Time and progress have come to the CollateralDamage household and we are getting rid of the land-line telephone. So we no longer have a group phone. That phone line is where, for the past 12 years, Carl Kassell‘s voice has resided. Unfortunately when I wrote that script for Carl (I should really put that on my resume) I made it specific and included our soon-to-be-gone phone number. Click here to listen to Carl as he answered our calls for so long.
I won this cherished item by correctly answering 4 (count ’em FOUR) questions about the news on NPR’s quiz show Wait, Wait … Don’t Tell Me. (It was their first year-end show and they upped the ante on the questions. They’ve never done it again and so I remain the only person ever to have gone 4 for 4.)
Having Carl’s voice is, in fact, every bit as cool as you think it is. More than once I have received messages about how cool a thing it is from people who have called the wrong number. And once a wrong number even called back to hear it again. Carl Kassell has also helped to encourage a certain sense of humility in me. Several times I have received a phone call from friends who said, in disappointed tones, “Oh … you’re home. I wanted to hear the message. If I call back, do you mind not answering?”
People frequently asked me how I got to be on the show. It’s a question I find confusing because the answer is so obvious: I called the number they repeat dozen times each week. No secret to it. I wonder if Wait, Wait … has a policy against two-time winners? I’m going to use the same tricky maneuver I used the last time — the telephone — and try to go for the gold again.
Until that happens I will cherish the cassette tape with the Wait, Wait logo on it and all that greatness within it.