May I suggest a new holiday? The day after St. Patrick's Day
So anyone want to share with me your excuses for not working today? Our morning producer Al Keefe gets to work at 4am and he said there were still crowds of revelers partying when he was driving in. I would love to come to your office and interview you if you just kept on rolling right from the bars and straight to work this morning.
Answer me this: When will St. Patrick's Day images change from the traditional Irish working-class men in their work-pants and white t-shirts celebrating and singing Irish songs to dudes with green Purdue shirts on drinking 14 Bud Lights and holding their girlfriends' hair when she throws up in the alley? Can't wait to watch that documentary on The History Channel..
Also, I was on the Kennedy last night and it seemed like every single skyscraper had their tops lit green. Except for one building that actually took it further. Their take? Green, orange and white lights. Yeah. Now, I can accept the green, but next time let's cool it a bit on other country's colors all over our American city's skyline. What's next? A little blue & white for Greek Easter?
Top story: Sometimes you just have to put your money where your mouth is and do some work. Earlier this week I was complaining about how the media was not doing a good job of telling the stories of Chicagoans returning from Japan. We love to go shove a mic in a person's face when they get off a plane, but that's where the story ends.
I thought perhaps it would be great to hear from Chicagoans a few days after they returned. So I interviewed a few and aired their thoughts in a short piece today on Eight Forty-Eight. It is a check-in with three travelers who were on the first flight back last Saturday, and what this week has been like now that they are back to their lives in Chicago.
B story: Chicagoland Chamber of Commerce wants to bring back video poker. I say forget video poker and concentrate on bringing back the Cherry Master!!!!! Video slots were all the rage at bars and diners a few decades back. Drop a dollar and if you hit three cherries, the bartender would pay you out. WBEZ's Jay Ferrarri did an outstanding audio piece on the old Cherry Masters for Eight Forty-Eight, back in 1999. I'll try to find it in the DAT archives. But the fun part was that I had to go find a Cherry Master machine, play it and record the sound for ambience. So I found one at an old diner on Belmont and Damen. I walked in and put a microphone on the machine while the short order cook just stared at me the whole time. All in the name of radio. I didn't win.
C story: Michael Flatley did an interview with our sister station Vocalo yesterday. I guess they are releasing his Lord of the Dance in 3D. Did you know he can do 35 taps in a second? What does that even mean?
D story: It's official: the House voted to defund NPR. Man, to quote everybody's favorite band, the Black Eyed Peas - where is the love? Aaron Schock, I thought we were buddies? I've written up your "sexiest congressman" story a few times. I would go as far as to say we could hang if we really needed to. Peter Roskam? I respect you homey, so how about a little in return? Mr. Joe Walsh? We don't even know each other and you are hatin' already? Every IL Republican voted to defund. At least I now know where you guys stand on our friendship.
Weather: It's nice again? Love it!
Sports: Today, the Southwest region of the NCAA Tournament rolls through the Southwest capital, Chicago. Yep, I believe you can still get tickets to go see a couple first round games at the United Center today. Go and hang out with the bands. And oh, if anyone from the Texas A&M squad wants to party, I'm available tonight. If you attend any of the schools that are playing at the UC for the tourney, you are so lucky. You could have drawn Cleveland or worse, Tampa. Instead, you get to party in Chi-town all weekend!
Here's my bit for today: Go over to the costume shop and get a funny, colorful wig and some face paint. Pick two random colors, rent a Trumpet and a cape and walk around in front of the UC during the games. Just for fun, make sure you choose face paint that doesn't represent the school colors of any team actually playing. I guarantee you will get on the news.
You're welcome, Chicago.