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10:11:10 - 2000-02-20

Uncle Bob's computer just crashed and he lost everything that he had just written. You tell ME how he feels about contributing to the deliquency of a minor today. HUH?!? That's right, Mr. Smartmouth, YOU DON'T HAVE AN ANSWER. Well ... I'm TICKED!! That's right Flamingo Face (that's a compliment if you think about it ... but I mean it in a derogatory fashion here) ... I'M PISSED. However, if you are under 18 and promise not to expose me as the primary evil in your fragile little mind, then I guess you can come on in. I'm too tired to argue this morning.

MY FIRST TV SHOW

I've been fortunate enough in life to do jobs that I always thought I would enjoy and did enjoy. Among those were a nightclub bouncer, concert security, a nightclub deejay, a stand-up comic, a music critic, a restaurant critic, a movie critic, a humor columnist and a newspaper editor with a book to be published this spring.

I've also managed a Waffle House, sold Kirby vacuum cleaners, did telemarketing, sold aluminum siding, picked up trash, cleaned windows, flipped burgers, sold clothes at the mall, cleaned up construction sites and washed dishes in the school cafeteria to make ends meet while in college.

So I've had my share of demeaning jobs as well.

Each of my jobs have stories of their own. Today, I plan on chatting about my TV career that was snuffed out before I could ever kick it into high gear.

I had been on TV a few times before actually being on a show. Mostly on the news, when a camera would pan people sitting in the audience at press conferences that I attended while a reporter. I would always give my "poised yet concerned" look which would entail resting my chin on the knuckles of my hand and nodding affirmatively. When you give the camera a shot like that, you're BOUND to make it on TV.

But it was at a blood drive that I got my big break.

Bonnie B. (I'm protecting her last name)was a local woman who had her own cable access TV show called "This Week" back in 95-96. It was one of those shows that you would catch flipping channels and be mesmerized with it because it sucked so incredibly hard.

Bonnie wore these huge wigs all the time. Not really beehives, but it was just "big hair". She was an extremely attractive woman for her age (late 40s) and was married to a former bigwig with the Police Department, which helped her get her show, because it certainly wasn't her God-given talents.

Bonnie was in charge of this blood drive that I attended to take pictures of for the paper. She instantly recognized me (My picture is in each newspaper twice a week...I sometimes get recognized in public, but people usually spit at me) and started ranting about how much she loved my column and how I just crack her up. I thanked her, blah blah blah and she asked me to come co-host her cable show with her, thinking it'd be a blast.

...The exact same show that I sat and made fun of each week.

It didn't take me long to give her an answer.

"Sure."

She called me the next day and asked me to think of something funny to do for the show.

Since we were both in a hula-hooping contest for charity later that month, I thought we could do something with hula-hoops to promote that event.

So ... in my infinite wisdom, we did a "Tom Green"-like five minute piece where we went around town, walked up to strangers and asked them to hula-hoop for us while we filmed them for the show.

It went okay, and I enjoyed it. We got the city's big morning deejays to do it, as well as the local NBC affiliate's news team to do it. So it's kinda cool to see the lady that you're used to seeing reading the news doing a hula hoop thing in her office.

But then...the actual show itself. The hula-hoop thing which took three hours to film, would only cover the last five minutes of the show.

The other 25 minutes were shot the next day as she and I interviewed people in the studio who there to promote upcoming local events.

I was nervous as hell because I had worn a solid white shirt and a coat and tie to wear on the show. The producer asked if I had another shirt. Seeing as how I'm not a travelling Gap store, I said "no." He then asked me to never wear a solid white shirt on television again because it messes up the lighting. I felt as if when the show aired later that week, I'd be transparent.

I'll never forget the first people that I ever interviewed for television. It was two men who were promoting the upcoming State Fair. They had been working solidly for the last year, carving out a giant carousel horse that they brought on the show. The thing was huge and beautiful.

But what I'll never forget is this old guy's nose. It was huge. It was swollen from what looked to be bee stings but was probably alcohol abuse. It was twice the size of a normal nose, all puffy, red and indented.

I couldn't keep my eyes off of it.

I managed to blurt out two or three half-assed questions while Bonnie carried the interview. Meanwhile, I was staring at this guy's nose like it was about to chip and fall off.

I don't remember who else we interviewed that day. But it was four five minute interviews, our five minute Hula Hoop video and about five minutes of public service announcements filling up the show.

Bonnie said I did great and wanted me to do it again the following week.

Before I knew it, I was her permanent guest-host. I would take an afternoon off from the paper each week and spend it doing the show. Nobody minded because I plugged the newspaper each week.

The only problem in all of this is...I was horrible.

For years I had snickered at Bonnie B. and thought she was a bonafide idiot.

Now that she had me by her side, I made her look like Jane Pauley.

Meanwhile, I'm sitting next to her, looking like a poorly shaved ape, struggling desperately to practice my questions in my head so that when I say them I won't stumble over them like a one-legged hurdler.

Bonnie would CONSTANTLY be trying to get me to do something outrageous on the show to liven it up. Usually while we were talking to people who were trying to raise money to fight cancer or something of an equally serious nature. It was always during those moments she'd try to get me to admit I was a cross-dresser or something on her show.

I would just sit there and squirm uncomfortably, praying to God that I would still have a TV gig the following week even if I had disobeyed the hostess.

I ended up doing a total of eight shows with Bonnie before the cable company pulled the plug on our little show. Two months of local cable access stardom was enough for me anyway. The day I went in for that last show, she told me the show had been cancelled that afternoon. I was actually kind of excited. I had eight episodes on tape...that's enough to put anyone to sleep.

For Bonnie, that last show was heartbreaking. She had friends come on and "tried" to keep her composure.

For me it was just another afternoon I'd now have off to sit at home and play Nintendo.

Bonnie B. gave me the greatest business advice I've ever been given. She told me to do everything I could for my community for three years. And at the end of those three years, I would be paid back in spades.

And she was right. Every time something came up that I could lend a hand to, I did it. I'm now in my fourth year of "helping the community" and everything is cool in my world.

Now I get recognized in grocery stores by little old ladies who want to scold me for being so "racy".

You just can't beat that kiddies.

If I feel like it, I will tell y'all about my more successful but even worse SECOND television show later on.

I can see some of you have already wadded up yer panties and are waiting on pins and needles for it. I'll get started on it now.

P>Wow...I never knew you were a big time TV star like Keri Russell...

If ya wanna check out my other website, updated daily (BUT NOT TODAY...I DON'T FEEL SO WELL) with a REAL diary PLUS my diary this day in 1980 click here

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Chelsea Clinton.


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