Friday, December 16, 2005

In which I make my triumphant return to the airwaves

What with the runaway success of my publishing career, as evidenced by the fact that you are reading these words, the time seemed right to solidify my push to become a multi-media sensation. As such, I scheduled another appointment on the radio to take my message straight to the people of Guatemala.

Fortunately, this time I didn't have to look up the word for "cranberry sauce," because I was a guest on a show with the thrilling topic of "How to apply for an American visa." For reasons that the market research department is still trying to pin down, there was slightly more public interest in my tips on how to punch your ticket to the land of baseball, apple pie, and plentiful jobs working construction than my tips on how to cook a turkey. This one was a 90-minute call-in show that was almost entirely filled with actual calls from actual Guatemalans, apparently mumbling questions through several handkercheifs while steadfastly refusing to turn their radios down while they were speaking on the air.

Most of the questions did not require the level of sophisticated knowledge of the Immigration and Nationality Act with which we Vice Consul and Third Secretaries are equipped. Really, they didn't even require the level of sophisticated knowledge of immigration policy that you could get by reading a cover story in USA Today. But I guess that's standard for radio, as even on NPR they host distinguished professors of political science to answer questions from the shut-ins and conspiracy theorists who have time to call talk radio in the middle of a work day.

Usually this kind of session would be rife with questions in the vein of, "My parents and two brothers have lived in the US for years, and I'm unemployed so I don't even have to ask for time off to visit them, yet I was denied a visa. Why? It seems totally unfair." Luckily these questions were either screened out or randomly unable to get through to the hosts. So, my fellow Vice Consul and Third Secretary and I mostly fielded questions along the lines of, "I've had a visa for twenty years and it just expired. Do I really have to come wait in line to renew my visa?" (Answer: Yes, Really.) We also got a few questions of the form, "This company said if I pay them $500 they would get me a work visa without an interview. What is the procedure for these kinds of cases?" (Answer: The procedure is you give them $500 and then you never see them again.)

Anyway, I have not yet been able to crack the Gutemalan television industry, which seem to focus less on the opinions of Vice Consul and Third Secretaries and more on the close-ups of dancing girls (again not so different from back home), but it's only a matter of time.

4 comments:

EEK! said...

You'll need a gimmick.

May I suggest an animal costume of some sort?

You could be Matteo the Gringo Alligator?

MLE said...

I would totally pay to watch you dress like a girl and dance around to get on Guatemalan TV.

sac said...

Don't take valuable airtime away from dancing girls. Stick with radio.

tangerine said...

i guess your first appearance was so good they had to have you back? maybe you should have your own radio show... imagine how fast your spanish would improve.