I walked outside shutting the door behind me quietly as our house is one big echo. I walked to my garage and I hear, “Hello neighbor!” loud and clear. It was our neighbor next door, up at the crack of dawn and ready to take on the world. I still hate those kinds of people who don’t believe in sleeping. I immediately put my finger to my lips to shush him up and to remind him that certain people still sleep at a quarter after six in the morning. He gave his stupid little giggle and apologized. I crossed the driveway to see what the hell he wanted.
“Hello, Henry. How’s the garden coming?” Henry is one of those guys that had no real hobbies but watering his garden at 6:15 in the morning and then drinking beer on his front porch the rest of the day, taking notice of each and every car that went down the street and every game the neighborhood kids played as well.
“Just great, just great.” He also repeated everything he said as if he forgot what he said two milliseconds after he said it. “What brings you out on this beautiful day, huh, why so early?”
“I’m off to the gym, Henry. I’m late, I really have to go, see you later.” I said as I turned away and headed for the garage again. “Okay, Joel,” he shouted as I pulled my garage door up. “Don’t work too hard. Life’s way too short. Way too short, Joel, ok?” I nodded back and then realized he was shouting again so the whole damn neighborhood could hear him.
I got into my car, an Oldsmobile I picked up for a couple hundred. I always left Sylvia the SUV, and I don’t mind taking the junker anyway. For the couple hundred that I paid for it, I definitely got some mileage out of it and more. At times, it feels as though the damn thing is feeding off my own life force. Seriously, for all the asphalt the damn thing’s devoured, roughly 200,000 miles worth, something’s got to keep it going and it sure as hell isn’t the gas. Too bad it can’t make me as skinny as it makes my wallet. I waved at Henry as I pulled out of the driveway and waited until I was completely into the street before I turned on the radio.
Like I said earlier, I own a radio station. WFIX, “The Fixx” is our slogan. It plays nothing but popular jazz and a little bit of light rock that is practically considered jazz anyway. Personal favorites of the DJ’s are Harry Connick Jr. (obviously) Diana Krall, and Boney James. We try to target a young audience and it’s worked somewhat so far but not entirely the way I would like it to. I came up with the idea to own a station a couple of years ago and Sylvia and I saved every penny for two straight years to earn the down payment on the building. It’s been up and running for about a year and half and has come a long way.
When I turned on the radio my favorite DJ, Larry was on. He was one of the main reasons why I agreed with Sylvia to get up every morning to go to the gym. I get to listen to him before I even get to work.
He’s been with the Fixx since day one, and sounds excellent on the air. Larry’s also a big Harry Connick Jr. fan, so I don’t doubt it was him who played Come by Me this morning. Larry was trying to get listeners to guess the song that played at an exact time. It’s a little marketing thing to get people to listen to us in the morning. If someone actually knew the song Larry was requesting, we gave away small prizes; the Fixx T-shirts, a little bit of cash, or free passes to some theme park, whatever Larry felt like giving away that particular morning. Today, it was a T-shirt. It’s amazing what people will do to get something for nothing.
“Come with Me by Jerry Cossick, Jr.!” some idiot caller screamed over the airwaves. I laughed along with Larry. Like I said, it’s simply amazing what people will do for a lousy T-shirt.
“I’m sorry, that’s incorrect. But hang on the line and you’ll find the real answer, next caller.” I knew what Larry was doing. He was setting up the idiot caller to really sound like an idiot, when he found out that he had the answer right but couldn’t pronounce it. I love this guy!
“Come by Me, by Harry Connick, Jr.” the next caller said.
“Congratulations, you are…” Larry started but got interrupted by the idiot hanging on the other line waiting for the right answer.
“FUCK YOU, LARRY!” the idiot caller shouted and then hung up. I laughed and laughed all the way to the gym. Its days like this that going to the gym isn’t really all that bad. I listened as Larry gave away his stinking T-shirt and laughed his way through it. As Larry took the winning caller’s information, he replayed the song that made the caller a winner. Great, now I got to hear that damn song one last time before I actually got to the gym. Oh well, I sang along, giving the song a whole new meaning. By the time the song ended on that wonderful high note, I was pulling into the gym parking lot.
It’s amazing how many people are awake at the ass crack of dawn to put themselves through physical exertion. I finally found myself a parking spot, and got my things out of the trunk. I always carried my portable MP3 player with FM tuner with me so that I could continue listening to Larry’s show. I walked in flashing my ID and immediately headed for the weight room. I really didn’t feel like doing any running this morning. I got my MP3 player tuned in to the Fixx and began to stretch.
As I started to stretch I noticed there were less people in the weight room than usual. Most people it seemed would rather jog or do few laps around the pool this morning. Maybe this wouldn’t be such a bad day after all. It seemed to start off good with my Count Chocula, the idiot caller, and the small population in the weight room. But then again, there was that weird dream….
Oh, well, better not mess with a good thing.
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