You know how Chooch became obsessed with that dumb radio trivia game last year when I started driving him to school? And he programmed the radio station’s # into his phone so he could call every morning?
Well, it finally happened. Last Monday, he called, and they answered. My reaction? Aw, come the fuck on.
Especially when the co-host Melanie asked, “OK Riley, and who you got with you?” So, he introduced me (Mom Erin) and his friend Zakk who had hitched a ride with us (Friend Zakk) and now we all had to play the dumb trivia game.
I was pretty irritated because I really hate this radio station, and the hosts of the morning show are like, ugh. Not as over the top as some morning show DJs out there, but Bubba especially can get pretty wound up and they just play shitty music overall (Top 40 shit like Post Malone and that SUPER UNCOMFY Nicki Minaj song that plays every single time when they tell people to call for Escalation and I casually turn it way down because that is NOT the song you want your ears to experience in tandem with the ears of teenage boys.
Anyway, now here we are, on hold while the rest of SUPER FREAK plays on the radio (it is always this song right before Escalation!), waiting for Bubba to put us on the air. Bubba is notorious for SCREAMING the Escalation announcement, super screechy and out-of-tune. As of late, he’s been giving callers the opportunity to weigh in if they want it loud or, I dunno, delicate. I usually turn the volume down because I can’t handle it.
He asked Chooch how he wanted it and Chooch was all, against everything we believe in, “I dunno, go big I guess, sure, why not.” UGH UGH UGH WE ARE SUCH SELL OUTS.
Very quickly, because I’m already tired of writing this since I have talked about it like 27 times since it happened, Escalation is 5 questions, starting at $5. If you get it right, you can give the money back and keep playing for more, or you can take what you’ve won and call it a day. The first question is always really easy. Ours was, “Blank on a shelf.”
Second: “Name a drink you can make with powder.”
I was .00005 seconds away from screaming Tang, but Chooch beat me to it with, “Chocolate milk.”
Mmm, ok. Go off with you chocky milk.
Third question is always – and here, Bubba pauses and makes the caller say MULTIPLE CHOICE: “How many pieces are on a chess board.” I flat out said, “Oh I don’t know this one” but Chooch the savant is over there counting the imaginary chessboard he drew up in the space in front of him and got it right. Thank god someone in our house knows how to play chess!
Fourth question they directed to me since it involved alcohol: Something about what the measurement of alcohol is called in liquor. This was fresh on my mind having just walked past like 7 moonshine distilleries when we were in Tennessee. Chooch was relieved because he didn’t know it.
The last question, well, I’ll let you watch it:
I mean, yay us for winning $100, but man, I can’t we sold out AGAIN by actually saying, “I love you” back. I always said I would never say it and there I was, being all fake. I told my hair stylist about it today and she was like, “I always thought that was so weird that he says that to every caller. I hate that for you.”
But can I just say that I don’t know where Waterloo came from? You can even hear it in my voice, I do not sound confident about this. In fact, after I said it, I was convinced that it was wrong and that there was some coven of actually smart Bubba Show listener-Yinzers out there scoffing at my blondness. Literally all of my friends were like, “You probably knew it from Abba.”
I assure you, even though I know Abba songs, that is not one of them. (I googled it and laughed so hard when I saw that the literal first line is about Napoleon surrendering in Waterloo?!) I clearly learned it at some point in school and it was just…repressed.
The one good thing is that this show is on so early in the morning, so I figured probably no one I actually know was listeing. But when I was telling my friend Margie about winning on the radio the next day at work, she goes, “Wait–WATERLOO???” She fucking heard us but missed the beginning and didn’t realize it was me. Great, now I’m Waterloo Girl, I guess.
Even back in high school, I never wanted to be on the radio but I was ALWAYS calling in to request songs. Every time, without fail, I would say that I was Susie from Clairton, but 95% of the time, I was calling LiteFM and I’m quite sure I was part of the 1% of teenagers tuning in for their daily dose of Gina Vannelli and Barry Manilow.
I was cruising on this adrenaline autobahn for quite some time because even though I hated hated hated having to be performative on the radio, it was cool to win, you know? But then that night, Chooch came down the steps and, apropos of nothing, scoffed, “I wish the last question was something different, something I knew the answer to.”
“OH, THERE IT IS!” I cried, knowing that this was probably eating him up inside, the little competitive bitch. “You can’t stand the fact that I won it for us!”
“It’s still my $100,” he said, retreating back to his room to pout.