Monday, February 1, 2010

Slow Down Fast Talkin Woman

Two years ago, I did a Guest DJ stint on CD101, Columbus’ alternative rock station. The premise is a simple one – listeners are invited to email in a list of 12 songs. If your list is picked, you get to spend an hour in the CD101 studios with the afternoon DJ, Lesley James, while she plays your songs and asks you questions about the songs you selected

The whole thing is pretty idiot-proof, I was brought into the studio literally five minutes before I went on the air. The DJ pointed to a chair and a microphone, and promptly excused herself to go to the restroom.

I almost crapped my pants at the notion she might not return and I’d be stuck there by myself. “Ummm, hello Columbus?”

Obviously, she knew better than I and made it back in plenty of time. The hour was pretty uneventful. I was uncharacteristically quiet, mostly because I feared I would ramble and lose my point. So I was probably pretty boring, but I’ll admit I walked out of the studio with an incredible buzz of merely having my list picked.

When I heard that QFM96, the classic rock station offered the same sort of thing – “Ultimate Album Side,” I gave it a shot. Q-FM started out as straight-up rock station back in the late 70s and has only morphed into a “classic” rock station only because they have seemingly just stopped playing anything new past about 1989.

I’d consider the music of Q-FM to be “working class rock” – a blend of songs best imagined hearing through a paint-splattered boombox duct-taped to an industrial stool, or perhaps from the car speaker of a beat-up Mazda RX-7 while playing volleyball at a high school reunion picnic (given you, like me, went to high school at an Midwest, urban high school.) Petty and Chrissy, AC/DC and Queen.

Still, I wanted to mix it up a little, personalize it. So I picked my five deliberately chosen songs: “You Better You Bet” by the Who, “Straight On” by Heart, “Little Dreamer” by Van Halen, “You Better Run” by Pat Benetar, and “Goodbye to Romance” by Ozzy. I sent my email. I forgot about it.

Then I got a call from the DJ, made arrangements to pre-record (which, I’ll admit, I was a bit bummed I didn’t get to go into the studio, but got over when the guy told me for the third time how much he liked my list. I’m such a sucker…

I was on the air this past Friday. What amused me the most, was the sheer number of strip club advertisements that bookended the segment. Then again, who did I think the demographic was going to be tuning into a classic rock station at 9:00 on a Friday night?

The revelation I made (or rather, confirmation) was just how freaking fast I talk. Of course, this should surprise no one who has ever spoken to me.

Still. My god. I could barely understand me.

I was talking to my friend Bridgett about this, and wondering just how in the world she manages to continually listen to me without great difficulty. She explained, in her signature sensitivity, that it wasn’t that bad, but that, if she was honest, there were times when she felt like she was functioning like one of those CNN correspondents who have a delay in their earpiece. “I can usually grasp everything you’re saying,” she went on to explain, “but it sometimes takes me a minute or two to absorb everything.”

I’m forty. I’m not likely to make any lasting changes in my speech patterns. The best I can manage is when I’m doing a public reading of my writing. I deliberately slow way down because I know information will get lost. But it feels un-natural. It feels....... like......... I’m….tal-king.....…like…………………….this.

But I can’t wait to send in another list and do it again. The cute DJ told me I should.

And I totally believed him.


  1. Tell Joe Show that HolyJuan says, "Hello!"

  2. You don't talk THAT fast! Or maybe I am a fast listener...

  3. Glad to see VH represented! I'll bet you made an awesome DJ! The whole list rocks by-the-way.