I was half- listening to Chicago Public Radio's magazine show while making chai this morning when I heard them say something about overeating on Thanksgiving and raw foods. My ears perked up, and next thing I knew I heard my own voice talking about how "afterwords I was thirsty, and my date and I both craved ice cream." What an awful, flat, Midwestern voice, I thought. But it was mine. And they said the magic words -- that the essay would air on the next show.
But when is the next show? Thanksgiving or Friday?
The website doesn't say.
The person at the front desk didn't know.
And no one at the show picked up the phone.
Some background: I recorded this essay the day before I left for India last May. Six months ago. I remember being miffed upon learning that the station's free parking policy had just changed, and that I'd have to shell out $24 for the 45 minutes my car was in the Navy Pier garage. No one told me. The regular producer was out, and I couldn't help but telegraph my hurt surprise to the person who recorded the essay.
While in India I e-mailed them a few times asking when / if the thing had aired.
When I returned in late July I asked again.
The producer did some research and got back to me a few days later.
Apparently they had lost it.
"Aha!" I thought. "Punishment for geting mad about the parking."
But they said they still wanted it. So I rode my bicycle down to Navy Pier and re-recorded it, along with a new essay about surviving summer in Chicago -- with the regular producer, whom I adore.
Of course the heat wave disappeared, never to return, the minute I rode out of the garage.
And despite occasional prodding, the raw foods essay never aired either.
"OK," I figured, "They're done with me."
But after 42 years you get quite good at beating your head against a wall.
So after many false starts I sent them a new essay -- about feeling like an underacheiver at my 20th college reunion.
(Actually I feel like one all the time. But that would be a book, not an essay).
Lo and behold -- yesterday they e-mailed back the new essay with minor edits and said I should set up a time to record it.
"OK," I thought. "Now they'll have three of may essays to misplace."
So when I heard my thin flat voice coming through the radio today, I actually whooped and jumped up and down.
Maybe I do have a career after all.
Now, if only I could figure out when it's going to air.
The interim producer got back to me: It will air Friday sometime between 9 and 10 on 91.5-FM. Ha!