I am on a radio show. I’m sitting in a studio, waiting to talk about my most recent book, like real authors do. I am wearing headphones. There is a microphone in front of me. The producer gives us the count down:
“Aaaannnd we’re on in five, four, three, two…”
—PEPPY INTRO MUSIC FOR MORNING SHOW—
RADIO HOST: Hi, you’re listening to WKXPRHZBXC, your home for soft rock favorites and non-stop continuous Michael Bolton ballads. I’m your highly caffeinated morning-show host, Morning Man Larry, and I’m crazy! With a capital K! Our guest today is author Shane Deeters. Shane, thanks for being with us.
ME: My name’s actually Sean Dietrich. But thank you for having me, Larry.
HOST: Don’t mention it. Now, I’m holding a copy of my guest’s newest book, and I wanna tell you, folks, this looks exactly like a real book. It has an actual spine and a dust cover and pages and everything. Trust me. I have seen some books in my day, but this is definitely one of them. Please, tell our listeners a little bit about your book, Shane.
ME: Well, as I say, my name is Sean, and the book is a story about my—
HOST: How long did it take to write this particular book?
ME: I was trying to answer your first question—
HOST: And how many years, approximately, have you been writing books?
ME: Well, I—
HOST: How many books do you have?
ME: Uh, let’s see—
HOST: When did you first fall in love? What’s your middle name? Where is Fiji? What is a granivorous ornithologist?
ME: I’m sorry, which question am I supposed to be answering?
HOST: So anyway, you know what I think? I think writing is a very noble process. Don’t you agree, Shane? Can I call you Shane?
ME: I don’t know why anyone would.
HOST: Funny story, Shane, I wrote a book of my own, it is called “Morning Man Larry’s Adventures in 3-D,” and it is about my crazy, excellent life, and all the moderately famous people whose names I’ve used in my book, but have never actually met in person per se. It’s been a long road, Shane. But that’s how my Cinderella story all began.
ME: How about that.
HOST: Because in my experience, people just go about their lives in 2-D, and sometimes I wanna tell our listeners, “HEY! WAKE UP! Life is 3-D!” Or, no! Wait a minute, folks! WHOA! GET READY FOR THIS! YOU CAN LIVE LIFE IN 4-D! What’d’ya think, Shane? Do you like my idea about living life in 4-D?
ME: I have no idea what we are talking about.
HOST: So tell us where you’re from before you moved to Birmingham.
ME: Well, I’m from the Florida Panhandle, which is—
HOST: We’re almost out of time, but I let me just stop you right there to say that I love Florida, and I really, really like Orlando. One time, I was in Orlando and there was this restaurant where my daughter wanted to go that had actual animals inside, staring at you while you ate. Truthfully it was a little weird looking at a mule while I was eating, but hey, c’est la vie.
ME: I need some water.
HOST: So if you’re just tuning in, folks, my guest has written a book, and is here in the studio to talk about it.
ME: Or maybe some hard liquor.
HOST: What inspires you each day?
ME (Pausing): Is it really my turn to talk?
HOST: Of course, the floor is all yours.
ME: It’s just that every time I try to speak—
HOST: Tell us a little bit about your thoughts on tax reform.
ME: Do what?
HOST: Ginger or Marianne?
ME: I, uh…
HOST: Boxers or briefs?
ME: I don’t really see how that’s…
HOST: You’re listening to WKXPRHZBXC, I’m Morning Man Larry, here in the studio with author Shane Derelict, we are the craziest morning show out there! So crazy that I actually have a rubber chicken dangling from a hangman’s noose in my studio above my desk, right from the ceiling! Isn’t that right, Shane?
ME: I don’t see a chicken.
HOST: He’s right there, hanging from the AC vent. See it?
ME: Yes. I see him now.
HOST: What do you think of my rubber chicken?
ME: I think he’s the luckiest guy in this room.
HOST: Funny story, you wanna know where I got that chicken?
HOST: It’s a KUH-RAZY story, like all the stories on my show, do we have time for this story about the rubber chicken?
ME: I will literally pay you not to tell me this story.
HOST: My producer is telling me we don’t have time, but you know what? On our NEXT show, NEXT week, I’m gonna tell the story, and I want YOU to be here with me, Slayton… Shane… Sam.
ME: I can’t make it.
HOST: Why not?
ME: I believe I’ll have food poisoning that day.
HOST: Well, we’re outta time, folks! Morning Man Larry here! I’d like to thank today’s guest, Shadrach Delacroix, it’s been a true pleasure having you in the studio, buddy! If you’re ever in the area, please stop by and see us! You have an open invitation!
ME: Aren’t you sweet.
HOST: (Removes headphones.) That was a great show! Good energy! You’re a natural on the air. A NATURAL!
HOST: (Shakes my hand.) So what’d you say your name was again?