Dear NPR–Look No Further, I’m Your Man!

radio_microphone.jpgDear Anonymous National Public Radio (NPR) employee,

Thank you for stopping by Ocular Fusion at 1:49:04 PM on Thursday, June 1, 2006. I noticed that you didn’t reach my blog via a referring link such as a search engine or another blog. That probably means that you either had my site bookmarked or perhaps emailed to you by one of the many talent scouts whom you’ve no doubt commissioned to scour the highways, byways and backwoods of America for fresh, emerging commentators and writers such as yours truly.

I’ll try to overlook the fact that you didn’t browse through any of my posts and that my stat counter indicated that you stayed approximately “0 seconds” before moving on. I’m figuring that you simply got distracted by some looming “All Things Considered” deadline which was bearing down on you at that time of day and were forced to abandon my blog before you had a chance to sample my many fine wares.

Speaking of considering things, you should check out the 45 comment post on John Denver which is part of my barely-clinging-to-life, but soon-to-be-revived series, Blogging–The Wonder Years. I’m sure that you’ll find my rapier-like wit and probing insight to be right up your alley. Don’t pay any attention to all those other people like JRB, Patrick, Bill, Scott and Nancy (she already has a book deal anyway and doesn’t need any help). Focus instead on the way I play off their comments, creating the sort of intellectual repartee and playful banter that will be a smash hit with all those Volvo-driving soccer moms, bankers and lawyers making their way home to their 10,000 square foot shanties in The Hamptons during the PM drive time hours.

And don’t forget to check out my post (ahem, attention Technorati), The Da Vinci Nap–A Review (Sort of). If you print that one out, hold it to a mirror and chant “Which is better, one or two?” the words will rearrange themselves into a human face, revealing the identity of the second shooter on the “grassy knoll.” Speaking of conspiracy theories, you may want to read my stunning expose on the rise of Googlezon. That one’s really got me looking over my shoulder and checking the skies for black helicopters these days.

Oh, I almost forgot to mention that I have previous radio experience to boot (as if you weren’t already impressed enough). In the fall of 1980, I was the voice of the 11 PM news at KHCA radio, the student station at Harding University. That was a real hot market, located in the bustling metropolis of Searcy, Arkansas (but you probably knew that already). And–get this–I was only a first-semester freshman! I was told by the approximately six people who listened to me regularly (apparently they couldn’t get a date either) that I had quite the golden throat. To this day, I can still sign off just like it was 1980–“This is KHCA…Seeeeearrrcy!”

So, I hope you can plainly see that I’m just the sort of new voice you’re looking for. I would even let you borrow the name Ocular Fusion for a regular segment on your “Morning Edition” show if your heart so desires. After all, how much more Car Talk and Prairie Home Companion can the country take? It’s time for some fresh vocal cords to step foward and sieze the microphone…it’s time for Mike the Eyeguy!

Look no further NPR–I’m your man!



  1. Bill Gnade


    Thanks for the, uh, plug. However, I think NPR was looking at you (and the rest of us, I am certain) not so much because of any literary skill you possess. They are looking for those of us who are mathematically inept. The news on the street is that NPR is looking for an MC for its program, “Mourning Addition”. I was even asked about anchoring “Most Things Considered,” but I was deemed dilettantish. And because I am entirely bald, I was turned down for the gig on “Fresh Hair.” My sense is that Nancy has a better shot at replacing Terry Gross than I shall ever have. Plus, I am cerrtain I can’t answer that far-too common question, “Whad’ya know?” with nothing more than a “Wait, Wait. Don’t tell me.”

    On a more serious note, I considered a new philosophical program called “A Priori Home Companion”, but then I thought there could be a much more Catholic show called “A Priory’s Home Companion”, hosted by Abbey Cloister. Alas, it was precisely ideas like these that caused NPR to take its talent search elsewhere.

    Good luck.


  2. Ed

    You guys need to check your coffee cups because it looks like something else is getting mixed in.

  3. Mike the Eyeguy


    I’m simply flummoxed that Click and Clack didn’t take you up on your idea of “Car Walk,” that show where every jalopy either runs out of gas or breaks down and you have to hoof it the rest of the way.


    It’s not so much what’s in the coffee as what the coffee is in. I’m drinking mine from a genuine, Lake Wobegon “Chatterbox Cafe” mug. That pretty much says it all.

  4. JRB

    Dear NPR! Pay no attention to these naysayers! Here I am, ready and willing! Not only that, I was hit by Katrina! I drive a black, imported sedan! I went to nationally recognized elitist professional school! I’m LIBERAL! My wife is freakin’ GREEN! I’m a Southern writer, an evangelical, non-fundamentalist, ecumenical Christian, a Democrat reared in the finest Republican tradition! I’m a pro-life, pro-choice, environmentalist who represents Big Pharma, Big Tobacco and Big Insurance. You can’t get weirder than I! Come ON! If I were gay, you wouldn’t think twice! I love you people!

    Also, (and get this Dr. Mike), I TOO was a DJ at KHCA! In fact, for two years I hosted a CHRISTIAN ROCK SHOW on Sunday nights, until it was shut down by THE MAN for religious intolerance of instrumental music. SEE? I’ve been persecuted too!


    ( I don’t even have a site meter. See? Unassuming, too.)

  5. DAVID u

    If you get this gig, be sure to let us know. You might get to be in the Harding Bulletin again!


  6. Mike the Eyeguy


    That’s a very impressive progressive vitae. I don’t see how NPR could resist your Bona Fides. Oh, and thanks for helping clear my stopped-up nose–the hot coffee spewing through my nostrils did the trick.

    So, you got shut down by the Prez for too many riffs and roto-tom fills. You were quite the campus agitator–I’m impressed. I still haven’t figured out how “Switchfoot” made it through the metal detectors and on to the Benson stage a couple of years ago. I guess it’s ok to play as long as you don’t actually mention You Know Who.

    That reminds me of a funny Garrison Keillor story. In the early 90s he did a show from Ryman Auditorium. He was talking about Nashville’s tradition of fine music and how much the audience was going to enjoy the various instrumentalists on the show. With one exception that is–the Church of Christ folks who had checked their harmonicas at the door. I thought that was pretty clever.

  7. Mike the Eyeguy


    Making the Harding Bulletin is a mixed blessing. I received an overwhelmingly positive response from my “ring story,” and caught up with some old friends I hadn’t heard from in a while.

    And then there was the disgruntled alumnus turned literary critic in Memphis. He wrote to Liz asking for his name to be taken off the mailing list, saying that my story was “elitist” and was an unfair portrayal of pawn shop owners.

    Seriously, this actually happened. As Roseanne Rosannadanna used to say, “It just goes to show you, it’s always something.”

    Or was that “somebody?”

  8. Nancy French

    HUmmm…. I guess that means you know when I’m blog hopping while I’m supposed to be writing???

  9. Mike the Eyeguy


    Nothing gets past my “all-seeing eye.”

    Actually, it’s not quite so Orwellian. Unless you have a very distinctive ISP (like most of the time I wouldn’t know you from Eve. But I have a pretty good idea when my “regulars” stop by, and believe me I appreciate you all very, very much!

    Of course, we all know you’re a procrastinator and spend too much time blog-hopping when you should be writing. We don’t need a stat counter to figure that out! 🙂


    When you visit Harding, please allow me to show you what has become of the KCHA studios in the basement of the Ganus Building.

    You (and JRB) will be pleased to know that HU has recently leased rights to a commerical transmitter and will begin broadcasting to White County sometime soon.

  11. Mike the Eyeguy


    I will be at Harding in July to pick up Number One son from Honors Symposium. I will definitely take you up on that tour. In fact, you, DU and I should do lunch.

    JRB, if you can tear yourself away from defending Big Pharma and Big Tobacco long enough, you should join us.

  12. JRB

    Oh, how I would love it. It would be a blogger summit in the Foothills. Alas, we’re having a baby three weeks from today, and my Corporate Taskmasters are merciless. Fortunately, we are the recipients of a grace that will permit me to shed their spiked yokes soon. Thus, maybe next year…..

  13. Mike the Eyeguy


    I have no doubt that a blogger summit “near the foothills of the Ozarks” would eventually come to rival the intellectual firepower of “Renaissance Weekend” in Hilton Head. Maybe we could even convince BC to stop by (it wouldn’t be the first time, after all).

    There’s nothing “alas” about having another baby. We’ll be listening for reports of your new arrival. Let’s hear it for “graces” of all shapes and sizes–may you be showered with them till you’re soaked from head to toe.

  14. DAVID u

    The lunch thingie is a done deal………let us know ahead of time when you are coming.


  15. Mike the Eyeguy


    Yessss! I was hoping you would say that. I trust that you and Elrod have sampled the local Searcy cuisine enough to be able to recommend a fine eatery. I look forward to it.

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