Monday, March 24, 2008

Here, grab this mic, or, TANSTAAFL! 

So I get an invite to a Dennis Prager talk from the station tonight, as did all of NARN. Late last week we were asked to put forward someone who will emcee the event. I had never seen Prager talk before and thought it a good thing to see (I had met him ever so briefly onces before, at a state fair event.) So I accepted the ticket, but, given I had to teach late this PM and worried about traffic, thought it would be better if someone else did this. Usually, you cannot keep Mitch away from the microphone and he's better at it anyway.

I had not planned on having dinner because of the schedule anyway, so I was surprised by light traffic and hit the Northland Inn around 6:15. They get me a seat in the dinner anyway, I get to talk a minute with Prager -- who is as nice as you would expect if you listen to his show; he says there's no radio-Dennis vs. real-life-Dennis, and from what I see that is right. I get my chicken (no use to this vegetarian, and at this stage not replaceable so I did without a main course), push it aside and talk with Fraters three and Nih(i)list. Over comes station management: We need someone to stall for Dennis, he's running late. (The dinner guests were to get personal pics with Prager, more on which in a minute.)

Now, walking into a room of 40-75 people and talking for 10 minutes is easy, and a studio with just a mic and a producer, well, that's fun. But this thing was sold out, and I had no idea how big the ballroom was. Something "sold out" placed in the "Grand Ballroom" isn't likely to be 75 people.

It wasn't. It was 600. And save for the picture-takers wandering down in twos and threes, it was full.

It was at this point I realized, there ain't no such thing as a free lunch. Or even a chicken you gave away.

I suppose I did OK. It did not help that one of my Celtic heroes, Wolves GM Kevin McHale, was in the audience in the front row, or that the room was darkened and a bright spotlight was on the podium. But in and out, maybe three minutes tops (they wanted ten, and I think my facial expression in response convinced them that was not a good idea.) Apparently I did well enough that they had me give a minute as a close to get Prager out of the hall without being stopped by 50 fans.

Me, I got five on the way out.

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