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Scott Simon is my BITCH! The true story of the most depraved NPR junket ever

Back in the golden age of radio - well, the golden age of radio SALES - when ad reps had four-martini-lunch expense accounts and eight-martini-Happy-Hour slush funds, and payola wasn't considered a premium form of whole-grain cereal...

Back in the good ol' days, I'm told, there were legendary junkets whereupon a radio salesperson (like me) would take a client or two (like, say... representatives of a gigantic, world-dominating, Internet search-engine and a cool web start-up) to an out-of-town location... perhaps a concert? Then said sales rep would ply them with hookers and crackpipes... or at least concert tickets and copious schwag that would resemble a Texas-high-school football recruit's haul of Camaros and underage cheerleaders back in the glory days of the Southwest Conference.

... And then, and only then, would they proceed to make some memories.

Business may or may not have been discussed... but much fun would have been had by all, and bonds would have been posted by shady organizations, and perpetrators would have been released from the county lockup under the cover of unmarked taxicabs, and vaccination records would have been doctored to protect the innocent, and then (and only then) would the "OUT OF TOWN RULE" have come into play - the "OUT OF TOWN RULE" being the precursor to "What Happens in Vegas stays in Vegas."

This was, after all, the 1970s... when I was about 6 (years old).

Fast forward 30 years... to the following true story (or not) of the most debauched and depraved National Public Radio junket ever undertaken (actually, probably the ONLY NPR junket ever undertaken that did not involve Diane Rehm reciting Shakespeare at a poetry slam or Robert Siegel singing Kum-Ba-Yah at a vegan protest).

You thought you'd heard the stories about Carl Kassell doing the Macarena atop the bar at Coyote Ugly... You'd caught whispers of Susan Stamberg filling a bathtub with her family's cranberry relish and Tanqueray gin... You claimed you saw a grainy photo that purported to be Corey Flintoff doing bong-hits in Fred Flintstone pajamas... And yes, on YouTube, you'd searched, however fleetingly, for records of Scott Simon singing the theme song to Shaft at a karaoke drag bar in Sao Paolo.

He's a bad mother- Shut your mouth! ... But that was before Stacy B found her way to San Jose.

Draw the acid bath, fire up the rubbing alcohol eyewash, prepare to scour your ears, and read on if you dare:


For the bar tab alone, we need to host a supplemental pledge drive.

Um, the guy in the blue sweater is Eddie Van Halen... I'm standing next to him. I have no idea who the other two people are. We picked them up on the side of the road... outside the parking lot of this weird corporate campus (that could have been a Scientology or Branch Davidian compound) where they had swimming treadmills and a tyrannosaurus rex eating plastic pink flamingos and mobile haircuts and PONG and free laundry and a rule that no engineer could be more than 100 feet from food (FREE FOOD - which is good when you have consumed enough alcohol to power an alternative-fuels car for 12 miles)... and FREE BEER (which, I assure you, is NOT a perk at NPR headquarters in Washington)... and they kept saying things like "BRITNEY SPEARS WHOLESOME LIFESTYLE!" and "DAVID LEE ROTH BIBLE STUDY!" ... but I have no idea why, something about unique queries.

I've got your unique query right here: Who are these people?

They seemed to be having a good time... and this was before the paid talent showed up, but after we scandalized the underage bass player by emptying the contents of his hotel mini-bar (HE WASN'T DRINKING IT - WHY LET IT GO TO WASTE?)

Oh, and at this weird compound, they also had a "ball pit" - which is like a mosh pit, only less unseemly - IF YOU'RE AT A CHUCK-E-CHEESE FOR HOBOES. But not here. Don't say I didn't warn you:

ball pit.jpg

Yeah, it was that bad. Some things just shouldn't be repeated... so here's the executive summary, but don't read this if your name is Carl Matthusen... or Kevin Klose... or Jim Taszarek {since it will violate the sensitivity training you just paid for last week} Too late. Sorry...

1) We need only $478 to cover the remainder of this bar tab... So PLEASE, won't you call now with your pledge of support?
2) One of the people in one of the above photographs now believes he should have a vasectomy before 2008 is over.
3) If you're going to have a vasectomy, you can go with frozen peas, frozen corn or even frozen asparagus, as long as you quarantine space in your freezer to store it during recharges.
4) There is a big difference between an orthopedic surgeon and a urologist
5) Only ride the carnival ride if the operator has a full complement of teeth.
5.1) If the ride operators can combine to create full dental work, pick your ride, grab your ... pre-vasectomy package ... and hope to God that the ride maintenance man has half his real teeth.
6) The bars at the HP Pavillion in San Jose close at around 9:30 PM (!?!?!) and they allow only 2 drinks per person which makes it difficult to open doors - and besides, what's the point, except to remind you to take your flask... after you raid the mini-bar because you're here to party like {aunts-by-marriage of} rock stars! But come to think of it, [aunts-by-marriage of] rock stars would probably have brought their flasks in the first place (or at least they would've packed an ice chest).
7) You can't have this much fun busting Donald Rumsfeld at the Spearmint Rhinocerous (even with nightvision - and we know this for a fact) - so take that, NPR Headquarters in Washington!
8) THE OUT OF TOWN RULE STAYS IN PLAY (even when you get back in town - so no, Scott Simon, I won't disclose whether it really happened. You'll just have to look at the photographic record below and determine for yourself.)



Great story! Keep 'em coming!

By the way, I once saw Bob Edwards play the theremin. Does that score me any pubradio nerd points?

Brilliance! However, I did enjoy hearing about your concert antics and the visit to the-place-we-shall-not-name over dinner and glasses of wine a little more. How can you replace the storytelling experience that is Stacy Live?