Lah-di-dah-di, lah-di-dah-di, off the hook is how I party!
The past two weeks, I’ve been driving from West Chester down to Herndon, VA a lot. It’s turning into a rhythm: wheels turning at 6AM, turn on Y100’s morning show until they fade out at the Maryland border, catch the traffic reports to see whether to risk the 95/495 Beltway route, or take the safer 695/70/15 end run around Frederick, MD.
The traffic reports make it clear that Baltimore and Washington are a single metropolitan area, in a way that NYC and Boston aren’t. 695 and 495 are the ends of the barbell, and 95 connects the two ends with a turgid mass of bumper-to-bumper traffic. Traffic reports aren’t for the uninitiated, because (I assume) if they had to explain everything to you the report would take an hour. “28 is backed up from Whitemarsh to the JFX, take 1 instead unless you’re left handed, ’cause we all know what that means.” I don’t know what that means, so I’ve been avoiding things by turning west at the slightest hint of trouble. And I spend a lot of time listening to the radio.
The radio is much funnier in the Baltimore/Washington metro area than it is in Philly, New York, or Boston. My favorite right now is the Russ Parr Morning Show Featuring Olivia Fox which doesn’t follow the standard mold of “let’s look up the stories on Yahoo! ‘Oddly enough‘ and make dumb jokes about it. Okay, actually that’s exactly their mold, but they do a much better job of it. I snarfed my coffee yesterday when Russ imitated a beagle getting molested. A beagle getting molested is easy to do, you see, but it’s hard to do well.
Last week, I tried to call into the show for the “white people check-in”, a Wednesday morning feature, (“Hello, caller, how are you? That’s peachy!”) but their phone screener, the “Black Panther Princess”, accused me of faking — I sounded “too white” to her. When I told her I lived in Philly, she said that everyone from Philly is black, told me to work on my imitation, and hung up.
Anyhow, the hip-hop radio stations in Baltimore are much better — newer music, funnier DJs, more enthusiastic callers-in — than the, uh… white people stations, I guess. Viz.: the difference between the “Smoking Stops Here” ads played in Maryland. “Pajama Jammy Jam” is aired on 92Q (“Bangin’ B-more with hip-hop and R&B!”) “Rocktoberfest“, aired on HFS (alternative rock).
See what I mean? HOLLER!