Mack’s Craic


God Bless America

I’ve just got back from my latest trip to the USA. First stop was New York, where I was a finalist as “Best Talk Show Host” at the New York Festivals “World’s Best Radio Programs”.

New York is a good place to give awards to radio people from twenty-seven different countries because it’s such a melting pot and everyone who lives there should be on the radio. I was reminded of this just before I went into the awards venue. A taxi and a bus had narrowly missed each other and the taxi driver was leaning out of his window shouting at the bus driver in his thick middle-eastern accent. The bus driver, picked up a microphone and over a P.A. system that could clearly be heard by everyone on the street, shouted, “Speak English!”

Everything in America is big. I had real problems ordering a “small” soft drink. I kept getting told the smallest size they do is a “medium”. Now, they only do three sizes, surely the second biggest is the “medium” and the one that’s smaller than that is the “small”, isn’t it? That’s not how it works, they have “medium”, “large” and “extra large”. To confuse things even more, New York’s Mayor Bloomberg has proposed banning the sale of any sugary soft drink in a container that’s bigger than 16 fluid ounces. That means “Extra large” will disappear. If they still want to sell drinks in three sizes they’ll have to introduce a size smaller than “medium”. I bet they still won’t call it “small”.

You’d think one of the easiest things to do in America would be to order a pizza. My next stop was Miami and as soon as I checked into the hotel, I called and ordered from a local pizza place. About half an hour later I got a call from the front desk telling me to come down and collect my pizza from there. It turns out they don’t allow pizza delivery people into the hotel; it’s a “security issue”. I’ve ordered pizza to my room in hotels all over the world and they’ve brought it to the door, why can’t you do that in Miami? I wonder if it’s because that’s how people buy drugs?

I was in Miami because I was attending “Morning Show Boot Camp”. Every year hundreds of breakfast radio presenters from around the world get together to share ideas and discuss ways to be better broadcasters. This was the sixth time I’ve been to one of these and it’s become like a reunion. Part of the fun is catching up with people I only see at Boot Camp. One of my favorite people to catch up with is BJ Shea from “The BJ Shea Morning Experience” on 99.9 FM KISW in Seattle,Washington. He asked me if London is prepared for the Olympics next month. I told him the venues are ready but I think we’re going to have big traffic problems. He said, “How will the British deal with that?” I said, “Oh we’ll probably just moan and maybe someone will write an angry letter”. BJ said, “You know, here, someone would get shot!”. He said Americans get very frustrated in traffic and a lot of them are armed. He said, “You know what though, writing a letter makes a lot more sense. At least it’ll get to the person who can do something about the problem. These people who get shot in traffic jams can’t fix the roads anyway! And often, innocent bystanders get shot! These people aren’t marksmen. If they were, they’d be in London competing in the Olympics!”

I’m just glad New York bus drivers don’t carry guns.

Craic on!

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Listen to the Graham Mack Breakfast Show Podcasts on iTunes.


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