Thursday, April 14, 2005

American Hi-Fi 'Hearts On Parade'

I just got back from Winston-Salem. KZL 1075 are one of the sponsors for the Susan G. Komen Breast Cancer Foundation’s Race For The Cure. Josie participated in the event today and I was in charge of making sure the van was in place. The event was a tea. The only teas that I’ve ever been around are the little girl imaginary teas and the types where people smoke their tea instead of steeping.

Cindy Farmer from FOX 8 was there as well. This was the first time that I had ever met her. Josie introduced us, she offered her hand to shake, and she flashed her midriff to me. “Wow”, I was thinking to myself. Just met her and already I’m getting my cheap thrills.

Of course, it wasn’t directed to me. She was showing Josie something that was giving her trouble in the waistband department. But, I enjoyed it nonetheless.

My Aunt Penny is dealing with cancer these days. It started with breast cancer and they thought everything had gone into remission. But, it reared it’s ugly head again and now it’s worse than ever. Penny still maintains a very positive attitude and she’s determined to whip cancer’s ass. She’s a few years older than me but, she’s a fighter and my money is on her to come out on top.

So guys, don’t just sit there and think breast cancer is something you shouldn’t be concerned about. Think of your mothers, grandmothers, aunts, sisters, and friends. Just look around. If you think that you personally cannot be affected, think again.

If you’re so inclined, you can join Josie’s Joggers or make donations. Just visit

Before heading back to Greensboro, I dropped by Long John Silver’s. Long John’s is my favorite fast food joint in the whole wide world. I fell in love with them on my first taste of a chicken plank back when I was a kid.

Now, they’ve dropped the “plank” from the chicken. I suppose they wanted to be politically correct and that’s a damn shame. Long John Silver was a fictional pirate in Robert Louis Stevenson’s ‘Treasure Island’.

The restaurant adopted the pirate motif with pirate hats and other types of things. They kept it for a long time until, and I’m only guessing here, some upper management idiot decided to get all politically correct.

The pirate hats that they have now are printed up with a smiling, happy skull with a knife and fork. When you’re a little kid, you just can’t get into the spirit of wreaking havoc on the seven seas with a happy Jolly Roger. It’s like the Hell’s Angels on mopeds. It seems wrong.

I remember good times at LJS with the Lively clan. I would go there with Uncle Malcolm, Aunt Betty, Dan, Paula, Sharon, and Melanie. Dan, Paula, and myself would empty a bottle of malt vinegar on our food. We loved the stuff! Aunt Betty didn’t understand it at all. She said, “If anyone can eat that, they can drink beer.”

To which my twelve-year old smart ass answered with, “That’s the plan.”

Once, Dan and I decided that we were going to wear the hats and be pirates for the whole visit at Long John Silver’s. We were going to eat with our hands. We were going to make a point of drinking our Pepsi’s with it spilling out over the sides of the cups and onto our shirts. We were going to talk as if we were pirates.

We were in our low teens so give us a break.

This all came to an abrupt ending when Uncle Malcolm asked Dan to say the blessing before dinner.

He stood up, we all bowed our heads, and it went something like this… “Arrrrr… We thank thee O’ God for the bounty placed before us…”

You guessed it. Dan went with the pirate voice and Uncle Malcolm went with the slight angry voice.

Chaz, the cat who works the phones for 2 Guys Named Chris, seems to think that Captain D’s is the better place. I cannot convince Chaz that he is very wrong. Captain D’s is swill compared to LJS.

I know about Captain D’s all too well. I’ve tried them several times because there’s no Long John’s in Greensboro. There weren’t too many in North Carolina at all until recently.

The last one in Greensboro was in Four Seasons Town Centre. I think it closed around 1991 or so. They even knew me by name and platter. All I had to do was walk up, chat a little, and I generally had my plate within seconds. Most of the time, I didn’t even have to place an official order. I was their Norm Peterson.

The manager broke the news to me one rainy afternoon. They were going to close the location. Business was good, but the rent there at the mall was becoming too great for them. For the next two weeks, whenever I showed up for lunch or dinner on that manager’s shift, my meal was free.

After they closed, I would get my Chik-fil-a and sit there staring at the boarded up LJS with great sadness.

Long John Silver’s is responsible for saving my life as well as Brad Hines’ (Hinzy) and Dave Aiken’s. I know that sounds a little absurd, but it’s true.

We were doing the Murphy in the Morning show from the Sportlanes Bowling Center in Martinsville, Virginia. Since there was an LJS close by, Dave reluctantly agreed to stop for a to go order.

Brad and I went in, ordered our food and some for Nicole (our receptionist here at Dick Broadcasting). We were walking back to the 1075 KZL truck when Brad noticed something. The right rear tire was missing the whole tread and the inside sidewall. We had been riding on the steel cords that make up the steel belting. Air was coming out at an alarming rate.

We managed to slow ride the truck to a tire place on 220 capable of changing it before she went flat. The three of us couldn’t do it. It was one of those deals for a true professional. Six to eight lug nuts and no spare. You need fleet service for one of these jokers.

Long John Silver’s had saved our lives. If we had not have stopped for their deep-fried goodness, we could have been severely injured or killed in an accident.

All those years of handing over my money for their delicious food came full circle. The paid me back with my life and the lives of my co-workers.

All the time spent driving 45 minutes to Mount Airy, Danville, or Martinsville just to sit down and have a LJS meal was paid in full.

There are three in Winston-Salem now. There were rumors of Greensboro finally getting them back, but it hasn’t happened yet.

So, usually when I’m in Winston, I stop in for some LJS baby. Chances are good that when you see the KZL or Rock 92 van outside the Long John Silver’s, you’ll find me inside pouring malt vinegar all over my food

Grab yourself a pirate hat and have a seat, matey.

1 comment:

  1. Anonymous3:30 AM

    Reads like an episode of The Twilight Zone

    "Picture an almost-forgotten restaurant chain. Three travelers, weary from a day of thankless work, stop off for a bite to eat. What they don't know is this order will be to go ... in The Twilight Zone."