Interesting. Very interesting.
I drove down to the New York State Fairgrounds early this morning to be a guest on the “Bridge Street with Rick and Julie” show. It seems to be Central New York’s version of the Regis and Whatshername’s Show. If the weather had been decent, the taping would have been held outside. Because of the remnants of Hurricane Katrina, the show was mercifully moved indoors. Or should I saw mooooved indoors, because we were in the Dairy Hall. Not the Dairy Barn, mind you. That was next door. We were in the Hall, where the butter sculpture was. (I couldn’t get a picture of the butter sculpture because the air was 121% humidity and the glass was fogged over.)
I got there an hour and a half early (who – me, nervous?) but I was prepared with a yellow legal pad. Armed with pen and coffee, I enjoyed a good brainstorming session trying to figure out how to build to the climax in my Work in Progress. When the clock finally bonged, I headed for the Channel 9 booth, a bizarre building that looked like a cross between a spaceship and a summer squash. The folks in the booth took care of me.
Everyone was quite nice, especially Tyler the intern, who goes to ES-M High School. While I was waiting to go on, I stood around pretending that I did not want to barf. (Woke up with a stomach ache. The kind of stomach ache I used to get on spelling test days. The “you are about to make an idiot of yourself” stomach ache.) Before I knew it, they were sticking me in a tall chair and burying a mike under my hair. A small crowd had gathered to watch the spectacle. I guessed they actually came to the Dairy Hall to look at the butter sculpture, and stayed to watch the festivities.
The weird thing about being on a live TV show is that it didn’t feel like being on a live TV show. Julie (very tiny, funny, and sweet) and Rick (reminds me of everyone’s uncle, the one who likes to fish) basically chatted, then Julie threw me a couple questions. I think I answered them. I kept forgetting where I was supposed to turn (look at Julie? No, Rick. No, the camera. No, don’t look at the camera, wave to the crowd.) At one point I realized that I had used the word “nice” seventy times in three sentences. And I couldn’t make myself stop. The movie? Nice. The book? Nice. The weather? Nice. Wanting to throw up on live TV? Sorta nice.
I wanted to bang my head against the plastic cow.
Then – bam! – it was over.
Until I had to judge the Motley Crue karaoke contest.
Yes, you read that right. They asked me to hang around until the end of the show. Motley Crue is playing at the State Fair tonight and they had tickets to give away. My fellow judge was a large, tattooed guy who is a DJ at Rock 105 The Dog. He didn’t talk too much. I think it was a little early in the day for him. So we got to sit in the tall chairs again and had to judge the contest. The participants had to sing the classic “Girls, Girls, Girls.”
Contestant #1 – a pair of 20-something sisters who I never would have guessed would be Crue fans.
Contestant #2 – two random girls who never heard of the band and were only doing this to get on TV (I overheard them say that in line).
Contestant #3 – a big guy, maybe 16, with wild air and a definite Motley Crue attitude, but who looked like he was nice behind the snarled lip. I really, really wanted him to win because he looked like he hadn’t won much before.
I will spare you the play-by-play of the singing. #3 bummed me out because he did not sing above a whisper. #2 were cute, but didn’t know the words, despite holding the lyrics on a piece of paper. #1 won running away, Quiet DJ-Guy and I agreed. Not only did they know the words and harmonize, they did all kinds of wiggles, shakes, etc., that Tommy Lee would have approved of.
And then it was really over.