Fishin’ and Wishin’

My younger brother Doug has, at times, demonstrated somewhat of a penchant for calling in to talk radio shows. One afternoon, when we were in high school, I found him on the phone in a lengthy, leisurely, on-air exchange with Donnie Walsh, then head coach of the Denver Nuggets, and since then a long-time executive for the Indiana Pacers of the NBA. On another occasion, a Thanksgiving afternoon, with some insidious prompting from me, using a disguised voice, Doug called Alan Berg’s show for a rules-breaking, second-call-in-one-day conversation. As the second, feeble-voiced caller, Doug offered support for an earlier, youthful caller (i.e., Doug) that had criticized the Denver Broncos’ defense for contributing to a loss to the Detroit Lions. When the abrasive Berg had surprisingly reached the point of agreeing without being disagreeable, Doug revealed his true identity, Berg became furious, and then directed his staff to ban Doug from the show. (Some years later Berg died tragically – – white supremacists gunned him down in the driveway of his Denver home. Berg had conducted numerous talk shows denouncing the views of racist groups, and at one point even had an on-air confrontation with David Duke, then Grand Imperial Wizard of the Ku Klux Klan, later a representative in the Louisiana legislature. My father, sister, and I had actually met Berg on one occasion after my sister spotted him exiting his car at the Cinderella City shopping mall in Englewood.)

A few years ago, Doug was up late at night listening to a nationally broadcast talk radio show called “Fishin’ and Wishin.'” My brother knows next to nothing about fishing (i.e., he knows about what I know), but the host of this show was begging for callers (Doug made a tape of this, I’ve heard the tape, and the man was a tad bit desperate). Doug called in, and proceeded to concoct some fantastic yarn about Utah County being in an uproar over the “Great Carp Bait Controversy,” with members of the community outraged that individuals were cutting up carp from Utah Lake and using the cut-up carp as bait. The host was astonished, he remarked that carp are trash fish, that it is common to cut them up and use them as bait, how could this be? Doug readily agreed with the host, but Doug was just reporting the facts, and Doug ran with that story for 15 minutes or more, and somehow the host missed a telling moment when Doug was unable to contain his own laughter. But the host was just dying for an audience, and he was not going to let go of the only caller he might have during the course of that long, long night . . .

7 Responses to “Fishin’ and Wishin’”

  1. gsjones Says:
  2. anonymous Says:

    Yes, that seems an accurate account of what actually took place, though any inference that the “Fishin’ & Wishin'” host only took my call out of desperation is regrettable. This was top-notch 3am absurdity, ridiculous in the extreme, and I’m sure a treat for all 6 listeners across all time zones. My delivery was admittedly substandard on this occasion, but the calibre of the “material” certainly more than made up for that. I am currently “on hiatus” from my radio talk show activities, but if an attractive offer is made (or my muse awakens me at 3am) I may reconsider.

    As my brother took the liberty of telling the world of these previously somewhat “clandestine” activities, perhaps I should relate the sad tale of when Greg bloodied my nose over the name of a clown. Yes, dear readers, this is true, though not aspiring to High Art, nor appealing to prurient interests, and nor offensive to the community at large.

    Littleton, Colorado. Parents’ car parked on Windermere St. 7- or 8-year-old Greg and 15-month younger brother Doug left in vehicle (!) while mother in South Elementary School for parent-teacher conferences (I’m sure transcripts for these would provide grist for many blogs to come). At any rate, Greg and I were “discussing” popular, benign and beloved clown Blinky (aka Blinky the Clown). Well, for whatever reason (and does the context here really matter?) I called Blinky “Stinky” and my poor childhood world went dark. Well, not completely dark, but I remember copious amounts of blood pouring from my nose onto the concrete porch of our home on Prince Circle when we arrived there (the same home where my father sent thousands of red ants to their long home by dousing several backyard anthills with gasoline from a rusty black 10 gallon can, turning face, striking a wooden stick match and cavalierly tossing it back over his shoulder, followed by a few loud popping sounds and plumes of smoke and flame spewing forth from the holes…..but that’s really another story.

    As for you, Greg, all is forgiven. Dear readers perhaps something can be learned from this cautionary tale.

  3. gsjones Says:

    There is no doubt that some time ago I delivered a roundhouse right to my brother Doug’s nose, and he went down like Joe Frazier being felled by George Foreman (“Down goes Frazier! Down goes Frazier!”). Doug entered his account here in Littleton as we were visiting my parents, and he mentioned having written of this experience on other occasions. While the central event of the story is true, and I deserve full blame for having punched Doug, I need to set a few facts straight, only because keeping a family history is not an easy task, and having spurious facts floating around out there could only serve to confuse all those historians we anticipate will be poring over the history of the Wilford and Barbara Jones family in the years to come. Doug took some artistic license, which will be enjoyed by those who know the actual facts, but which will be lost on those who do not. Doug may not realize the amazing popularity of The Greg Jones Blog, the nature of this audience. So, here are some factual corrections.

    1. My brother Scott is about 26 months older than I, and I am about 15 months older than Doug. My brother Scott was not present during this incident, I believe because he was at school; Doug and I had not yet started school. At the time of this incident, I was probably about 4, and Doug was probably about 3.

    2. As you can imagine, there was probably not much meaningful “discussion” between 3-year-old Doug and 4-year-old Greg about Blinky the Clown that day. My best recollection is that the “discussion” went something like this:

    Doug: Blinky is stinky.
    Greg: No he’s not.
    Doug: Blinky is stinky.
    Greg: No he’s not!
    Doug: Blinky is stinky!
    Greg: No he’s not!!
    Doug: Blinky is stinky!
    Greg: No he’s not!!!
    Doug: Blinky is stinky!!
    Greg: No he’s not!!!!

    3. The above “discussion” actually took place as our mother drove Doug and me home, I believe from shopping, in our 1958 Chevrolet Impala.

    4. I did not hit Doug while were in the car. I hit Doug after we pulled into the garage of the Wedman house, the house our family was renting on Prince Circle in Littleton. We had exited the car, I hit the unsuspecting Doug. He went down. There was an amazing amount of blood.

    5. There is no doubt that my father poured large quantities of gasoline on red ant holes in our backyard. However, this was done at our earlier home on Briarwood, and possibly at the first home we rented on Prince Circle, but I believe never at the Wedman home. Also, my father was anything but cavalier when handling a lit match and gasoline. Finally, the pyrotechnics associated with the resulting infernos were not quite as spectacular as Doug described.

  4. gsjones Says:

    And now, a few observations on this Thanksgiving Day morning in 2005.

    A. I am grateful for Doug’s forgiveness.
    B. I am grateful that the statute of limitations on my actions of that day has long expired.
    C. I am grateful for the LDS teaching that a child is not accountable for his misdeeds until he reaches the age of accountability, which is generally 8.
    D. I am grateful for the opportunity that I had to watch the “Batman” television show as I was growing up. This was the “high camp” interpretation of “Batman” starring Adam West and Burt Ward.
    E. I am grateful that I did not grow up in a violent environment.
    F. However, while not excusing my conduct, I believe a result of D and E is that at age 4 my understanding of the effects of throwing a punch was limited to what I had seen on Batman. I had never seen one drop of blood in all of those brawls involving Batman, Robin, the Joker, the Penguin, the Riddler, and all of the other villains. When the blood started pouring out of Doug’s nose, I was surprised, stunned, shocked. After I punched Doug, my mother exiled me to my bedroom, got Doug on the front porch, took the bottle of ice water out of the fridge, and then tended to Doug on the front porch. From time to time I’d leave my bedroom and look through the front screen door to check on my Mom and Doug, and each time my Mom would respond with two words, which I believe were these: “Go away!”

    So, with the above factual clarifications and observations, is anything to be learned from this “cautionary tale”? I’d suggest at least two things. First, the effect of TV, movies, and such on a child’s understanding is real. Second, be very careful when talking about Blinky the Clown around Greg Jones.

  5. anonymous Says:

    Thanksgiving greetings, reader. A touch of minor editorial/revision work is in order today. Before completing my comment late last night, the cat calls & protestations from my brother began, and I was distracted from properly making a final edit. I will place an asterisk (*) just after any revised sentence–

    Yes, that seems an accurate account of what actually took place, though any inference that the “Fishin’ & Wishin'” host only took my call out of desperation is regrettable. This was top-notch 3am absurdity, ridiculous in the extreme, and I’m sure a treat for all 6 listeners across all time zones. My delivery was admittedly substandard on this occasion, but the calibre of the “material” certainly more than made up for that. I am currently “on hiatus” from my radio talk show activities, but if an attractive offer is made (or my muse awakens me at 3am) I may reconsider.

    As my brother took the liberty of telling the world of these previously somewhat “clandestine” activities, perhaps I should relate the sad tale of when Greg bloodied my nose over the name of a clown. Yes, dear readers, this is true and while not aspiring to High Art, also cannot be construed as appealing to prurient interests, and nor deemed offensive to the community at large.*

    Location: Windermer St., Littleton, Colorado.* 6-7 year old Greg and brother Doug (15 months junior) left in parents’ car (!) while mother in South Elementary School for parent-teacher conferences (I’m sure transcripts for these would provide grist for many blogs to come).* At any rate, Greg and I were “discussing” popular, benign and beloved clown Blinky (aka Blinky the Clown). Well, for whatever reason (and does the context here really matter?) I called Blinky “Stinky” and my poor childhood world went dark. (At this point, swayed by a certain amount of what might be termed “brouhaha” developing on the scene as I informed family members as to the content of this commentary, I shift from strictly accurate documentation of what I remember, opting for the literary equivalent to the “magic realism” employed by certain painters, a willfully and fantastically ‘enhanced’ version of my father’s ‘exterminations’. I’m sure the reader will find more enjoyment in the enhanced material than in a more strictly accurate and mundane recounting.*) Well, not completely dark, but I remember copious amounts of blood pouring from my nose onto the concrete porch of our home on Prince Circle when we arrived there (the same home where my father sent thousands of red ants to their long home by dousing several backyard anthills with gasoline from a rusty black 10 gallon can, turning face, striking a wooden stick match and cavalierly tossing it back over his shoulder, followed by a few loud popping sounds and plumes of smoke and flame spewing forth from the holes…..but that’s really another story).

    As for you, Greg, all is forgiven. Dear readers, perhaps something can be learned from this cautionary tale.

  6. Talk Radio « The Greg Jones Blog Says:

    […] this blog recounted my role in an on-air confrontation between my younger brother and Mr. Berg (See Fishin’ and Wishin’).  Thursday the Denver Post ran an article on Alan Berg on the 25th anniversary of his murder by […]

  7. Blinky the Clown, Denver TV icon for more than 40 years, dead at 91 – The Denver Post « The Greg Jones Blog Says:

    […] (and violent) incidents of my life, described in all its infamy in the comments to this blogpost:  Fishin’ and Wishin’ « The Greg Jones Blog.  Blinky bears no responsibility for what happened that day, other than for having won me over so […]

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