5:45 a.m., my fingers hover near the mic button. I'm about to punch it and go live on the air to talk about the
next song and to promote Shirley Q. Liquor, the nurse's aide who's going to tell us one of her funny stories--this one about the Holy Ghost Revival, Catfish-fry and Liquor Throwdown coming up at her church. I'm groovin' to the Al Green song that's about to end, when--suddenly--the worst thing that can be heard on a morning show fills my earphones....
I rip off the headset and lurch out of my chair yelling, "Crap! Not again!" (I think I said 'Crap.' I'm not sure.)
I burst through the soundproof door to the other studio, startling the almost-naked man standing on a folding chair with his head above the frame of the drop-ceiling.
"Deacon, you did it again!"
The groggy d-j who, except for his baldness, is a dead ringer for Samuel L. Jackson, bends down from the crawl space and says, "Whassup?"
"You messed with the wiring again!" I yell. "You gotta quit doing this, man!"
Deacon, one of the best deejays I have ever worked with, waves an open switchblade. "Thought it was a snake."
"I told you there's not any snakes in that ceiling! There's nothing up there but wires!"
"I hid sumpin' up here. Lookin' for it. Saw a snake."
"You've got to quit hidin' stuff in the station, Deacon!"
"Sumpin' important. And I turned around and it was a snake."
"Why don't you go to the roof, man? Get ready for your space ship?"
Deacon becomes animated, nearly falls off the chair but catches a loop of wire and steadies himself. "You seen it? You seen it, man? It's really there! Between two stars and gettin' bigger every night. It's comin', man!"
"Well, go wait for it then. And be careful climbing up the drain pipe."
"You comin', too, Randy? You a good man. You deserve to get out of this place."
"Yeah, I'll be there a little later."
"And I.B? And Plucker? And Mr. Winky? And Shirley Q. Liquor?"
In Deacon's state at this particular time, it would do no good to remind him that I.B. Flyin', Plucker and Mr. Winky are all just different versions of me--figments of my imagination presented on my show as separate individuals--and that Shirley Q. Liquor is an Internet comedian.
"You think there's enough room for all of us, Deacon?"
"I'll make room, man. You good folks. You deserve to escape."
"Thanks, man. We'll be there. But first you've got to get your clothes on."
"I forgot where I left 'em."
"Well, I'll help you look after I call the engineer to come see what you did. Now give me your knife before you fall and cut yourself."
"Nobody gets my blade, man." Deacon closes the switchblade against his pubic area and steps off the chair. "Nobody gets my blade."