Wednesday, October 7, 2009

The Spirit of Radio

Halloween is near and the ghouls are making themselves known.

A long time ago in a state far, far away...

I was a simpleminded college student with dreams of a career in radio and television. I even won an award as Best New Television Personality for hosting a segment on the campus cable show, The Ultimate Talk Show. The following year I had my own Nite Time gabfest. My plans to conquer the entertainment world were firmly in place, only to be derailed when my show was canceled after only one episode. I still like to think I'm the only one in school history to hold that distinction.

But it was during this time a strange phenomenon occurred. I happened to be driving along Mission Road in Mt. Pleasant, Michigan when the radio in my car suddenly switched to a station broadcasting out of Tampa, Florida. Now, I learned all about broadcast law and broadcast history, wasted time in classes where all we did was watch movies. I even developed a sitcom in one class. But never did they tell us about the ghosts in the machine.

I went to my professors. None could explain how a car in Michigan could suddenly start playing a radio station over 1200 miles away. For years I was haunted by the spectre of that day, always tentative on the dial. Would my fingertips unsettle the long dormant ghoul I always knew was stalking me?

Today, they did.

I was at a light, not moving, when suddenly, it happened again. With white knuckles, I gripped the wheel while the spirits of Orlando descended on South Florida. Okay, I realize it's not the same as Tampa to mid-Michigan, but radio signals don't travel 200 miles. Maybe I now live closer to the astral plane.

Or maybe, they're trying to tell me something. Maybe the first incident was a message, a harbinger of my failed broadcast career. I've never held a job more than a few years since. Maybe the spirits of the radio are letting me know they're done playing with me. Maybe now I'll get that publishing deal. Maybe I'll finally stop looking for that next best thing.

In order to appease them, I beseech my readers to share their favorite ghoulish encounter, real or imagined. Let's get into the spirit of Halloween.

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