The Cat is Outta The Bag
by AK - December 15, 2013
Sunday Morning Bed Time Story – The Cat is Outta The Bag
This is one of those stories I don’t have every detail on. I was involved in what went down at different points of this story that was 8 months in the making. I was involved initially, then some point mid-way, then the aftermath. So I can only provide info on what I know, what I remember, and what I was told happened.
When Rick and Suds were in afternoons, one of the best parts of the show was undoubtedly the callers. There’s just something about the guys that brought out interesting, unique personalities. Maybe it was that by late afternoon folks were ready to let loose and play around. Once R&S went to morning drive, the callers just weren’t the same; people are too busy and too angry about having to go to work to play fun and games like riding over their cordless phones with a lawnmower or putting their heads in a toilet, or vomiting on the air just for the fun of it.
One of those unique callers with a unique job was a guy whose job it was to drive dead animals, mostly roadkill, but also deceased pets, and “take care of them”. They were freeze dried, then incinerated or something like that. (This is one of those details I don’t remember the nitty gritty of). Anyway, it was really, really interesting, and a little educational, but really odd, and we were all fascinated. When I say we, I mean Rick, Suds, Marvin and I. I was producing Randi’s show, but I was ALWAYS hanging around the R&S Show, and spent a ton of time helping out, sitting in the control room during their show, and just joining in the mayhem.. but I digress.
So the guy comes by the station and leaves a freeze dried cat, curled into a perfect circle like it was sleeping, in a black, plastic trash bag.
WTF do you do with that?
You put it in the freezer of course. DUH. So we did.
And the guys would make jokes on the air about it being downstairs in the nearly-never cleaned out refrigerator downstairs in the cafeteria.
“We got anything to give away Marvin?” Rick would ask.
“Just the cat in the freezer, dude” Marvin would say on air from the control room.
We all just figured everyone knew.
Every now and then, while shuffling things around down there in the freezer I’d take a peek, or feel the curved backbone of the kitty through the plastic bag, and grab my lunch or whatever. I can’t imagine what everyone else assumed when they felt a cat-head and ears through that garbage bag.
So… fast forward months and months later. Rick and Suds are in Morning Drive. I think by then Randi is gone, Marvin is gone, and Phil is on in afternoon drive. And it’s his birthday.
From what I understand… again.. I wasn’t there for this part of the story… someone got Phil an ice cream cake. And they’re having a difficult time getting it to fit in the freezer. As I’ve mentioned, the thing was never cleaned out.. so I’m sure that the process of trying to get a cake box to fit in there was like playing Tetris on a grand scale. Old Tupperware lunches dating back to the Civil War, frozen TV dinners, Microwave lean cuisines, ice cream containers, and some round hard thing in a big black plastic bag. And someone opened the bag. And flipped. The fux. Out.
Like crying and shrieking and hyperventilating. I don’t know if it was Mercy, the super nice, Spanish speaking, middle-aged overweight accounting-marm. Or Stephanie, the gravel voiced, scrappy traffic department manager. All I know is Jennifer Rehm, News Director and Anchor during Phil’s show, lost her mind.
So I show up the next day at 4am and as I pass the lunchroom on my way up the stairs to the studio, I notice the fridge is empty. And spotless. And open. And caution taped.
And by the time the show is over, everyone in the building has come into the control room to ask me about the cat, and tell me about what happened the day prior when someone opened the plastic garbage bag and reacted like there was a dead infant in it. And the lunch room was closed down and disinfected like it was a bloody biohazard scene.
I was apathetic about it, because I’d assumed everyone in the place knew it was in there. It wasn’t a secret; they’d talked about it before, during, and for month after. But the fact that a dead, freeze dried cat was in a plastic bag in the lunchroom freezer was now something that there was going to be an investigation into.
I was called into the Program Director’s office and asked about it.
“Did you put it there?” “No” “But you knew it was there?” “Who didn’t? It’s been there almost a year. Anyone listening to the afternoon show and morning show would have known about it. It wasn’t a secret. It’s freeze-dried. Sterile. Anyone could have opened that bag and seen it. It wasn’t a secret. It’s the cat in the freezer” “Ok. Thanks.”
And that was it from what I know. I don’t know if Rick and Suds got in trouble. We talked about it, but if they ever got in trouble they never told me.
But Jennifer Rehm didn’t speak to me again, ever.
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