sign of the radio station is sung “KB 92!”
Voiceover says, “You’re
listening to KB 92, Kansas City’s best late night talk with Walter Odel.”
Walter Odel voice calmly states,
“Good evening listeners, you’re here with Walter Odel and tonight’s topic, Who is the Black Man in the 21st
Now, I was born on the Paseo
just 5 miles from this very spot. My mother and father, yes I said father, worked
at Halmark down at the Plaza; dad maintenance, mom 2nd shift cleaning crew.
My father was a proud man, a proud black man. He was always forcing
pride down my throat. I must have been dragged to the Negro Baseball hall of
fame 12 times before my tenth birthday. Yes, dad was a proud Black man, but he was also a pissed off black man; angry all
the time claiming “THE MAN” had cost him three promotions. He would
try to insight my mother and me into his one man riot, “That’s why we have to live in this tiny two-bedroom hole
with faded shutters and chipping paint…that’s why you ain’t got a new ball glove boy, and why your momma
has to save ol’ bacon fat in that green-bean can to cook with!” He
could keep this up for hours. Dad would come home at night filled with ideas
for his own greeting cards."
“How’s this? Front: Sorry to hear about you not getting that promotion. Inside: But DAMN whitey didn’t want you to have it!”
Or this one
“Front: you have a picture
of a black man bent over the hood of a car. Inside it says, ‘Call Bubba’s
Bail Bondsman for those times when profiling bends you over for whitey!’”
Dad liked the word whitey,
whitey and THE MAN.
Problem was, I just didn’t
get it. I had a friend once who was white and I liked him. Sorry, I just couldn’t resist. Seems every white person
I ever talked tries to weasel into the conversation, at one point or another, they had
a friend who was black. Like they needed to prove they weren’t racist.
For those of you just tuning
in and have never listened to the show I will just come right out and say it, I am a black man. But just who am I and how do I fit in, in the good old 21st century? That is the topic of tonight’s show. I will be taking
callers at 1 800 459 0092 after this message from one of our sponsors.
(Sound of a can opening) Gulp, gulp, gulp….Ahhhhhh. I used to drink those pints of water others called beer until I found the best. McDougals Irish beer is the stoutest around; made with only the hardiest of hops and barley. McDougals is the drinkin’ man’s beer. In fact
if you’re not staggerin’ after six….then you must be Irish!
Irish beer, brewed since 1842.
Walter Odel says, “Well,
we are back and we have our first caller, a Mr. McNalley from Overland Park. Mr.
McNalley you’re on the air with Walter.”
McNalley says in a think Irish accent and obviously drunk Ah, I’ve been a listenin’ to the show for a about three weeks now since
my wife booted me out of me own house screamin’ like a banshee ‘bout me being a drunken bum. Her words, not mine. Anyway, I want you to know I like what
you have to say.
Walter replies, Thanks, for
the personal history there Mr. McNalley…
McNalley quips call me Jimmy.
Walter nicely states,
Ok, you got it. Jimmy, what do you have to say about the state of the Blackman
in the 21st century?
McNalley slowly slurs out “well,
Mr. Odell…that’s Irish isn’t it? No matter, we Irish have been
the blacks of Europe for Centuries and I know your plight.”
Walter defending his position
replies, never said I had a plight, but go on.
McNalley spews “I know
what it’s like to be poked fun of as being a drunk just because of where God graced me to be born.”
Walter questions “Jimmy,
are we drunk tonight?”
McNalley defends himself with
“I had a few but why does it matter? Me wife had done left me and I have
no reason to go on livin’.”
Walter says “Well, now
Jimmy that sounds just awful but do you have anything to say on tonight’s topic?”
McNalley yells “Are you
daf man! I’m tryin’ to tell you but you just won’t listen. I told you my wife won’t let me back in and I have no hope! Do you hear me Walter?”
sympathizes “I do man. I can tell you’re hurting. Perhaps you can call back tomorrow morning at 7:00am when Dr. Flagen has her call-in show? Thanks (Click)”
That was Mr. McNalley. I think we can take a couple of things from what just went on even though Jimmy never
really seemed to be on topic. One is that others are still struggling to find
where they too fit in. The black man is not alone. And two, stereo-types can be reinforced by just a few. And
if you are one of those few then don’t complain when people call you what you are.
We’ll be right back after
this brief message.
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Walter states “We are
back, our next caller is D Pity from Independence. You’re on the air with
D Pity gangsta raps Sup Odel?
I know how you feelin
Life ain’t appealin
Gone are the
days of stealin cars
a get his
spreadin’ out like an atomic
Cutting my way like a field plowed.
Walter taken aback says “Whoa,
D Pity, powerful words but some of our listeners may need a translation. What
are you trying to say about the Blackman in the 21st century?”
D Pit replies “You know
whats I’m talkin’ bout dog.
Walter says “D Pity I think my listeners need a bit more.”
D Pity starts to speak “You
gots to be foolin..” but is
in the back ground the sound of an angry mother yelling,
Marvin! Marvin! You get off that phone right now! And you better
not be calling that..that jiggaboo station again!
D Pity whines “ Mom! Um… I have to go. Sorry Mr. Odel. Love
your show you are really cool an all.” (click)
Walter laughing says,
“Hmmm, something tells me that was no brother. I think what we can learn
from D Pity Marvin, is that just because you think you may have it bad, there are others out there who might envy what you’ve
got. So, take the time to look at the good in your life, focus on what you have,
not on what you don’t. We’ll be right back after this commercial."