In early May, 1991, my friend Greg St. James called with a proposition. After working at most of the radio stations in town, he had finally been made program director of a new alternative radio station in Windsor. He was also going to be on air during morning drive time and asked me to do Leather Weather with him when the station went on full time at the beginning of June. He said that I could pretty much do whatever I wanted, I just couldn't say fuck (it does fit into every sentence), shit, asshole, etc.. I knew that the music content was less censored than at stations in the States and had even heard the word fuck in songs played on the air. It seemed like a cool station, and I'd known Greg for a long time and thought we'd be good together on the air. What the fuck. It was time to drag Leather Weather out of the closet again.
The morning people met at the radio station to do a mock show on the Saturday before show time. Greg had no objections to any of my material, and we were all psyched up and ready to roll on Monday morning. I went on at 8:50 a.m..
This was some pretty tame shit in my opinion, and Greg thought it was okay, so I figured there was no problem. But later in the day, Greg called to say that the General Manager didn't really know what to make of me, but he thought I should tone it down a bit. What the fuck? What happened to the cool liberal station and saying anything I wanted? This was only the beginning of the bullshit.
On Friday I went to the station to give a weather report for the weekend.
Greg: How's your week going so far?
Irene: I had to go see my Dentist, Dr. Sorbo, on Wednesday. And I really hate going to the Dentist, but I'd drive 200 miles to see Dr. Sorbo. Not that he's painless, I'm just used to his certain kind of pain. And he knows I'm a big baby and he humors me. So afterwards I'm talking to the girls in the office, and we were trying to decide which was worse, going to the dentist or going to the Gynecologist. So I was telling them about the last time I went to the Gynecologist. I went for one of those yearly examinations, you girls know what I'm talking about. I assumed the position, I had my feet in the stirrups, that 1000 watt light shining on me, and my doctor kept telling me to relax so that he could do the damn examination. So I tell him it's so hard to relax because I keep thinking about what his view is like down there. And he said to me, "You don't think I've got my eyes open , do you?"
Greg: Ahhh, let's get to the weather.
Irene: Weather? Oh yeah, the weather. It's gonna be pretty nice this weekend. Highs will be in the low to mid 80's for both days, with the low going down to about 65. Mostly sunny, low humidity, and no precipitation is expected this weekend - no thunder, scattered, or golden showers whatsoever. Right now it's 61 degrees under.........just slightly scummy skies. So if you like warm, sunny weather, you'll be real happy this weekend. But I personally prefer it cool and dreary. In fact, I don't like daytime at all. I keep the windows in my apartment covered so that I can't tell if it's dark or light outside. I guess you could accurately say that I live in the place where the sun never shines.
We said our usual good-bye on the air, and I split. Greg called me later in the day to tell me we had a big problem. He said that the General Manager had never heard weather delivered like this before and was flipping out. They had gotten a complaint from some woman saying gynecological examinations were hard enough to have done, and that she shouldn't have to hear about it on the radio. The GM went on to say that I could do no gender stereotyping (I couldn't say PMS, or even mention that an evil neighbor was a woman), and that everything I said had to be in "good taste" although he couldn't define good taste. Now do you want something in good taste, or something that tastes good? If I had to be in good taste, there wasn't a hell of a lot I had to talk about. I told Greg that I didn't see how I could continue with so much censoring. He told me to be patient, that he was sure they'd come around, and that it wasn't impossible to be funny and not dirty, that it was just a lot harder. I would try to stick it out.
When I got to the station on Monday, Greg asked to see my script. Then he took a red marker and started changing words and crossing out entire paragraphs (orders from the GM). I was going on the air in twenty minutes with a new "acceptable" script, and I wasn't too fucking happy. Greg wasn't too fucking happy with these uptight assholes either.
My friend Jim Olenski, owner of Thomas Video, asked to sponsor my show, so I started reviewing weird films. This was usually acceptable to the station suits. I reviewed things like "Revenge of the Over-sexed Rug-sucker from Mars," "Curse of the Queerwolf" and "Frankenhooker", but I would also check out a few porno movies every week as well, just for personal use (bonus). I like freaky porno movies too, and "Sex Freaks" with Long Dong Silver is a very interesting one. Long Dong has a 17" dick that reaches below his knees. He even ties it in a knot, and if he pulled it tight he could tie it in two knots! The worst porno's I saw were "Edward Penis Hands" and "Sex Sluts in the Slammer," the latter being so cheap that the girls just held bars in front of them. When the girls were bad, their punishment always involved licking a pussy or two (big surprise).
Early in 1992 I quit. The last few months I was there, the management was dicking me around with my paycheck, and never increased my pay when I got a sponsor. I was real fucking happy to leave that place. But Leather Weather wasn't quite ready to die a peaceful death.
1993 - Time to get that twice broken nose fixed
I didn't want any major changes, I just wanted the damage repaired which meant re-breaking the bridge to re-shape it. I had talked to several people about what I could expect after the surgery, and everyone told me that the worst part was not being able to breath through their nose for a week. I thought, what a bunch of pussies. What's the big deal? I figured it would be like having a cold for a week. I was wrong.
The surgery entails making an incision around one nostril, peeling back the skin and clamping it between the eyes, then hitting you with a chisel and hammer to break the damn thing. The cartilage is reshaped, the skin reattached and a cast is glued to your nose. Within minutes of regaining consciousness, I could feel the blood start to flow and realized that someone had taped a big wad of gauze (called a mustache bandage) to my upper lip to absorb the blood. In two days the blood stopped flowing because my nose and sinuses were filled with hard, dried blood. Not even a pinhole of air could get through. I found out that not breathing through your nose is living hell. I could hardly sleep, I was choking and gagging when I was eating, and I felt a weird type of claustrophobic. At least when you have a cold you can turn your head to one side when you're lying in bed, and gravity will pull the snot to the lower side allowing a glimmer of air to pass through one nostril. But a solid chunk of dried blood does not move.