Want to hear about the worst radio interview in the annals of time? I was the interviewee. The interviewer? She was a tiny wisp of a woman, small enough to store in a bucket. And old. Really, really old. Yoda in a dress.
I cannot say her name in this blog. I don’t want to be sued. Plus – and this is more important – I don’t want anybody to find the interview and listen to it. So, for now, I will give my interviewer a psuedonym.
We will call her Hitler’s Little Munchkin, or HLM.
HLM read my first book and I was contacted to do a radio interview. This was well over a year ago. The reason this memory comes to mind just now – and believe me, I repressed it to the best of my ability – is that I had just recently listened to a radio interview of a friend who also writes. The interveiw was great. He sounded intelligent. There was humor, reminiscing . . . Even the recipe for James Bond martinis. However…
Back to Hitler’s Little Munchkin . . .
As I sat down in the radio booth, I was unprepared for what was to come. Unprepared for one good reason. Right before she flipped the switches to start recording, she smiled a sweet little smile and said, “Before I begin, I just want you to know that I LOVED your book. The characters were really endearing.”
“Thank you very much,” I said, clueless that I was shortly going to be catapulted into a tub of poop.
Then she turned on the tape and began recording.
There are no words for the carnage that followed. As soon as she found out that I hadn’t gone to college to learn how to write, that I used to do the same volunteer work that my main character, Bella, does in the book – which REALLY enraged her – Mr. Hyde popped free of the tiny old lady and came at me with a vengeance. All of a sudden I was facing the lethal bunny in Monty Python’s Holy Grail.
I wasn’t a very worthy opponent. Instead of getting offended, instead of verbally grappling with her, I stayed speechless. I was too busy pulling her teeth out of my butt with pliers to reply. I mean, what does one say to a person who tells you how much they hate a waitress that was a figment of your imagination? What possible answer can you have to, “And I hated the word, ‘warble.’ Warble, warble, warble.” ? So I smiled, and listened, and, like the trapped coyote, entertained the possibility of gnawing my leg off so I could flee.
After a while she wound down, looked smug, and waited for my answer . . . my comeback.
What to say? What to say?
I considered staying silent, just to see what merry havoc she could wreak with that. I considered slapping my hands and making grunting noises like the mother of all fights was starting to commence in the recording booth. I considered falling off the stool in a pretend faint.
Instead, I went with saying something innocuous and mild. I don’t remember what exactly. It was the verbal equivalent of a shrug. Which was a mistake. Or not, depending on how you look at it.
Round two started up, but I would have to say without the manic fervor of the first bout. She seemed disappointed, like an axe murderer discovering that the family had already left for Disneyland. I wasn’t playing right. She wanted blood. She wanted screaming. She wanted tears. I gave her a blank stare. I did talk, but not about what she wanted.
After it was all over, we parted amicably. But I could see that she was let down and somewhat puzzled that I hadn’t attacked her while the tape was rolling, or didn’t tackle her in the parking lot. I, on the other hand, was thinking about the book signing I was slated to do right after I had my sandwich. And exactly how many people in the area listened to her show.
The book signing afterwards went well if one counts not selling any. Or maybe I sold one. I don’t really remember. People even seemed confused as to why I was there. Not because they had heard the show, but because they had never seen a book signing before. Or, by their looks, I am guessing, had never even seen a book.
I never listened to my interview when it had finally aired. It would have been bad enough as is, but her guerilla tactics showed she would have probably been capable of splicing and editing. I’m sure my responses had either been cut off or shuffled around until she had me saying, “You . . . are . . . correct . . .” Radio silence “Frau . . . Blucher . . .”
Do you have any of your own traumas you want to share? Yes, you say, but isn’t recounting it like getting humiliated twice? Yes, but make sure you withhold names.
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And now, to watch Frau Blucher scare the horses – click on the link below and watch with the sound up: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zdIID_TGwhM