Posted tagged ‘radio’

Small-Town Radio

April 26, 2008


In Splat Creek, you can pick up the radio station from Poutine-Ville, an hour away, in Quebec.  

You gotta love the home-made commercials.  Like when an English Monsieur Carreau gets into a dialogue with a French truck driver called Ti-Boc about the new restaurant on the highway.  For those of you unfamiliar with French-Canadian culture, Mr. Carreau is not too far off of “Mr. Square-head” which is a mild slur against the English.  Ti-Boc is the American equivalent of “Bubba Joe”.   

The two of them will chat simultaneously in both languages and it’s kinda confusing.  But whatever your background, I’m sorry, you haven’t lived till you’ve heard the Ti-Boc commercial. 

During the evenings, people phone in their requests on a first-come, first-serve basis.  The station sticks the songs onto a computer that runs all night.   

After 8:00 PM, you never know what you might get.  It could be something decent.  Maybe Zeppelin or The Eagles.  The next song might be “Chim-Chimeree” from Mary Poppins.  Or the theme song from the Brady Bunch.   (I shit you not!  They routinely play TV theme songs!)  Or you might end up with a recording of “Toothless Joe Tabernaque” playing his tappin’ spoons at the Upper Carcajou Fiddle Festival.  

Saturday, all day, is Bluegrass gospel music.  But not the cheerful fun kind like they play on Hee-Haw.  These tunes are the creepy kind that whine and drone on.  

It reminds me of Deepest Appalachia, where toothless idiot-savants duel with banjos, mate with their sisters, and the fat sheriff might give you 30 days on the “county farm” for  having a broken taillight.  If you’ve seen the movie O Brother Where Art Thou?  you can relate.

Let’s not forget the stellar cast of “professional” deejays.  (Did I forget to mention this is an “all volunteer” station?)  

On one of shows, Great-Grampa Gargamel hosts a “Psychedelic Rock and Roll” show.  This might sound cool, but it’s not.   Not unless you like to hear someone talk through their dentures about the Byrds or Bob Dylan.  I suspect Great-Grampa was already in his 90’s when the Beatles broke up.  

I love the lady on Sunday afternoons.  A ball of fire, that one is: 

“It’s…uhhhh…ten minutes after two…And…hhh…what was that last song?…(20 seconds of silence)…Banjo Zeke and his Hillbilly Orchestra…playing…uhhh…I seem to haveforgotten…(where is it?)…uhhhhh…No, wait…here it is…”Nearest to thee, Lord Take my Shotgun or I’ll blow your Head Off”

“…The weather forecast for Poutine-Ville…(10 seconds of silence)…I’m looking out the window…its sunnny…uhhh…uhhhhhh…..the thermometer says 26 degrees…that’s warm, I think…Let’s play…uhhhhhhhh…another record.”

I”ve saved the best to last: Radio Bingo.  

Ho-Lee Shit.  As if Bingo wasn’t boring enough to see in person, imagine hearing on the radio, and BILINGUAL.  With the microphone right next to the Bingo machine, so you can hear the noise when the balls turn:

“(Rumble rumble rumble)… BEE….EIGHT…..BAY….HWITTE…(rumble rumble rumble)…..GEE…TWENTY FOUR….JAY VAINT KAT….(rumble rumble rumble)…OH SIXTY SEVEN…OH…SWASSANTE DEESE SET……(rumble rumble rumble)…”

Do you get the idea…?

I was listening to this once, driving my car.  And, not unlike watching a car crash, I had this morbid curiosity and for the love of me, I could NOT turn off the station. 

“(rumble rumble rumble) ….EYE FIFTEEN….”

Finally, after several minutes, I snapped out of it and turned the radio off.  

Twenty minutes later, I thought surely, the Bingo was done now…For God’s sake, nobody with a good conscience would put anything that heinous on the radio, for THAT long. Mabye the music computer is has started again..maybe they’re playing Def Leppard or Wayne Newton right now. 

So I risked it and turned the radio on again:

“…(rumble rumble rumble)….ENN TIRTEE TWO……ENN TRAWNTE DEU………(rumble rumble rumble)…”.

ARRRGH!   They were STILL at it!!!   

And God knows for how long, because I shut the radio off (after resisting the urge to drive into the oncoming headlights).

You know, there are certain things that should just NOT be allowed on the air!  

Where is the CRTC when you need it?