The first part of my life is without interest. I was born in a radio factory and eventually found myself a in truck. Then, I was taken to a shop. I was bought by a man and taken to Laxman Public School. Probably no one is more rudely treated than I am. Sometimes I am turned on and off with complete indifference – people forget what a wonderful invention I am. Sometimes the electrician of the school watches the clock and then turns me on with an air of expectancy. Then a few moments later he turns me off with disgust, not thinking of my feelings. Mine is a hard life. But then, there are bright spots in it, too.Order now
One evening I heard a conversation between two electricians that helped me to understand these things a little better. They were talking about how there weren’t very many good programs on the air any more, and how they liked religious programs best of all. But they said some of them weren’t as good as they used to be. And I guess that must be true. Because I know there’s a religious program that comes on about the time my mistress does her breakfast dishes. And she always used to listen. Then I guess they got a new singer or something. Maybe singers are naturally loud when they’re new-just as new typewriter ribbons are so lack.
I’ve heard my master talk about how it takes a little time to wear them down. Well, I got off the subject. But anyway, about this program! The speaker would be talking along so nice and smooth, and all of a sudden there would be a dreadful noise. I’ve heard a lot about atom bombs. But I don’t think it was that, because it lasted too long. It must have been the singer. Anyway, my mistress would get a terrible scowl on her face and come running in from the kitchen. She wouldn’t take time to dry her hands, and oh, how I hate to get dishwater all over me ! But I guess she couldn’t help it.
She always said something about her ears. And finally she stopped listening to that program. She said she liked the speaker, but she couldn’t run back and forth all the time. Not long after that I was sent into the shop for repair. Maybe I had ear trouble too. But I was glad I went, because it was there that I met my good friend, the microphone. We got so well acquainted that now I call him Mike. And Mike has certainly had a lot of experience. Really, he knows a lot. And he explained a lot of things I didn’t understand. The first thing I asked him was why new singers were so loud.
And he said it is because new singers always think that their listeners are miles away, and they try to make them hear without a radio. So they sound like fire hydrants-if fire hydrants could sing ! He says they don’t realize that they are only a foot from the microphone, and the listeners, some of them, are only a foot from the radio. That makes only two feet ; so they are really singing right in people’s ears. And Mike says it is very impolite to shout in anyone’s ear. Really, it is just amazing how much Mike has heard. People are always talking to him. And when they aren’t talking to him, he still has to stand by in readiness.
So he gets a lot of inside information. Mike said that one day the manager of the radio station came into the studio with a gentleman, and they were talking about religious programs. I guess this gentleman wanted to buy time for one. And the manager gave him quite a “line” about how they had to broadcast the baseball games and all the other, things people wanted, and that there were too many religious programs on the air already. And I guess the gentleman thought the station manager just didn’t want religion on the radio, because he looked pretty disappointed.
But the manager must have liked this man a little, for after a while he talked to him sort of confidentially. And he said that the trouble with religious programs was that the sponsors came to buy time and told them what a good program it would be. And the programs would be good for two or three weeks; but after that they would start getting worse, until the station was ashamed to have them on the air. And it wasn’t that they didn’t like religion, but they wanted good quality programs, carefully planned and rehearsed, whether they were religious, or dramatic, or swing. Mike said he was right, too.
And with his experience he ought to know. He said he was in a studio where they put on a big network program. It was religious too. But he said they had every program planned two weeks ahead-knew each song and poem to be used. And then they rehearsed and rehearsed till Mike knew the program by memory. But he thinks it is better that way. He says that some time after that, they moved him into another studio; and there was a religious program there too. He said they were fine people-really good Christians. But he thought they must not have expected anyone to be listening to their program. At least they didn’t act like it.
Sometimes one of them wouldn’t get there until two or three minutes before program time. And sometimes they were there, but they read a newspaper or listened to a ball game till almost time to broadcast. I told him probably they had planned and rehearsed their program some other time before that. But he said, “My, no ! ” He said the preacher had his sermon ready, and that was all. The rest was “ad lib. ” He told me what that meant, but I guess you already know. Mike says some people can “ad lib” and some can’t. The ones who can’t are the ones who do it, and the ones who can know better than to try it.
I remembered then that I heard the preacher talk about Job and his wife being led out of Sodom. And my master said something about the script. But Mike said there wasn’t any script, and the preacher really could read all right. He says the preacher really does pretty well, but he wishes the rest of the program wouldn’t be thrown together in such a haphazard way. He says sometimes the singers don’t even know what they are going to sing when they go on the air. And it’s hard for the organist to know what key to play in if she doesn’t even know what the song is going to be. Mike says the organist really has a hard time.
She is supposed to play a background while the preacher reads the poems. But he doesn’t pick them out till during the first song, so she has to guess at what to play when he starts reading. One day the poem started out about a mother’s son, and she started to play, “Where Is My Wandering Boy, Tonight? ” Then it turned out to be a good son instead of a wayward one ! But it wasn’t the organist’s fault. How could she know? My friend the microphone says he actually gets “mike fright” sometimes for fear something will really go wrong. And he told me he wished he could be back on the network program, because it is so smooth.
Every word of it is written out-even the prayer. He said that seemed disrespectful at first. But he heard the preacher say that if we took time to write out what we say to men, to be sure it is right, we ought to be just as careful about what we say to God. And he said the preacher was right-that at least it was better than repeating the same words over and over. Mike said he really loved helping to put on that network program. He said they always took time to pray before they went on the air. And the whole program was so carefully planned, and fitted together so perfectly, that it was all like a lovely poem. He said it must do a lot of good.
I wonder if that isn’t the one my mistress listens to each week when she seems so affectionate. And I still wonder, Is that the program you put on? One more thing ! Mike said the preacher on this haphazard program talks a lot about wishing he was on the network, but that you have to have a pull to get on the big hook-ups. Mike says if his program was as well prepared as the one on the network, maybe he’d be on it. One of the tubes next to me is going bad, so I must bring my autobiography to a close. But I think my microphone friend ought to give that radio preacher a hint. If I had the talent for speaking that Mike has, I surely would!