Good evening, lovers. This is Mariah on the Coast, spinning the hits and taking your calls in the wee hours of the morning. It’s just about 2am here in beautiful San Francisco, and the bay window in my studio tells me it’s clear and quiet for miles around. Not a sound to be heard. Not a bark, not a heartbeat. All is still and dead.
Except for my phone lines! Ha! Oh listeners, we have fun. My first call tonight is from Dianne in Palo Alto. Steve, if you’re listening, Dianne has a message for you. She wants you to know that she never stopped loving you, even after all the pain and ugliness you caused her, and she’s ready and waiting to take you back into the shelter if you’ll just promise not to eat any more of her children. Steve, this sounds like a one-time-offer. I’d give her a call if I were you. Now, from Dianne to Steve: How Deep Is Your Love, by the Bee-Gees. How deep is your love, Steve? Call in and let us know…
Oh, that has always been one of my favorite songs. Do you remember back when the Bee-Gees were all you’d hear on the radio, gentle ones? They were the kings of the airwaves, back in my day. If you remember the Bee-Gees, why don’t you give me a call? Speaking of calls, I have a message for Jeannie from Marissa in Verona Beach. Jeannie, Marissa wants you to know that she’s so sorry for everything that happened between you. But as you know, shelters have quarantine periods for a reason, and nobody asked you to go foraging after dark. That was your decision, Jeannie! To you, from Melissa, here’s Don’t Stand So Close To Me by The Police…
Listeners, I love these records. Don’t you? They’re my oldest and dearest friends. Listening to them takes me back to the old days, back when good friends and great music were all we needed to be happy. Who among us doesn’t yearn for a simpler time, every now and then? I thought I was the only one until I started hosting this show. Your phone calls keep me going, listeners, and I’m grateful for you. Who knew these records would make such a comeback! Perhaps we could have guessed, if we’d realized that an catastrophic electromagnetic event could destroy the internet as we know it as well as nearly all of our modern music and entertainment playing devices. Do you remember Spotify? It seems like magic, now.
Do you remember running water? I do, too.
Ah, but I’m off on a tangent. I’m neglecting your messages and I am sorry for that, my loves. Here’s our next song, a memorial dedication from Shelter 47 down in Rancho Cucamonga. This one goes out to their dear departed friend, Roger Anderson. Roger, if you’re listening up there somewhere, the boys want you to know that they miss you every day. But you lost the lottery, so them’s the breaks! Just for you, here’s Maneater by Hall and Oates. You gotta laugh, Darren!
God help you if you can’t.
Listeners, I apologize. I just fielded a barrage of angry calls, and apparently you didn’t find my little joke very funny. Well, I respect that for some of us the wounds are pretty fresh, but that’s why there’s a first aid kit in every bunker. Take it from me, if you can’t find the lighter side of things, you’re going to have a hard time of it out there! For example, the funniest thing happened to me before the show today. When I slipped outside to check the atmosphere readings, a figure cried out to me from the darkness. The creature was slight and shadowy, and it spoke in a hissing croak, as people tend to do these days. I mean, get a lozenge, people! You know, if they remembered to place them in your first aid kit. We were pretty rushed there at the end. Nobody had time to double check!
Anyway, I could hardly hear him through my containment suit, so I motioned for him to speak up. Whoopsie! I guess in whatever primitive culture the outcasts have formed to govern their little tribes, waving your hand is a sign of aggression! So of course he withdrew his dagger and came at me- those little suckers are fast! -but he was weakened by exposure to the Cloud. He stumbled and fell to the ground, green ichor dripping from the edges of his cloak.
I almost pitied him in that moment, but we all know the price we pay for pity these days. Your Mariah is no fool, and I wasn’t about to give him a second chance to strike. I took a swing at him with my Safety Baton and knocked his hood away–
— and I’ll be damned if it wasn’t the withered and deformed but still spitting image of Mr. Phil Collins!
Listeners, I was starstruck. I tried to calm him down by telling him what a fan I was, and singing a few bars of Sussudio, but you know how they are once their over-sized adrenal glands kick into gear. Before I could even get to the chorus, he stabbed right through my suit and ran cackling into the mists. I suppose he thought I’d follow him, as suit punctures and the subsequent biochemical reactions within our bodies tend to be the final curtain for most of us. But I’m not a quitter, listeners. I have a job to do, and I do it for you. I have a vinyl bin full of easy listening hits and a view of what’s left of the Bay, and I will die with my mouth full of blood and my ears full of Christopher Cross before I abandon my post. That’s my promise to you.
Some people, you know, they give into the anarchy. They think society isn’t coming back, so it’s perfectly okey-dokey to run around starting orgies in open fields and eating babies and whatnot. Well, I say to heck with that! That’s what a fool believes!
Ha! Did you see what I did there, listeners? I love it when you get my little jokes. I wish you’d call me. It’s so quiet here, and dark. Right now all I can hear is the blood pounding in my ears. My heart is beating faster and faster, and sweat is just pouring down my face. Listeners, I look like I just ran a marathon. Too bad the only marathons I run are all day blocks of Law and Order: SVU!
I miss USA. Characters really did feel welcome there.
Oh my darlings, I’ve nattered on for too long. I know you want to hear a song. Isn’t that why you listen, after all? Isn’t that why I’m here? I know you’re listening. You have to be. If there’s ever a time in this world we’ve needed the Doobie Brothers, it’s now.
After all that excitement, I’m in the mood for something mellow. Aren’t you? Let’s close out with a classic: Take it Easy, by the Eagles. It’s good advice for this day and age. You’ve got to take it easy, no matter what comes down the pike. This song reminds me of one of my favorite quotes: “No arts; no letters; no society; and which is worst of all, continual fear, and danger of violent death: and the life of man, solitary, poor, nasty, brutish and short.”
Oh wow, bummer patrol! How about we crack open what’s left of the wine rations, kick our feet up in our bunks, and let Glenn Frey and the boys take us home. Until next time, gentle lovers. I’ll see you soon.
Maybe sooner than you think.