25 Days of Thanks- Day 5

Thankful- NPR

I used to be a huge political talk radio fan.  We’re talking everything from the humorous to the hardcore angry talk radio.

Back then, NPR was just the station that got made fun of on Saturday Night Live.

Then one day, a friend of mine turns to me and says, “Hey, you ever listen to This American Life?”.  I told her I had no idea what the show was.  She mentioned the topic that came on and thought I would really like it.  I quickly forgot all about the topic but the show title stuck with me.

A little while later, I start flipping through the stations on a Saturday morning, because my usual one was out thanks to a storm.  And I pass by hysterical laughing.  I quickly pass the station but then curious, I turn back to hear what was going on.  The laughter had ceased and the announcer says, “Our next Limerick please…”

Now being the good Irishman that I am, I never pass up a good limerick.

The other host shares the limerick with a caller on the line and leaves out the last word.  If I remember correctly it was about a geeky news story that week.  So now, you’ve got two of my interests and I shout out the answer.  The caller can’t figure it out and by this point I’ve got the radio speaker up to my mouth like a microphone shouting the answer as if it going to pass through.  The caller finally gets it and I use my sleeve to clear the fog off the radio screen.

Turns out it was a NPR show called “Wait Wait…Don’t Tell Me”.  And I was hooked.  Humor, current events, and limericks.  Jackpot.

The conversation about This American Life pops into my head and it turns out that I was about to take a long road trip.  Double Jackpot as I thought, there’s a bunch of episodes here.  It’ll get me through the trip.  I’ll give it a shot.  And I was hooked.  Humor, great writing, and a guy with a voice that you just don’t find anywhere else on the dial.

Act 3- How Do You Get To Sleep?

(This American Life Inside Joke)

Growing up, I used to get to sleep with talk radio.  Specifically Coast to Coast AM with Art Bell.  I heard all about ghosts, monsters, and UFOs.  Perfect for any 13-year-old with an imagination the size of the moon.  But it got me to sleep.

Times have changed and what’s best for me now is just a quick few minutes of the radio.  I’d especially love it when I got to bed right around the :00 or the :30 of every hour because that’s when you’d hear a quick news recap.

But then I found the NPR app for the iPhone.  Genius app because it allows me to listen to all of these programs plus, there’s a section just for the news update.  So no matter what time I get to bed, I turn on the app, click on newscast, and probably before the 4 minutes of news is up, I’m off to La La Land.


Tonight’s news will most likely be centered on the passing of Nelson Mandela today.  His impact on the world will and should grow beyond his death.  His words take on new life as many search for the right way to express their thanks, their admiration, and their respect for the courage he showed.  I’d like to echo one more quote to the thoughts and condolences folks are sharing…

Education is the most powerful weapon which you can use to change the world.  -Nelson Mandela

Don’t ever stop learning.  Don’t ever stop encouraging others to learn.

Thanks for reading…



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