Filed under: The Inanity Files
During my morning commute I sometimes listen to a local radio station that plays mostly pop music and is geared toward a young audience. The radio personalities all purport to be in their mid to late 20s and the station airs Ryan Seacrest’s nationally broadcast midday weekly program, so you can imagine the demographic they’re aiming at. At least once a week the morning show does a bit entitled “War of the Roses.” The basic premise is to help the caller determine whether or not his or her significant other is cheating. So a girl will call in because she suspects her boyfriend is seeing someone else, and the DJ will call the boyfriend (with her on the line, silent) and pretend to be a flower company doing a promotion. The DJ offers to send a dozen roses free on the boyfriend’s behalf. If the boyfriend doesn’t name his girlfriend who called in as the recipient of the roses, then we have on-air proof that he’ s a cheating bastard. If he does name her as the recipient, then we have proof that she is crazy and jealous for no reason…or that her boyfriend has heard the radio show before and is hip to this game.
Now I don’t know about you, but I would be pretty skeptical if some random person called my cell claiming to want to send free roses on my behalf. I would assume it was a solictor, tell him not to call back, and hang up. I’m guessing that happens fairly often when they try to pull this stunt, but they don’t air those failures.
There are so many other reasons why this a dumb idea. I understand why the station does it, because God knows, people love train wrecks. What baffles me is why anyone calls into the show and volunteers to participate, because there are only a few possible outcomes, and none of them are good. To wit:
Best case scenario: Your boyfriend chooses to send the roses to you. This means one of two things: A. Since the two of you are dating, you probably live in the same area and possibly even listen to the same radio station or are at least semi-familiar with it, so your boyfriend knows about the show and is smart enough to play along and futher cover up his infidelity by acting like he didn’t know this conversation was staged by a radio DJ. He has the flowers sent to you and proclaims his deep and abiding love for you on the air. That’s touching, but you’re stupid, and he has effectively pulled the wool over your eyes YET AGAIN. Or, B. He really isn’t cheating on you and really didn’t know about the show, but now he’s super pissed off at you because you not only suspected him of cheating but chose to accuse him of it indirectly in a public forum. One time when I was listening, the guy said he was so excited he was chosen for this free flower promotion because he was going to propose and already had a dinner planned, so having flowers arrive at the dinner would be perfect. The girl interjected at that point to gleefully proclaim she would marry him, and after the DJ explained to this poor schmuck what was really going down, he rescinded the proposal. (I still wonder though if he never really intended on proposing at all and was a cheater, but knew about War of the Roses and decided to play along and make his girlfriend feel like a complete ass, thus putting her in the position of being super apologetic and afraid to ever accuse him of any wrongdoing again, thereby stringing her along even longer. In which case that man is an evil genius.)
Worst case scenario: He is cheating on you, and now you and the entire metropolitan area know it. Feel better?
I think some of the participants figure that if the person is cheating, what a better way to call him or her out on it than by embarrassing that person publicly and having the supreme joy of telling him off with the assistance of your local sympathetic radio DJ and the listening public. The problem with this route is that these people obviously have no shame. The cheaters usually take the indignant route and start justifying why they’re cheating and blaming the other party. They always, always act like jerks and are NEVER apologetic. And even if they were apologetic, would that help? It would obviously be a hollow apology made only after being caught red-handed. It means nothing and it’s insincere. And if your significant other is cheating, how does letting the whole world know that you were swindled improve the situation?
Probably the best one yet was this morning. It was a guy calling in to set up his girlfriend, and he knew she was cheating. How? Because she was pregnant and he had had a vasectomy before he met her. He was straight up honest about the fact that his intention was solely to humiliate her. Nice. One could make the argument that he should have told her about the vasectomy, but her reaction was priceless. She went from telling him this was crazy and that somehow he had managed to knock her up against all medical odds, to talking about the possibility that there be another explanation in about fifteen seconds. Her other explanation? She phrased it as a hypothetical situation that “people” sometimes experience…waking up drunk and not being sure what happened the night before or with whom. A bad liar and a drunken whore. Classy.
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