High Numbers

It seems like forever ago when I worked in Urban radio at WDMT under the name Fudge. It was such a great time for me. The name wasn't my own choosing but I embraced it and had a lot of fun playing with it. Somewhere packed away in a box somewhere is my station jacket with "Fudge" embroidered into the lapel. At Christmas time I was Santa Fudge and when I moved from weekend overnights to Sunday afternoons, someone in sales suggested we call the show "Hot Fudge on a Sunday" and she sold a sponsorship to an ice cream place.

When I moved to the morning team, first as the jock and then as the news man, I developed other bits around the name. My favorite was "Fudge's Fortune Cookie." It was my take on the astrology type of aphorisms that so many people like to start their day with.

Each morning we would open Fudge's fortune cookie and read the piece of advice. A typical day might have something like, "Someone close to you has been trying to tell you something. Find a way to help them." It's been twenty years since I've thought about that morning bit, but in some ways it gave me something positive to try for myself each day.

I would also suggest a color that people might wear that day. "Make sure your outfit has a bit of blue in it today." I didn't feel that part was working and tried to drop it only to have people call and ask what color they should wear that day.

The final element of the bit was a rating for the day on a scale of one to ten with ten being high. I called it "Fudge's Factor". I would spin a cosmic wheel and announce that "your Fudge factor for today is a six."

I'm a Mathematician by training so it seemed to me that it would be reasonable to either use a normal distribution where lots of days were four through seven and very few days were ones or twos or nines or tens. Another approach could have been to make each number equally likely and just use some random number generator to choose the next digit.

On the second day I received a phone call that changed my mind.

The first day had been an eight and the second day was a three. A listener called at ten after I was off the air and asked to speak to me. I was picking up some extra money by working in the traffic department after my shift (scheduling commercials) and so it was pretty easy to find me.

The listener said that he liked the new fortune cookie bit and was enjoying the show but that he had a suggestion. He said, "it's hard enough to get up in the morning and prepare for the day ahead without hearing that the best you can expect is a three. Even if you know the d.j. totally made up that number, it does something to you. Lot's of people don't know that you make that number up. For them, you're telling them how their day is going to be. You should mainly choose numbers that are six and higher."

I immediately saw his point and thanked him. He was right. And there is so much more. You often make the day into the one you are anticipating. If you think you are heading for a really lousy day, you will often subconsciously enable it to be just that.

From that day on, most every day was a six or better. Most were seven, eight, or nine. From time to time a day would rate a six and very seldomly they would be four or five. There was maybe one ten the whole time I did the bit.

Opening Fudge's fortune cookie for today, "Take the time to write and mail a note to someone today. Make it an old fashioned note that you have to put in an envelope with a stamp and an address on the outside." Wear something with a spanch of yellow on it. Today's Fudge factor is a nine.

Published in: on April 26, 2006 at 9:11 am  Comments (3)  

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3 CommentsLeave a comment

  1. I did just what the fortune cookie said…today I took the time to write Anne an old fashioned note and I sent her a card for her 21st birthday on Saturday.

    Thanks Daniel

  2. You have reminded me that we all influence what number day everyone we come into contact with has.

  3. Hey “Vanilla Fudge” ,, I hope you get this. Remember when we used to talk on weekends. I was building a new house in Mentor and you were supposed to come buy and have a few… Too bad it never happened. I’m in Raleigh now, so next time your in the area, send an email and well set up “”the party on the deck””.
    Well, Tony Harris is now on CNN, Len Canon is the Fox evening news anchor in NYC, and Carol Ford is at WNEW.
    I still keep in touch with Brenda (Love) and Kim ( Lady Skill)and Jay Wachs (JD, the intern who worked with Dean). JD just moved from Raleigh to Greenville SC.
    Twenty years is a long time, but it seems like yesterday.
    I still have some air check tapes of WDMT: ( “getting a thrill from Lady Skill is just like being at home”).

    I actually met Douggie Fresh in Raleigh at WQOK( the first time in 1995 ) and gave him a copy of Mike Chapman’s super ” The Show” mix. Douggie really liked it and he gave me his private number in Manhattan.Since then I have seen Douggie several times and he has done several shows for us.I am putting my email on this page because you may not get it if I don’t: gbs1043@earthlink.net

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