WKRP and Steve Perry: dead giveaways

I feel pretty young most of the time. I enjoy sneakers and I have a wide variety of apps on my iPhone. I know what HTML5 is and why Flash doesn’t work on my iPad. I read books on a Kindle and I know how to program my PVR. (It’s true that I can’t defrost anything in my microwave but I don’t think that’s age related — the thing was designed by a lunatic…press 1 for ground meat then enter the 16 digit secret defrost code or something dumb like that….I almost always end up cooking the frozen item but anyway….)

But I am, oh I am.

For example, my sense of humour is a dead giveaway. About a month ago (it is still seared in my memory) I made a joke about a “Less Nessman” office in the company of some young people. It didn’t occur to me that this would not be hilarious. As it stood, only my colleague (who’s about my age) laughed.

Who doesn’t remember this:

Les works in the WKRP bullpen, a big room with desks for several of the employees. Les believes that as the news director, he should have his own private office, so he puts masking tape on the floor around his desk indicating where walls would be if he had his own office. He insists that anyone who approaches his desk must knock at an imaginary door and wait for permission to come in. He mimes opening and closing a door whenever he sits down at or leaves his desk; once he even took out a set of keys to lock the nonexistent door. All of his colleagues respect his insistence on maintaining his own private space, and play along with his “walls” charade. Mr. Carlson even “knocks” by clicking his heels together, although Jennifer was permitted to ignore the imaginary walls.

Apparently pretty much everyone under the age of about 38.

Then there’s my knees. My friend J. told me she was having similar pain climbing stairs and maybe I didn’t have arthritis but rather chondromalacia patella pain syndrome. Perhaps that’s the cause of my hobbling from floor to floor — I’m going to chat with my doctor about it. But more to the point, J. and I didn’t have these kinds of chats 20 years ago. Knee pain is a new topic directly related to the fact that we’re now old.

Finally it’s my deep deep love for the musical stylings of Steve Perry. A dead giveway if there ever was one of both my age and my suburban roots.


  1. But I’m not old!!!! My knees are bad for some other reason — too much dancing or something.

  2. It could be worse, it could be Rush. In the end it is our job to teach the children, play oldies radio in the background. I have already purchased Ferris Bueller’s Day Off to be played over and over again. Unfortunately, the dvd of WKRP isn’t worth it because it has been scrubbed of its original music. Another giveaway is another “initial” show, SCTV.

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