The Zipper

It seemed like a good idea at the time. I would be at KLPZ’s studio on 6th Street in Parker, and my colleague Josh would be out at the La Paz County Fairgrounds, covering the opening of the 2012 Fair with all its activities, shows, exhibits, food, contests and rides.

And then it occurred to us: why doesn’t Josh go on the rides, live on the air? That way, people could experience vicariously the thrill of the rides through their radios. Brilliant!

So, after a pizza lunch – do you see where this is going? – Josh headed out to the fairgrounds to cover the event. The first hour and three-quarters of our two hour broadcast went without a hitch. Josh went on a few rides and gave us a great sense of what it was like.

Then, with ten minutes left before the end of the show, he got on The Zipper.

The first thing that struck me as odd was how quiet he got. Absent his commentary, all I could hear was the sounds of the machine’s motors, turning him around and around, throwing his body upside down and then rightside up with some centrifugal force.

“Josh, how is it?” I asked, blindly, waiting for a response. It came.

“I think I’m going to…. BLARRGGGHHH!!!!” is what I heard, with a wet, gargling and spattering sound that I’ll never forget.



You’re not supposed to say that.

“Umm, Josh? Are you really throwing up?”

Now, at this point I feel it necessary to tell you that I’ve been fooled before by one or another of Josh’s practical jokes. Several months ago, for the best part of a few days, he had everyone convinced that he’d broken his arm and needed the cast that it was cradled in (on this occasion his long-suffering mother and father were in the ranks of the ‘joshed’).

But this was different. The sound of that horrific projectile gargling couldn’t easily be replicated on the spot. And he wasn’t likely to put himself in the firing line by saying the ‘S word’ on the radio without a very, very good cause.

I took his microphone off the air and told the listeners I wasn’t sure what was going on. But I couldn’t resist trying it again. I pushed the slider up again.


“Well you’re listening to KLPZ 1380am! We’ll be right back after this short sponsor break!”

That’s one minute of live radio I won’t easily forget.

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