Dispatches from the Control Room – January 31

* Where was yesterday’s blog? Two factors contributed to its absence.

1) A freakin’ blizzard raged outside the station and I had to walk a mile home. Since the wind chill was supposed to worsen as the morning wore on, I wanted to beat the worst of it. It was still a miserable trek.

2) One of our anchors informed the Chicagoland area that yesterday’s newscast wasn’t my “best effort,” so I wanted to spare you a continuation of my wretched output.

* It’s been Food-a-palooza here in the newsroom. Yesterday, 5 a.m. producer Carol sprang for pizza. Today, some bakery dropped off a load of paczkis. (Spelled that without looking it up.) And Dick brought in Munchkins. And Executive Producer Wendy got a delivery of some vile toffee/chocolate/nut concoction. I’ve eaten my weight in sugar, grease and lard over the last two days.

* Presidential contenders are dropping like flies. Edwards and Giuliani on the same day? Rudy was predictable, but I thought Edwards would stick it out a while longer. Kudos to Giuliani’s campaign for playing the “Rudy” theme music by Jerry Goldsmith at his rally. (Good music, even if the movie involves Notre Dame.)

* Britney is back in the hospital again. At this point, would anyone expect she’ll live longer than fellow train-wreck Anna Nicole?

* Continuing his bravery in the face of tragedy, Drew Peterson wants to divorce his still-missing wife. I’m going to petition Simon and Garfunkel to change “Joe DiMaggio” to “Drew Peterson” in the song “Mrs. Robinson.”

* We had the guy leading the crusade to save the sinkhole on our show yesterday. That was my idea. I’m very proud. I only wish we would have given him more time to plug his pro-hole agenda.

* Tomorrow, I might as well not roll in until 4 a.m. It’s supposed to snow like mad, and Andy will need at least half an hour to break everything down. Plus, I’m sure we’ll need to take a phone call from Roady McPlowtruck about how they’re salting and plowing the city. (This will come as news to you who were under the impression that when it snows, the Keebler elves stop making cookies and grab shiny teaspoons to clear the streets.) I will hate tomorrow. Hate.

* The only thing keeping me from bashing my face into the keyboard so I can call in sick tomorrow is that I got to run video of Whiplash the Rodeo Monkey today. Whiplash is the best thing ever to happen to TV news. It’s a monkey in a cowboy hat who rides a border collie. That’s it. Whenever this video runs, it is pure, unadulterated bliss. I want Whiplash tattooed on the insides of my eyelids so I can see him when I sleep.

I’m not going to ask for someone to buy me a Whiplash T-shirt (size medium), but I will say that if one showed up addressed to Ben Bowman at WMAQ, 454 N Columbus Drive, Chicago, IL 60611, I might find the ability to experience joy again. No guarantees…

* “Lost” is back tonight.

Thank. God.

3 responses to “Dispatches from the Control Room – January 31

  1. I’m glad to see you’re still around! Maybe I’ll send you that Whiplash t-shirt that you were so very subtle about.

  2. I’m glad you blogged today – Wednesday just wasn’t the same.

    Was that a hint about the t-shirt? LOL My guess is that you might find a few showing up at the station. :-)

    If you do happen to get the t-shirt – will you give kudos to us in the blog? LOL

  3. T-shirt sent!

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