"This is Blunt!" "Because of the FCC, I'm never sure of what it is I'm allowed to say. These are the words you will not be hearing ... " "Well, I'm not a crook. I've earned everything ... " The voices of famous comedians, past presidents, and most importantly, teenagers fill the small on-air studio. The pulsing music fades as I bring the volume down. Up goes the orange switch on the sound board controlling mixer nine, hooked up to the performance studio. I wave my arms frantically at David, one of the hosts, and he begins. "Hi, I'm your host, David," but is interrupted by Bethany, "And I'm your host, Bethany, and tonight's show is on strait edge. But first, a report from our star reporters, Shoni Currier and Alex Olynek."
With some quick maneuvering I bring down mixer nine, and at the same time hit the switch that starts the ATR, a huge reel-to-reel machine with the report. Alex's voice fills the room, and I slap on my headphones and adjust the volume. I could feel the energy pick up. Everyone knew tonight was going to be a good show. Alex is still interviewing someone when I hear a break in the report and the words "Blunt, 3-2-1." Oh oh, I think to myself, what just happened? The report starts over, and this minor engineering crisis has been averted. The report was cued up in the wrong spot, but our founder and radio expert, Claire, assures me it was not my fault. She says the producers should have spliced that part out of the tape.
I shake off the report incident and listen closely to Alex's report. He has done his homework, and the topic is interesting. If my mistake is the only one of the night, we will be lucky. I listen, and bring the performance studio back on air after Alex's sign-off. I wave wildly again, and this time there is no delay. Right away David and Bethany give the studio ID (90.9, WMPG Gorham/Portland), introduce the guests, and give the phone number. I pray that we get many calls tonight. Answering the phones is my favorite job, and right away my prayer is answered. "WMPG. This is Blunt." It's Emily, one of our hosts and reporters, and she asks to be on the air. Bethany waits for the appropriate moment and interrupts the guest "But, we have a call from Emily in Portland. Emily, are you there?"
The whole show goes like this. I'm constantly answering calls, and by eight I have to force the hosts to take a break before they get tired. I motion with my hands as if I'm breaking a pencil, then bring down mixer nine and bring CD mixer one up. Strait edge music pounds through the air, and I swivel around in my chair.
I bring the first song down and start the second one up. I continue chatting with the DJ who has the show after ours. I fill him in on our show when I hear some explicit lyrics, I think. I listen more closely and I hear them again. Looks like our first mishap wasn't going to be the only one. Swearing is the one thing not allowed on WMPG, especially since Blunt just received a grant from a group in Maine discouraging drug use. Luckily the hosts are set to go. I bring the song down slowly, letting it fade, and wave my hands at the hosts again.
The second half of the show continues as before, and we get some good calls. A woman calls and asks a few questions about Blunt. I explain that it airs every Monday night, and that as far as we know, it is the only all-teen run call-in radio talk show in America.
At 8:30 it is time to leave. The hosts end the show by thanking the callers, the guests, the producers, the reporters, and me. I'm happy to be mentioned. There is nothing like the thrill of hearing your name over the air. I figure my fifteen minutes of fame will last me a long time if my name is mentioned over the radio for less than one minute every Monday night.
I bring the performance studio down and roll the ending cart. "This was Blunt!" teenagers yell before the Doors belt out, "This is the end, my only friend, the end." I take the cart down and bring up the next DJ's CD. I stand up and stretch, fast forward the tape that's been recording the show for the archives, and head out the door. The performance studio is still brightly lit.
I wave good-bye to everyone and head to my car. No ticket sits on the windshield, and I sigh in relief. I unlock the door, blast the heat, and turn the radio up. I hum a little jazz as I back out of the parking lot. The radio is on Channel 90.9, WMPG Gorham/ Portland. fl
This piece has been published in Teen Ink’s monthly print magazine.