Wednesday, January 10, 2007

The Visit from "The True North Listeners"

Goodness gracious. Sorry for my tardiness today but I’m still recovering from the visit I got from two nice gentlemen who showed up at my door this afternoon and simply introduced themselves as the “listeners of True North Radio on WDEV.” They were so nice, in fact, that they let me take their photos (see above) before we sat down to chat.

While more than a bit startled by their ability to find me, I did manage to fire a few questions their way and – rather easily – deflect their anger toward the ring-dings my housemate had stowed in our cupboard for just this kind of visit.

First, I had to know more about the manner in which they introduced themselves.

“Did you really say you were ‘the listeners’ of the True North Radio show?” I inquired.

And they did what they’d do after every question I asked during their brief visit: They’d gather up their knuckles from the floor and – in perfect unity – turn to one another and scrape ears. I swear it was like they had rehearsed it or something.

But, to my first question, they responded rather disjointedly, “Huh?”, sounding like two Paul Beaudry’s standing right in front of me.

I know, I know, you’re wondering how a simple response of “huh” can sound disjointed. Well, trust me, it did. Perhaps it was the ear-smacking vibrations or the strangely slow manner in which they blinked their eyes. Whatever it was, it was disjointed, just like their hero, Paul.

And so I repeated the question, this time with some more clarity: “You said you were ‘the listeners’ of Paul’s show, that seems to imply that you’re the only listeners.”

Holy shit, they did it again, but this time with really bizarre crossed eyes – again in unison -- and an even louder, “huh.”

I gave up on that question.

Why are you here? I asked.

“Because we are the listeners of True North Radio,” they replied.

Yeah, we already covered that, I told them.

“We’re mad,” they then interjected.


Oh damn, more silence.

Again, I tried to help them: I’ll bet you’re mad about what I wrote about Paul, aren’t you?

“We think so.”

Well, I continued, you should know that I already heard from Paul himself and he didn’t seem to be all that mad. In fact, this is what he wrote to me (I then handed them a printed version of this email I received from Paul last night): “Thanks for the insult. I have been reading your blogs (sic) for months. It's about time you contacted me. Thanks for tuning in. Best, Paul Beaudry.”

“You’re lying,” they replied, after about ten minutes of reading it with their lips moving.

And then I took them to my computer and showed them the email, complete with the apparently “secret” email Paul uses for such correspondence (

“Paul emailed you directly!” one of them said, but I can’t remember which one was which. “Well then, you’re a friend of ours if you talk with Paul.”

Whatever. I was just plain tired from a day of painting and thrilled that these two ear-flappers weren’t going to try and test my abilities to run like hell when confronted.

And then they proceeded to walk into my living room, opened a small folder of photos, and began laying them out on my coffee table.

I’ve got things to do, fellas, I told them, but to no avail.

“Here, come here, and look at this,” one of them said, as he pointed to a photo of several men in hunting fatigues (see photo). “That’s us at Paul’s last gathering. All of us.”

You mean Paul’s listeners?

“Yes, we are Paul’s listeners and there we all are.”

Hey, thanks for sharing, but I’ve got to get going, I declared.

“But there are more,” they continued, “like the photos of Paul’s truck pool (see photo) and the limo he used for his second wedding (see photo).”

Hey, that’s great, I replied, but I’ve really got to get going.

“But we have to show you who we’re looking for,” the other one said (again, I was having a hard time telling them apart).

Okay, what are you looking for?

“Paul gave us this sketch (see sketch) and told us to find anyone and everyone who looked like us or like this (they pointed to the sketch) to listen to WDEV at 11 in the morning everyday.”

And when did he tell you to do this?

“At the gathering,” they replied, this time in unison as they pointed back to the photo of the gathering.

Well, how many people have you found so far?

“Just us,” they replied. “That’s why Paul calls us the listeners.”

Hey listen, listeners, I replied, what do you say I let you have that whole box of ring-dings if you leave now and let me get on with my evening?

And their eyes grew as big as their ears. “You mean it?”

Of course I do. And you know what else? Count me in as a listener, too. I’ve got nothing else to do when I paint all day.

High fives all around!

But, better yet, “the listeners” left. And I’ve still got time for a few games of pool at Charlie O’s before the President spins his merry madness about the war.

Snark on, readers. Snark on.