Radio Persona

The frightful hands of Christian kidnappers.

Before this all gets out of hand, I want to come clean and dispel the rumors:  Yes, I was once a famous radio play-actor for a certain Chicago-based Mission on their acclaimed radio hour of dramatized true-life tales of common folks’ journeys to God.  Of course, this was not of my own volition.  You see, when they kidnapped me, they told me that they were the Symbionese Liberation Army and I leapt gleefully into their van, pleased as punch to undergo their weeks of indoctrination.  Let this be a warning to you not to trust anyone claiming to be a member of the SLA– he or she is probably a Christian in disguise.

But I must say, their brainwashing methods are just as effective as any domestic terror group’s.  Perhaps even more so.  And for most of it, I did believe that I would soon be robbing the Amalgamated Bank of Chicago with General Field Marshal Cinque and Tania.  The rhetoric was virtually indistinguishable.  So when they set a microphone in front of me and handed me a script, I felt the chill of excitement run up and down my spine.  Finally!  My first communique to be sent to the outside.  Doubtless the world had been waiting with baited breath for this, the moment when my voice, captured on scratchy magnetic tape would be heard on the Ten O’clock News with Bill Kurtis and Walter Jacobsen.  I could barely focus on what I was saying as I thought of my colleagues crowded round the cathode ray tubes, gnashing their teeth and wailing, rending their garments and pulling out their hair at my horrifying fate.  I imagined them pooling their money, and coming up short on what surely must be a $700 million dollar ransom on my life.  I imagined dear Mr. Polly, my trusted secretary of nigh on eight months, fainting into the arms of Jeannie-Fayelene Bakker, my consistently drunk bodyguard who I kept around for her reckless, paparazzi-scaring behaviors and knowledge of voodoo incantations.  I imagined Bill and Walter’s ashen expressions, their rich voices grave and burdened with the knowledge that breaking this news would likely cause mass hysteria on a scale not seen since the date of my biggest birthday blowout bash, which also happened to be the date of President Kennedy’s assassination.  As you may recall, the convergence of these two events sent the nation into a tailspin.  You’ve never seen so many children crying into their ice cream cake.

But enough of that.  After about six months of recording what were beginning to sound less and less like communiques, and more and more like old-timey radio tales, I began to suspect that I’d been duped.  I had yet to participate in a siege battle, and instead was feeding the homeless.  Not a once had my captors given me a straight answer to my pleas to “meet the Big Guy Himself.”  Instead they kept telling me he was with me always.  Lies.  I finally realized that I had to get out of there.  One night I managed to beat the night guards senseless with a large wooden “crucifix” that hung on the “sanctuary” walls, bust out a few 20 windows, and escape into the windy city night.  After only three days, I had managed to hitch a ride out to California, track down the SLA, and with a few swift konks to the head, turn them into the police.  I realize now that it wasn’t their fault that they hadn’t managed to kidnap me, but at the time… well, I was brainwashed, you see.

Turns out nobody really knew I was missing, per se.  The rumor was that I’d gone underground as a black-market dinosaur bone smuggler again, and was jetting around Siberia in my fully-functional X-Wing fighter paying the locals a pittance for their treasure troves of bones bones bones.  Poppycock, of course.  Once I’m through with a career, I’m through, and I never look back.

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