Friday, January 04, 2008

The 99

The 99

A significant percentage of a journalist's day is spent on hold. Over the years in newsrooms, I was exposed to a lot of soft rock. It's an understudied hazard of the industry. The only way to cope is to joke around with your fellow reporters about what you must endure while on hold.

One of my favorite co-workers of all-time was Suzanne. We were desk neighbors at the newspaper in Plymouth. And I would frequently serenade her with whatever adult contemporary hit was playing in my ear while I was waiting to talk to somebody who didn't want to talk to me.

One day, I was covering the hard-hitting story of how The 99 Restaurant was coming to Plymouth. I called their corporate office for confirmation. I was immediately put on hold and this time was subjected to their own theme song, played on a repeating loop. It used a lot of synth guitar and was sung in the style of a middle round AmIdol reject.

"99! You'll always like it! 99! You'll always get what you want! 99!"

I started to sing this to Suzanne. Usually, she enjoyed my acapella stylings. This day, she largely ignored me until she abruptly left the desk in anger.

Later that day, I found out why. The night before, she broke up with her then-boyfriend. At a 99.



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