Thursday, June 02, 2005

No, I'm most definitely not wearing a Yankees cap

The nice thing about working in Public Radioland is the, well, relaxed dress code. The university campus where 19 Minutes World Media Headquarters is based switches to a "casual summer dress" policy once graduation has happened, but in order for us to conform to that policy -- and dress less formally, we'd actually have to show up for work in a Speedo, or with no clothes at all.

The idea of a naked radio staff is something those of us in radio will occasionally joke about in conversation with listeners we meet in the grocery store:

Listener: So you're Mitch Teich. It's weird to hear the voice and see the person at the same time.

Me: Yeah, usually people guess 'older and taller' when they imagine me. [One of these days, we'll have to modify this line to read 'younger and taller'.]

Listener: You know, I've never had any idea what you looked like.

Me: Well, that's the nice thing about radio -- I could be doing the news naked, and no one would ever know.

Listener: I'm going to go buy myrigatoni now.

The irony is that if anyone in the radio news anchor-listener equation is probably naked, it's the listener. Most people don't have TVs in their bathrooms, so Katie Couric and Matt Lauer only have to imagine their viewers in underwear and curlers. Newspapers are typically difficult to manage in the shower, what with newsprint getting all over the Lifebuoy and everything. But with the proliferation of shower radios, a fair number of listeners are lathering, rinsing, and repeating while we're promoting the upcoming story about the Euro's drop in value.

I write this only so you'll think twice about who you're showering with.

But as noted, I don't actually come to work naked. But as it's summer in Arizona, and as I'm among the follicly-challenged, casual summer dress has meant the addition of a ball cap. It's one I picked up on my reporting trip to Surprise, Arizona last weekend -- the Japan Samurai Bears.

For some reason, three people in the last day have asked me if it's a New York Yankees cap. They ask with some incredulity, knowing that the lifelong Red Sox fans on the 19 Minutes staff would only wear a Yankees cap for a really good reason, such as attempting to place a curse on Derek Jeter.

But frankly, aside from the fact that it's black and is emblazoned with a white character of some sort, I don't get the resemblance. But then again, perhaps I should be glad they're looking at the ball cap and not picturing it as the only thing I'm wearing on the air.

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