In 10 years as a DJ on WMPG I was never bitten by any kind of animal. Humans, maybe, but no animals. The other night I co-hosted Stuck in the 80s with my friend Ron Raymond Jr.; he was in the ‘MPG studio in Portland, Maine, and I was Skype-ing in from Springfield. It was a four-hour show, which meant I needed to come up with at least three and a half hours of music because the Patriots were playing and I wouldn’t get a lot of calls. Maybe it wasn’t the Pats. There was a football game on, in any case. Ron’s ending his show on February 12 and I was flattered and honored that he’d ask me to program one of his last few shows.
So I’m living with my parents these days and they have two dogs, an older corgi-chihuahua mix named Little Bob, and a Shih-tzu named Leo, also known as Poor Wee Leo. Leo has a few (several) issues, possibly from abuse, possibly that’s just how he’s wired. He was a rescue who’d had a couple of homes before my parents found him and he can be sweet as pie. He loves to play. He lines up all his toys on the couch, Monster Baby and Monkey Baby and Candy Cane Baby and all the other babies. He has a raging crush on Phaedra, the dog next door (she is easily ten times his size) and he’ll sit at the fence for hours just waiting for her to come out. Unfortunately Leo sometimes bites when he is startled. Many things startle Leo, and even more things just plain frighten him, like the waffle iron, the wind, and Devo.When he is frightened he will climb into the nearest lap and tremble. My mother tells me over and over not to coddle him, but he’s only 12 pounds and his little heart just beats so fast when he’s frightened! So on Sunday mornings I eat my waffles with Poor Wee Leo shivering in my lap, bundled up in his comfort towel. Oddly enough, he never tries to eat my waffles, as Little Bob surely would if he could still jump up onto chairs. (And stop calling him Shirley!)
I said hello, Ron said hello, and he started the first set. I took a selfie of me and Poor Wee Leo and looked over my playlist, telling Ron what to play next. Then Ron and I were back on mic. I was sitting on my bed, leaning back against the wall with the laptop and mouse on a lap desk (in my lap, obviously). Leo was curled up by my left hip, snoozing away. I reached for my mouse, which I use with my left hand. As I was back-announcing the set, something nudged Leo, and he jumped up, growled, and bit down on what was in front of him: my left hand. It hurt like a bastard. I shrieked, the computer slipped off the lap desk, and Leo kept growling. Ron had no idea what was going on because he couldn’t see Leo, just saw me jump and then the computer fell. I righted the computer, and kept talking. My hand was bleeding and Leo was bitching in his weird, almost human way. And we finished the station break.
The rest of the show was EXCELLENT! It was great to be on the air, and it was just like my old weekly show POWERHAUS, just whatever I felt like playing. At one point I needed a break and asked Ron to program a set – read the playlist on Spinitron and see if you can guess which set is his. My hand is fine – it’s a really shallow cut, but Leo’s tooth must have dinged a tendon, which prompted my on-air shriek. As I write this Poor Wee Leo is curled up by my feet. Actually, he’s in the center of the bed. My feet are hanging off the edge. And that’s okay.
Find the playlist at Spinitron!