Dispatches from the Control Room – March 20

* Very weird day in the newsroom today. I chalk this up to the confluence of several unusual events.

1. Highlander Producer Carol is going on vacation later today.

2. Zoraida is leaving for vacation this weekend.

3. Dick’s final day as anchor is tomorrow.

4. Kim is on vacation.

With all these variables flying around, stuff was bound to get weird.

I spent an inordinate amount of time trying to build my show today. Last night’s shows were all about the 5th anniversary of the start of the war in Iraq. If I were to cherry-pick from them, my news would be old. But most of today’s news was lame. And then… a tornado siren randomly went off in Downers Grove for an hour.

Desperate for any new news, all the producers dropped it in our shows. But since the story was about a sound (an annoying sound at that), every time we ran the story, we had to hear that godawful blaring siren. I heard it four times in my half-hour alone. You could almost see Dick and Zoraida grinding their teeth by the time I left the booth.

Now, Natalie was scheduled to take Kim’s place as reporter today, but she overslept. Truth be told, this was an awesome move on her part, because now she can roll back over in bed and avoid the annoying siren, which would have been her live shot.

This siren seemed to signal all kinds of catastrophes to come. Not only did our reporter oversleep, a new editor we were training didn’t get a tape cut in time to air in my show, I learned we’re going to get hammered with up to 6″ of snow tonight, and Executive Producer Wendy shared the terrible news that I’m not allowed to use any pictures of Ashley Alexandra Dupre on this blog anymore (legal reasons). What’s more, it turns out Ashley might only have been 17 when she shot that “Girls Gone Wild” video, so I might be robbed of the only thing keeping me alive.

And perhaps the unkindest cut of all: Today I polished off the 45 oz. bag of M&M’s Matt Rodewald sent me.


* Best story of the day: the old couple who turned their dead dogs’ hair into sweaters. This was the only ray of joy in the day, probably because the Downers Grove Devil Siren can’t reach the UK.

* In reference to yesterday’s mega-blog promotion spree, the following exchange occurred through our computer instant messaging system today…

Zoraida: “It was fun making fun of you yesterday several times during our shows… you should get some lonely women contacting you soon. My one piece of advice, get a better picture on the website.”

Me: “(Web Czar) Marcus wanted me looking as haggard as possible.”

Zoraida: “Mission accomplished! I was going to mention you are quite handsome with some amazing guns but alas, your picture makes you look like a pathetic slob!”

Me: “I have no shame, and Marcus gets his slovenly producer. It’s win-win.”

* Lots of you are teeing me up for being mean-spirited lately. And according to this article, I’d be better off being nice. But it’s obvious to me women only like dating jerks. So that’s what I’m going for nowadays. Arch Nemesis Producer Jim is a huge jerk, and he’s got a girlfriend. At least once a week she probably curls up next to him and asks him to tell her about the time he swindled me out of a dozen donuts.

* Happily married couples have lower blood pressure than singles. And people with normal jobs undoubtedly have lower blood pressure than overnight news producers. I got a paper cut last week and it looked like a lawn sprinkler on the fritz.

* Here’s hoping the Downers Grove Devil Siren doesn’t ruin tonight’s improv show. Tonight, my beloved Whiskey Rebellion opens for a legendary team: The Reckoning. You can see us at i.O. Chicago at 8 p.m. Two hours of entertainment for just $12. More info here. We’re in the downstairs (cabaret) theater. They have a bar.

One response to “Dispatches from the Control Room – March 20

  1. I’m worried about your blood pressure, but also laughing so hard that co-workers are staring!! My advice: don’t take any aspirin! Ever.

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