Tuesday, June 09, 2009

Dear Diary: Live . . . from the crapper

EDITOR'S NOTE: Revolution 21's Blog for the People continues an occasional series of dispatches recorded some years ago in the trenches of Catholic radio. The names aren't real, nor are the places, but the stories are -- and it's a snapshot picture of what happens when "Their zeal consumes them" meets "Sinners sacrifice for the institution, not vice versa."

In other words, there has to be a better way.

SATURDAY, OCT. 19, 2002

Dear Diary,

Well, the insanity continues apace at Levy Pants, Midwest Division. Pope FM, remember, equals Levy Pants in A Confederacy of Dunces.

Thursday, "The Triumvirate" (Ken, Fred the Development Guy and Manic Don) grudgingly admitted the reality of what I'd been telling them for a month -- our new studios wouldn't be ready for the "Pledge-a-Thon" this coming week. I'll be engineering it from the men's room.

No, really. The crapper. The head. The loo.

The Facilities.

See, right now, we have a cobbled together, temporary control room in what will be the men's room. The commode drain is there, but not the stool itself, or the sink, or the urinal. That would take up too much room, leaving none for the equipment. But the plumbing and the floor drain are all there -- complete with that certain je ne sais quoi . . . the intermittent fragrant hint of sewer gas.

CONTRARY TO THE OPINION of Fred the Development Guy, God did not "expand time."

I plugged a Behringer studio mixer into the borrowed control board we have, just to make it functional enough for me to engineer the Pledge-a-Thon with minimum hassles and give me enough inputs for a line feed from the makeshift interview studio and to run microphone cables to the phone room, which conveniently is just outside the men's room -- uh, CONTROL ROOM -- door.

But to make room for the volunteers and telephones, Manic Man, our fearless program director, had to move out of his temporary digs.

Where would he go? Where would he go?

Well, let's just say I ended up literally begging him and the GM not to move our temporary, jury-rigged and very precarious production room into a still under-construction space so Manic Man could take over the present room for his office . . . right now.

Did I mention all this was less than a week out from the Pledge-a-Thon?

ME, I THINK the Lord is a fan of A Confederacy of Dunces. And, as an added benefit, He is teaching me radical compassion for an intern I used to have little patience with but who was, fairly literally, crying on my shoulder Friday over her mistreatment by the Manic Mad Man of the Midwest. She referred to him as "a male chauvinist pig."

When you hear meek, charismatic-Catholic 25-year-old women use the term "male chauvinist pig," you absolutely KNOW he's probably worse than that, even.

Really, this guy is making a crapload of enemies real fast. And he's starting to make the wrong enemies. Or at least make them for the station.

I don't know what the Lord has in mind for all this, but I know in my heart it involves my stepping up to the plate to try to rally the troops and hold them together to weather the raging storm.

Taking to the factory floor
with a banner made of a . . .
a . . . an (ahem) bedsheet


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