One of the best parts of the membership drive at our local public radio station is the verbal gymnastics the on-air hosts regularly perform to bring any number of disparate topics back to the task at hand; asking for support in the form of members and dollars.
As I listened to an especially tricky dismount performed by John Moe, it occurred to me that this endeavor is most likely an exercise in pushing the limits of credible segues and a hell of lot of fun for the put-upon hosts in an otherwise dreary week of on-air panhandling.
With that in mind, I listened a bit more closely this past week and heard some fantastic conversational bridges and share some of my favorites below. Please note that these are much paraphrased and as many were heard while driving, showering, procrastinating or other instances where listening is but one of the many tasks being performed by the author, I do not claim total veracity. However, I do promise that none have been intentionally augmented for entertainment value.
An Assortment of Memorable Segues
Wrapping up an interview with an author discussing her book on the decade of your 20s: “and if you are out there in your twenties, you have some loose cash lying around, so consider sending it to us so we can continue to bring you these discussions…”
Just following a Civil Conversations show on the abortion debate and the importance of hearing the other side: “We hope you enjoyed that last hour where we discussed the importance of listening and if you listen to NPR, you may want to think about making a donation…”
After a segment debunking a political ad’s claims: “How much is this kind of fact checking worth to you? 10 dollars? 15 dollars? If so, then we hope you will consider…”
At the tail end of a story on the Red Rooster Restaurant: “And you just heard us discussing the positive impact the Red Rooster brings to the community, which is just what MPR does and why we need the community to respond in kind by supporting us here through your member dollars…”
And my personal favorite: “As we just reported, the Obama Campaign just released a new ad featuring Big Bird. Now you will hear that ad discussed on this station but you will not hear the actual ad played over and over and over because we don’t run political ads. We can make you that promise because we are funded by member dollars and without yours…”
And a Few of My Own
But why should the on-air hosts have all of the fun? I don’t see why we can’t play “the home version.” So in the spirit of “contributing” to our friends at MPR, I offer a few additional ideas to effortlessly go from regular news topics to donation procurement.
For instance, coming out of a Planned Parenthood story: “And to ensure you don’t end up with any unplanned advertisements, consider donating so that we may stay on the air without having to resort to commercial advertising….”
Or after a story on affirmative action rulings: “And much like the diversity that affirmative action provides in many areas of society, MPR offers you a similarly diverse range of news and information with the support of your membership…”
Following a discussion with an author who penned a book about finding her birth parents: “And just like the adoption agencies that bring children to loving homes, we at MPR deliver the news and information to you without the hours of labor that go into searching for quotes, facts and sources…”
Ending a report that Tom Brokaw was found in a western North Dakota sweat lodge with two exotic dancers, a local animal control officer and Cher: “If the thought of missing out on any of this great news and information we bring you each day also makes you sweat, then please consider a minimum donation of…”
And of course, immediately after a passenger jet lands due to engine failure: “Like that United Airlines Boeing 767 that successfully turned back and landed on the foamed Salt Lake City runway sans landing gear, hear at MPR, with your support, we can continue to offer you soft landings as we report on especially turbulent news and events.”
Fun, huh? Feel free to try one of your own.