRP in Cincinnati.

Johnny freaks out over a tornado on WKRP in Cincinnati.

It is funny because it is true.

Follow the romantic entanglements of The Riley Sisters in my books:
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