Changing Things Up

Tina brought the Dodge Caravan to an abrupt stop. “We need to reflect on our choices,” she said to her boyfriend, Bill.

“Wait, what?” Bill asked. “What choices are you talking about?”

“I’m sorry, Bill,” Tina said, “but I’m getting tired of listening to the same old music with you, do you know what I mean?”

“You mean you want me to find another radio station?” Bill asked.

“What I mean, sweetie,” Tina said, “is that I need some variety in my life. Sometimes you just need to change things up a bit. You know, switch from the candy you’ve been eating for ages and find a different treat to satisfy your sweet tooth.”

“Are you saying what I think you’re saying, Tina?” Bill asked, a sense of gloom starting to overwhelm him.

“That depends on what you think I’m saying, Bill.”

“Well, Tina, I think you have a lot of gall,” Bill said. “You’re no prize, you know. It won’t be that difficult for me to find new girlfriend as a substitute for you.”

“Now what in the world are you babbling about, Bill?” Tina said. “All I’m saying is that I’m tired of us always listening to pop music on the radio. I want to start experimenting with listening to hip hop.”

“Well, dammit, Tina,” Bill said, “I wish you’d say things straight instead of always using those goddam metaphors or similes, or whatever you call those things.”

Tina reached over and grabbed Bill’s hand. “Bill, honey, do you really think I’m no prize?”

Written for these daily prompts: Ragtag Daily Prompts (caravan/substitute), Fandango’s One-Word Challenge (abrupt/gall), Word of the Day Challenge (reflect/gloom), Your Daily Word Prompt (music/candy), and The Daily Spur (variety/prize).

#WDYS — The Set Designer

“What the hell, people?” Arthur screamed at his staff. “I’m an Oscar-winning set designer, for crissake. This movie is supposed to be a period piece set in the 1950s. What is this radio doing on the set?”

“But Arthur,” one of Arthur’s young assistants said, “that radio has the look and feel of radios from the Fifties. It’s quite authentic.”

“And you know that how, Ryan?” Arthur snapped back. “You were born in the Nineties. You wouldn’t know a 1950s authentic radio if it bit you on your stupid ass.”

“I Googled 1950s radios and this radio looks like a lot of the images I saw,” Ryan defensively said.

Arthur reach over and grabbed the radio off of the table and thrust it in front of Ryan’s face. “What do you see?” he screamed.

Ryan carefully read the words at the bottom of the radio dial. “Um, you mean where it says it’s an MP3 player?”

“Yes,” Arthur said. “That and the fact that above the dial there’s USB port and a slot for an SD card. None of that technology existed in the 1950s, you imbecile. I don’t want a replica. I don’t want something designed to look like a 1950s radio. I want a goddam authentic 1950s radio. Do you understand?”

“But sir,” Ryan said, “this radio will be on a table in the background. No one will see any of that detail.”

Arthur forcefully threw the radio onto the floor, smashing it to pieces. “I won a fucking Academy Award, you idiot,” he said, practically frothing at the mouth. “Attention to detail is my calling card. My professional reputation is on the line. I will not stand for bogus crap like this. Now you go out and get me an authentic 1950s-era radio or don’t bother coming back at all.”

“Yes sir, right away sir,” Ryan said as he ran from the movie set.

Written for the What Do You See? Prompt from Sadje at Keep It Alive. Photo credit: Shche- Team @ Unsplash.

Song Lyric Sunday — You Turn Me On

For this week’s Song Lyric Sunday, Jim Adams chose the theme “Record/Juke Box/DJ/Radio.” I believe you can never go wrong with Joni Mitchell, which is why I chose her song, “You Turn Me On, I’m A Radio.”

Written and recorded in 1972 by singer and songwriter Joni Mitchell, “You Turn Me On, I’m A Radio” was released on her fifth studio album, For the Roses. It was also released as single, where it was her first top-forty hit in the United States, reaching number 25 on the Billboard Hot 100.

Joni’s record label was putting pressure on her to release a hit song, as very few of her singles hit the charts. So this song was her effort to get a popular hit. It lacks a chorus or any repetitive hooks, but because it is specifically about disc jockeys and radio stations, it got lots of airplay.

“I decided there were some ways to make a hit, increase the chances,” Mitchell said. “DJs have to like it, so you put a long part at the beginning and the end so the DJs can talk over it. Take a tender situation and translate it into commonly appealing songs for the DJs. It’d have to be a bit corny, so I wrote this little song called ‘Oh Honey, You Turn Me On, I’m A Radio.’”

The song is sung from the perspective of a radio, explaining all the ways it can please listeners. The station is always there to serve, and while it might not always have a clear signal, it knows what you want to hear.

Here are the lyrics to the song.

If you’re driving into town
With a dark cloud above you
Dial in the number
Who’s bound to love you

Oh honey you turn me on
I’m a radio
I’m a country station
I’m a little bit corny
I’m a wildwood flower
Waving for you
Broadcasting tower
Waving for you

And I’m sending you out
This signal here
I hope you can pick it up
Loud and clear
I know you don’t like weak women
You get bored so quick
And you don’t like strong women
‘Cause they’re hip to your tricks

It’s been dirty for dirty
Down the line
But you know
I come when you whistle
When you’re loving and kind

But if you’ve got too many doubts
If there’s no good reception for me
Then tune me out, ’cause honey
Who needs the static
It hurts the head
And you wind up cracking
And the day goes dismal

From “Breakfast Barney”
To the sign-off prayer
What a sorry face you get to wear
I’m going to tell you again now
If you’re still listening there

If you’re driving into town
With a dark cloud above you
Dial in the number
Who’s bound to love you

If you’re lying on the beach
With the transistor going
Kick off the sandflies honey
The love’s still flowing
If your head says forget it
But your heart’s still smoking
Call me at the station
The lines are open

A Look Back at Static

0D6326B4-1A62-4CA9-985F-B316F11E166FHow many of you are old enough to remember seeing static on your television screen? That is often what you saw if you turned on the TV after the stations had signed off for the night or before they signed on in the morning. (Yes, kiddies, there was a time many, many years ago when TV channels weren’t 24×7.)

Or, seeing static on your TV screen meant that you needed to get your ass up and out of your easy chair or off the sofa, walk over to the TV, and fiddle with the rabbit ears until a viewable image appeared.

Remember rabbit ears?


And then there were those times when you were at home or in your car trying to tune into your favorite AM radio station and all you could get was static, no matter how frantically you turned the knob in search of some familiar music.

24F8A67D-EED5-45F2-9B1A-D9A151246528Of course, this reminds me of the Steely Dan song “FM (No Static At All).”

And finally, how many times were you on the phone and heard crackling or hissing noises and have to say to the person on the other end of the line, “Let me call you back. There’s too much static.”

And that, my friends, is all I have to say about static today.

Written for today’s one-word prompt, “static.”