Thursday, December 24, 2009

T'was The Night Before

Some years, I’d be lucky. I’d close up the radio station after the midnight news, then hop in the car for the three hour drive to my parents’ house. Santa would be winging by overhead as I went down the highway. When that happened, I wondered why they called an obese man a “jolly old elf.” Fattest elf I ever saw in my life.

Years I have been lucky were when I did not have to work Christmas Day, the most dreary and boring day in radio. I could have skipped the Eve, as well, but at least I’d be home on The Day Itself. But having to leave the folks just to get back for a three-to-midnight shift, in itself a dog, was one of radio’s bad sides.

Other years, other radio stations … the party at WICC where the water flowed like alcohol. I still can’t understand why people could do their shifts. I think I wrote the news that evening as the token designated copywriter. I probably should have been in the studio spinning records as the last man standing.

Of course, that was pretty much standard at that place. Guys drinking hard stuff during their air shifts, things like that. It’s the book I could write.

The Night Before, when I was an altar boy, meant opening one gift when I got back from Midnight Mass. The Night Before, when I lived with my grandparents, was being allowed to stay up all night until 10:00, which was about the time I fell asleep; little kids never can make it until Santa shows up.


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