The eternal question: your baby or your bling?
class=img_thumbleft>So that's how Michael Jackson did it: On Wednesday, KDWB morning jock Dave Ryan signed on the air at 5 a.m. to find a switchboard jammed with waiting callers. The occasion was a promotional giveaway the station had been teasing. Just agree to hand over your baby to strangers from the radio station for 24 hours, no questions asked, and win a Playstation 3 console!
Nobody from the station really knows how many callers sought to claim this deal-of-a-lifetime, but one station official estimated that they heard from "dozens" of would-be tyke-swappers before blowing the whistle on the hoax. I caught up with Ryan on Friday afternoon.
City Pages: So how many people were willing to trade their babies for Playstations?
Dave Ryan: It's difficult to tell, because we had more calls than we could handle. We have six request lines, and they all lit up immediately. Usually when that happens, it means you've got dozens, or maybe up to hundreds, of people calling in. I'll tell you this--we had way more than we could handle.
CP: Were any of them angry when they found it was a trick?
Ryan: Nobody was really angry. Some of them were sheepish. I think they felt kind of silly. There were people saying, geez, it isn't so bad--I'd take a free night of babysitting for a Playstation 3! You and I know there are some parents out there who should have been given a test before they could have a baby.
CP: What was the most memorable thing any of the callers said, on or off the air?
Ryan: The most memorable was the girl we had actually planned to make a deal with. She was 22, and she was going to give us her one-month-old baby for three nights. And we made it sound pretty harsh: She couldn't call to see how the baby was. We told her we didn't have a car seat and we'd be driving around a lot with the baby on our laps, and was that cool? And she was saying okay, all right, I guess so, to all of this. No problem. The amazing thing was that after we explained the gag, she said, "Does this mean i don't get the Playstation?"
I hate to be too hard on these people, because to be honest, KDWB's been around a long time and it's flattering they assume we'd be trustworthy. But at the same time, come on! These weren't hamsters we were talking about.
Hear an excerpt of the Wednesday show here.
Get the This Week's Top Stories Newsletter
Every week we collect the latest news, music and arts stories — along with film and food reviews and the best things to do this week — so that you’ll never miss City Pages' biggest stories.