About 4 months after I got promoted at work (and was given my own office) I was checking my e-mails and I realized I had received one from Martha Stewart. At first I was going to delete it into my junk box, after all I figured it was sent by J.C. Penny or Herzberger and they probably had nothing better to do than pimp beach towels and waffle irons at me.
But dude.....LOL, I wish I saved the letter,cuz it said that they thought I was the Shiz, and wanted me to come out to New York City to promote my newest book (K-9 Nation - Baking for my Best Friend / Minnesota Historical Society Press.)
I sat there for a moment, then I called my publicist "A-10" and she was even kinda tweaked.
"Good job Klecko, it's about time you gave me something to work with!"
When I finished with her, I called most of my acquaintances (Klecko likes acquaintances better than friends) and asked...
"Were we going to do that thing on May 14th?"
And as the person I was talking to would reply "What thing?" I would interrupt and finish by saying "Oh, I'm sorry, I guess I can't, I'll be flying into New York City that day to prepare for the Martha Stewart show."
So I was slated for the morning slot, and would be going on at 8 a.m. eastern time.
That meant I had to fly into JFK, and find my way to the Midtown Hilton the night before. Klecko gets really bored traveling by himself, so I guess the natural thing would have been to ask Sue McGleno, but she had burnt all her vacation hours on going to Omaha to watch and assist in the birth of our Granddaughter.
So I thought about it for a little bit, and then I decided, why not Mitchelson? He's a solid guy...in fact I'll bet he'd actually be funner to hang with than a chick. for those of you out of the inner circle.....Mitchelson is the editor for a publication called Food Service News and it pretty much gets tossed onto the desktops of every hospitality person with purchasing power across the state of Minnesota.
For years I've attended events with him, and the 2 of us have always got along.So I call him and tell him what was happening, and explain how I already have a free room, and he decides that he's gonna be spontaneous and tag along.
So now I'm feeling better that I got somebody to keep me from being alone with Klecko too long, but then it occurs to me. Whats up with sleeping arrangements?
Sweet Saint Faustina.....if you ever wanna see something pathetic and fractured, just watch the sleeping pattern of a guy who spent 15 years working night shifts. To this day, I never lay my head down and go to sleep.Basically I just pass out for random increments, seldom surpassing 90 minutes.
Klecko is usually sitting on the couch, with the lights on, maybe reading books while HBO is blaring and 4 dogs and a cat try to dig sleeping grooves into his Cornhuskers blanket.
47 minutes later.....a dog will need to go pee, so Klecko will get up let that dog out, but when he returns to that couch....if Hooisers, Rudy, The Great Escape, Chariots of Fire, Ben Hur, Ghandi or any Clint Eastwood movie is playing....it might be another 34 minutes before Klecko passes out again.
On a serious note, sometimes peeps embellish a crappy sleep schedule because they think it makes them sound cool or intriguing, but for me...I'd chop off your right hand to sleep 8 consecutive hours, to be honest....I don't recall the last time I slept 4 hours in succession.
So when me and Mitchelson get on the plane, they don't let us sit next to each other, I got stuck next to some cat who was on break, he was the piano/keyboard player for High School the Musical. I don't remember if it was 1-2 or 3, I just remember when he divulged this info to me, he had-had a couple cocktails and from the look in his eyes, he didn't seem to proud of this boast.
Neither Mitchelson or I had been to Manhattan so it was interesting trying to navigate with somebody as useless as myself. After a $50 cab ride, we were gonna toss our stuff up in the room so we could hit the streets and go Sinatra on the locals.
As we approached the check in place, Mitchelson had a thoughtful or nervous expression on his face. I asked what was up, and he tried to buffer his worries through the gift of comedy.
"You know, it's not that I don't find you attractive, but what's the deal here? Tell me that when we open the door that there is going to be 2 beds."
Tick-Tock goes the clock........pending anxiety attack on the horizon. I hadn't even really thought about it, so I figured OMG why would there be a 2 beds, when "A-10" booked it, she didn't know that I would be touring with Mitchelson.
I approached the counter girl, she was a 20 something - African American girlio, with the coolest beaded hair I have ever seen and her name (i think) was Rachel. So I told her my plight, and said "Tell Klecko you're gonna toss him a solid and give him a room with 2 beds!"
Rachel returned the plastic cards that she had and handed us and replaced them with some other ones. I tried to grease her for the effort, but the kid pulled her hand away and explained "it wouldn't be a solid if I took coin for helping you. Hit me later for something else though."
So on the streets we went. New York City is interesting because you've seen it in Crocodile Dundee, Warriors, every Woody Allen film, 1/2 of Oliver Stones films and......I was expecting it to bowl me over and be even grander than I imagined, but you know what......it didn't.
The N-Y-C did a perfect imitation of itself. It was awesome, but lets face it. I see Time Square on TV 100 times more often than I see the rube cities in my very own state.
So Cajun food, Carnegie Deli, Time Square, Central Park, and finally to round out the night....The Russian Vodka Room.
When you walked in the place reeked of Mafia. Over sized leather jackets, mach turtle necks and crew cuts, but me and Mikey were wearing T-shirts.
Vodka was the drink of the night, and our barmaid was Kournikova hot, but the difference between American and Russian servers is the good looking American chick, she really does not care if you are fat, bald, missing a hand or if you even if you don't have a job, she's pretty much going to be extra nice to you, make you feel great in hopes of resurrecting your ego,then shes gonna expect a mega tip.
Russian servers are so different. They don't bust a**, they just kinda stare at you indifferently and say w/o saying "If you want service.....you better entertain me."
About Midnight, both of us were getting tired and gravity was messing with our Martini glasses LOL. So the 2 of us amble back to the hotel. As our elevator was taking us up, I started to dread sleeping in a room with a dude.
My biggest horror was, what if he was a "Turn off the TV guy?"
That's enough reason for 12 therapy sessions in itself. After brushing my teeth, I hopped into bed and Mitchelson who kinda resembles a new millennium John Wayne, goes into the bathroom.
I hear faucets blaring, water splashing, so knowing that he's gonna be occupied for a couple minutes....I gain control of the TV clicker and find HBO.
Whats the name of that movie? Sean Connery and Wesley Snipes are paired up as some kind of spy tandem, or political thriller, whatever.....it doesn't matter, as long as it's HBO right?
Then I noticed that, oh i don't know, 7 hours have passed and water is still splashing away. Seriously, I think dude was in there for 3 series of commercials.
So when he finally comes out........we both mock the lack of production value that the movie contained, and Mitchelson used these snide remarks as justification to say "Well I don't think either of us want to watch this s***." And, then he grabbed the clicker off the night stand and cut the power.
I laid in bed for 20 minutes cursing him to every Polish saint that there ever was, but after 20 minutes he fell asleep and I revisited Sean and Wesley.
So the next morning we headed over to a skyscraper and went up to floor one thousand and whatever to the Sirius Radio property. When you walk in, there sits a receptionist who didn't wear a bra, or utilize buttons and pretty much was of little help.
I was surprised how small the studio's were. I've done radio in the Twin Cities dozens of times, but everything was consolidated in this space, I had to walk by Howard Stern and the NFL stations to make my way to Maratha's studio.
At first when I got the invite, I was excited because Martha was a Pollack like me, and she had a dog that died from something creepy like an explosion or whatever. I figured she needed a little of the John Paul Deuce from her Polish brother, but it turns out that I got tossed in with 2 angry female co-hosts that were 6 years passed there prime, and they almost reached that brass ring, but for whatever reason....that major contract eluded them.
Usually I interview myself and take control of all things conversation, I rehearse it out in my head, and the host typically will follow my lead, but skank #1 and skank #2 blind sided me the second I placed my headphones over my ears.
Skank #2 says....
"So why would a Master Bread baker waste his time making a dog biscuit book?"
Klecko wasn't even sure if we were live yet.
Typically when you do radio, the producer will tell you how long your set will be, and introduce you to the host, but these chicks just tried to impale me with a hot microphone.
Skank #1 blurted out....
"Saffron, caviar and bison, c'mon...this has to be a gimmick to sell books huh?"
So at this point Klecko gets hit by a lightening bolt.....BANG!!!!!! "Knock-Knock Puddinghead!" I say to myself. It all of a sudden occurred to me that this was New York Media, and the next 4 minute and 12 seconds of my glory was going to be determined by how I held my own with these vampires.
I didn't span the globe to get punked by to C-League wanna be's.
"Yeah, I can see where the ingredients might be outside of the east coast commitment. In the Midwest we tend to be more civilized and cultured concerning our pets."
Skank #1 strikes a defensive posture
"I love my dog, but does that mean that I need to make high end treats from your book, or any other recipe for that matter?"
Klecko was beginning to laugh at this point....
"No not at all, and if you have children....just take them to KFC for 90% of their nutrients, that would be an effective strategy, don't you think?"
So now the producer has laughter eeking out of the corners of her mouth. Skank #1 and skank #2 issued blank stares at one another and immediately they dialed down the questions to a lob that any turd could park over the fence.
When the interview was done, I lied and said I would be back in town for the holidays so they should have me back.
They never called, and I never met the Pollack,