Monday, August 23, 2010

The Most Public Yet of My Many Humiliations

Over the years, we've had the privilege to participate in a lot of great radio moments at the Minnesota State Fair. And giving our generous nature, we've tried to share these moments with our friends and mentors in the industry. For instance, in 2004 we hosted nationally syndicated shock jock Hugh Hewitt at the Fair and presented him with a series of honorary titles and distinctions.

In 2006, we provided Hugh's producer Generalissimo Duane with the enviable opportunity to milk a cow live on the radio.

Friends and family report that Duane's never really been the same man since that memorable experience.

Hugh's history at the Minnesota State Fair goes way back. The first encounter recorded with him here occurred in 2003, when he verbally took poor Atomizer to the woodshed over the national airwaves. Suffice it say, Atomizer's never been the same man after that experience either.

But there's been a lengthy break in Hugh's appearances at the Fair. Not since 2006--the year Duane learned everything he had always wanted to know about udders but was afraid to ask--Hugh and his entourage have been strangely absent from the Fair. Many explanations have been offered as to why--global warming, Duane's appearance on the government's no-fly list, Governor Pawlenty's honorary title austerity measures--but now everyone seems to agree that the blame almost entirely rests with Jay "The Gravedigger" Larson.

The good news is the long drought is finally over. Hugh and crew will be broadcasting live from the Minnesota State Fair on WWTC AM 1280 The Patriot on Friday, August 27th and Monday, August 30th. This schedule also allows Hugh and Duane to show up this Saturday and join the NARN First Team broadcast from 11am-1pm. When you have such notable guests coming to town, you have to do something special. But what?

Our first thoughts naturally turned to animals. We just had about had Duane signed on to participate in a live, on air artificial insemination of a goat. But it got kind of weird when he kept asking if it really had to be artificial. So we elected to instead have Hugh and Duane participate in what has become one of the grand traditions of the State Farm.

Yes Ralphie, there is a Santa Claus. These two Chablis-sipping, brie-eating California boys will be part of one of the Midwest's most famous infamous annual food events: The Northern Alliance Radio Network Scotch Egg Eating Contest.

Those who aren't familiar with the contest's background and set up may want to consult this video of the 2009 event which appeared on Power Line. John Hinderaker also provides valuable information on the Scotch egg itself and even a helpful hint for contestants:

One preliminary note: what exactly is a Scotch egg? It starts with a hard-boiled egg, which is then surrounded by a thick layer of spicy sausage. The entire concoction is then breaded, deep-fried and--of course--placed on a stick. How do you eat a Scotch egg quickly? The key word is: condiments.

In 2008, such condiments were not available and the result was one of the most grueling Scotch egg contests ever.

The drama of the 2005 showdown inspired the creation of the Ballad of the Scotch Egg, a song that still brings a tear to the eye of the toughest Scotch egg swallower.

Our fascination with the Scotch Egg began back in 2003 when pictures of JB Doubtless scarfing one down became an overnight internet sensation.

Its rich history and glorious tradition make the NARN Scotch Egg Eating Contest a State Fair event like no other. We can only begin to imagine how the next chapter will be written. We do know that Hugh Hewitt and Duane Paterson will now have a chance to add their names to the honor roll of those who have stepped up to the challenge in the past.

This Saturday at the State Fair Patriot broadcast booth. High noon twelve-thirtyish. You'll want to be there to watch Hugh and Duane make history.

UPDATE-- We've just received confirmation that Duane is tan, rested, and ready to consume. Unfortunately, Mr. Hewitt is bowing out of the competition allegedly because of an egg allergy. Sounds more like he's allergic to defeat and since he's an Indians, Browns, and Cavs fan I guess you can't really blame him. But you can rest assured that he will be on hand to witness the spectacle and cheer his semi-competent producer on to victory