The horror, the horror, the horror - mornings of KYW

Welcomat - September 1993

"*Beep* *Beep* *Beep* - goodness of garlic without the offensive odor!" Freaked by the alarm and the radio going off simultaneously, the cat jumps off the bed as my arm gropes the nightstand trying to find the switch to turn off the beeps while leaving the radio on. The day begins with a half-hour spent drifting in and out of sleep while absorbing KYW News Radio's broadcasts by osmosis. I used to listen to WFLN, but Sousalarm notwithstanding, my awake periods would never coincide with the weather. No such problem with KYW, which a co-worker of mine refers to as "All weather...all the time". It's not, of course. It's "all garlic tablet commercials...all the time". Half-awake, I wonder for the thousandth time why the garlic tablet people never exactly specify what the "goodness of garlic" is, and why these trashy women are talking about their "repeating" and "offensive odor" problems while I'm trying to sleep. Who takes these things anyway? And does the husband of the woman who excitedly claims she can "get extra-close to her co-workers" know about this?

KYW doesn't have to resort to Sousa marches - it is perfectly capable of annoying someone out of bed. It's almost scary to have a bit on a presidential speech followed by Tom Bodett of Motel 6 ("We'll leave the light on for ya"). Tom actually makes me smile, but Melrose Diner and Marv Polo's Chevrolet commercials make me cringe. Marv takes the prize for the most thought- provoking annoying commercial because he promotes interesting lines of inquiry. Tell us what you MEAN by "the world's smallest Chevrolet dealer", Marv! Does your lot only having two cars on it? Do you only sell tiny little Chevrolets? Are you short? Is just part of your anatomy short?

And while "Hooked on Phonics" and the "S-O-C-K-S" people are fighting it out to for the business of teaching stupid people in fun ways, the Spanish language people need to talk to the Phonics people about their grammar. For instance, their mnemonic for "What time is it?" or "Que hora es?" is "K or a S" . This may tell you how to ask the time in Spanish, but it's bad English. Maybe you can only add a second language by losing some of the first.

Listening to morning news while half-asleep does add some interesting twists to world events, since your fuzzy mind will grab onto ideas in strange ways. The midwest flooding situation causes the announcer to discuss the 15-foot dikes in Iowa and I imagine huge, corn-fed lesbians. The cat pokes me awake again just the sports announcer informs the audience that in last night's basketball game, the Tigers forced the Owls to make twenty-two turnovers. Hmmm... jungle cats with guns holding birds hostage in a kitchen - "All right, we want twelve apple and ten cherry - bake, you feathered bastards!". An ad for a restaurant stresses "constantly changing menus" and, drifting off again, I dream of a fat matron screaming and dropping her menu as it mutates before her eyes.

But at last Fred Sherman's irreverent surreal financial advice, and the cat jumping up and down on my bladder, gets me out of bed and into the bathroom. I put on a tape of some twenty-year old rock, climb into the shower and forget about the goodness of garlic until tomorrow.

Copyright Eric Peterson, 1993