My 14-year-old daughter, Annalena, and her 15-year-old friend, Hannah, have had their own radio show on WBCR, the local community radio station, since 7th grade. I’ve described it as being like Wayne’s World, only they’re teenage girls, but really these two and their special guests are a phenomenon unto themselves. For posterity, I had a recent episode transcribed. They mention their last names on air, but I’ve abbreviated them here, lest these words come back to haunt them. You, too, can tune in to 97.7 or listen to the broadcast streamed live online on Friday afternoons from 4:30 – 5:00 pm EST.
Annalena: What’s up? Welcome to the Funky Cheese Shack Show. Um…Today, Hannah should be coming. She hasn’t been here all summer long, but today, she told me she could steal herself away and come and join us, but for now, I’m with…
Quinn: Quinn M. I’m Annalena’s neighbor-slash-friend.
Annalena: BIFFL. That’s spelled… B… wait… are there two F’s in BIFFL?
Quinn: Yes. ‘Best Friends For Life.’
Annalena: For life. Right. Got that. Got that. Um. OK. Well, Quinn and I have been spending a lot of time together this summer. And we had a really embarrassing occurrence the other day where, Jacob’s Pillow is a dance thingie that my Dad works at where there’s dance and other things. It was actually a really cool day. We saw a dance version of the book Animal Farm.
Quinn: Yeah, it was really interesting. I mean, it sounds like it would be really bad, but they actually pulled it off.
Annalena: Yeah, I enjoyed it. My Dad hated it but… well… maybe I shouldn’t … what?! And then we saw Rachel Maddow speak, which was amazing. She’s my idol. Like, seriously, I don’t think it’s possible to be that smart and funny and crazy cool at the same time, cuz, like I don’t know, I don’t know how she masters it. And it’s funny because you see her all dolled up on television, like, with her little hair flip and her makeup.
Quinn: Yeah, I mean she looks totally different.
A: She shows up at Jacob’s Pillow in like these amazing electric blue glasses that are like thick framed, and I was like Oh My God those are so cool and like this baggy men’s shirt, and these baggy jeans, and….
Quinn: great shoes… oh…
A: ..these bright red patent leather Kicks that are just like, amazing. Anyways, so that was really, really cool. She talked about, what did she… it was like, art vs. government?
Quinn: Yeah, she talked about art relating to modern-day politics, and I really didn’t get a lot of it, but I nodded politely in the parts I didn’t understand. It was interesting though, as a whole, and she’s a really good speaker.
A: Yeah, I really liked it. And she’s so funny. I don’t know, how do you, I mean like, she needs to write a book like, ‘How to Be Funny 101’ because I would read it, and I would take all her jokes.
Quinn: I know. Totally. I think she just thinks so quickly on her feet. She just says funny things, like…
A: I wish we were funny.
Q: Yeah, me too.
A: Sometimes Quinn and I, well, we think each other are funny, and that’s probably why we’re friends, because no one else thinks we’re funny.
Q: Yeah, we just say really dumb things.
A: Yeah. Like, really dumb things. And then they’re so dumb, that it’s like, oh my God, how could we say that?!
Q: Yeah. And then we think they’re funny.
A: Yeah. And then we laugh at it. And it’s just really bad. So. Yeah. Anyways. And so the bad part of the night was, we were gonna DJ, they have like cast parties, like for all the dancers, and, um, every Saturday night. And my Dad was like, ‘Oh, yeah, you’re gonna DJ, it’s gonna be sweet.’ And so I stayed up until like four in the morning the night before constructing this masterful playlist. It was gonna be a crazy dance party, and then, of course, the computer bails on us and we, like… Imagine Quinn and I, like, there’s like, how many people would you say were there?
Q: Max, like 100.
A: No, it was like 50 max.
Q: Actually, I’ve learned that, like, in a lot of events, you always think there are way less people than there actually are. Like, if we had like counted, I think there would have been like 100.
A: There were not 100 people there.
Q: I think there were definitely 100 people.
A: A hundred people is a lot of people.
Q: No it’s not that many people.
A: Quinn’s crazy! There were not 100 people.
Q: OK, fine. Maybe 75 people.
Q: 50 people is like, five 10s. That’s like not any people at all.
A: OK, but 10 people. Imagine 10 people in this radio station right now. We’d be like, stuffed. I’d be like hot, from body heat.
Q: OK, 60 people.
A: Alright, deal. Sixty people. There were 60 people there, and they were all just like looking at us, like, ‘Where’s our music, what’s goin’ on?’ And we were like, ‘Um, ah, technical difficulties, ahhh….’ And so finally they had to get another laptop, and they had to play another playlist…
Q: Oh, it was bad.
A: And we went home, and it was really embarrassing.
Q: I was wearing my cool little, like, aviators, and like…
A: Quinn was the funniest thing. I like was hassled by my father in the morning, because I had to go in to work with him, and he goes into work early, and so I like roll out of bed, and he’s like ‘We’re going in 15!’ and so I throw on some clothes. I meet Quinn there, and she’s got this like this like American flag headband on, like, totally redneck style, with these aviator glasses, and like, I don’t even know what else, it was cool though.
Q: They’re like cop glasses, like reflective, shiny metal, like totally, incredibly embarrassing…
A: Yeah. Yeah. And we just gonna be like the sickest DJ’s ever, but then technology just totally bailed on us, and…
Q: It just didn’t work. We just felt so stupid. At least I felt stupid.
A: I felt so stupid. And these people were like, ‘Hey, where’s our music?’ And we just like, ‘Oh, sorry, we’re failures.’ And so now we’re never DJ’ing anything ever again!
A: Yeah. But I want to play you a song that Quinn and I put on our playlist, and we’ve been getting obsessed with, and you know, the song… I was checking the lyrics to see if it was appropriate to play on radio, and, um, (laughs) it’s really got no lyrics. It’s the funniest thing ever. And half of them don’t make sense. Like, at one point he’s like ‘Shorty, you’re cool like fire.’ First of all, fire’s not cool. And then he goes like, ‘Pop it, drop it, lock it, birthday cake.’ Where does he get birthday cake? Birthday cake is not even a dance move, I would just like to point out. Um. But that’s OK. And, so, you know, here’s Fire Burning by Sean Kingston. And it’s like really popular right now, and I normally don’t listen to this kind of music, but you know, it’s a really good upbeat song, and it’s not loading, and that’s gonna frustrate me in a minute. And Hannah’s here! And now it’s loading. I hope you enjoy it.
[Fire Burning plays]
A: Hi Hannah.
H: Hi everyone.
Q: Yay, it’s Hannah.
A: Guess what everybody? What Annalena? Hannah’s leaving me again.
H: Guess what? Annalena just officially pronounced us divorcee friends.
A: Yeah. We’re no longer friends. Because you know how many times I’ve seen Hannah this summer?
H: Guess how many.
H: Three. Or four.
A: Three. Three! Three times. Do you know…
H: That is not just my fault!
A: Can I tell you something? This is not my fault at all! You have been on vacation with Elizabeth, and now you’re going to Baltimore, and I have been sitting here, on my bum, doing nothing, having a summer of…
H: Have you guys called me to ask if I we want to do anything? When was the last…. When?
A: Yes, two days ago. Did you pick up your phone? No.
H: No you didn’t!
A: Yeah. Maybe I didn’t. But, you know, it’s a mutual thing, because I don’t know when you work. You have to tell me when you’re not…
H: Exactly. It is a mutual thing.
A: No, because you’re always are working.
H: I work on Wednesdays. I mean, on the weekends.
A: On the weekends, on Fridays and stuff.
H: Friday is part of the weekend.
A: Yeah, but, ‘I worked Thursday,’ and now you’re working….wait. Shhh.
A: Stop giggling! This is serious. So basically Hannah and I spent every day together last summer…
H: I know. What the hell!
Q: That’s some anger.
A: I know. Pay no attention to her. But, um, I don’t know. This I just really not… I’m not OK with this. Can I tell you guys a funny story?
A: So, I work at a Pilates studio.
H: She and her mom are gonna take mother-daughter classes.
Q: You’re gonna take mother-daughter classes?
A: That’s a lie! (laughs) Where did you get that in your head?
H: I don’t know. I just saw it, and I thought it would be perfect.
A: No, I work there. I don’t go there.
H: Well, yeah, but you could go there.
A: Although I probably could…
H: At an employee discount probably.
A: Yeah, probably. She like offered me….
Q: Mommy-and-me classes!
A: It’s like a special discount, the mommy-and-me classes.
H: I know! I’m telling you, it’s perfect for you guys.
A: OK, well, anyways, I was on my job, and she always like asks me to put on a CD, and she has this massive CD collection, and then I see like India Irie. Oh, cool! And like I kind of maybe might know a song of hers, maybe. And um, the first song that comes in is this song ‘Video’ by India Irie and it is like the most classic like ‘woman’, like, I don’t know, it’s perfect for where I work, it’s unbelievable, I love it. And it’s actually, like, I like the song. If I can figure out how to spell video. But, yeah. So I’m gonna play it for you guys. It’s just really inspirational, and true, and I would quote the lyrics right now but I’m about to play it for you, so I’m not gonna do that now.
Q: That would be redundant.
A: Thank you.
Q: Yeah. I’m really funny.
A: I’ve been yelling… I’m in a really bad mood today. And I’ve been in a bad mood for a while.
A: I’ll tell you later. It’s kinda personal.
H: Too personal for radio?!
A: No. Yeah. If I talked about… it’s like really… anyways. So yeah, I’ve been in a bad mood.
H: It’s about boys, I bet.
A: You know, not everything in my life is about boys, Hannah.
Q: Maybe it’s about girls.
H: It’s definitely about boys.
A: It’s about girls. (pause) It’s about a boy.
H: I knew it.
A: Anyways. And yeah, he is like letting me down on the whole loading process. So instead I’m gonna read a PSA. Oh. It’s not letting me do that either. OK. Hannah, what have you been doing lately? Since I haven’t seen you in, like, awhile.
H: Working! And…
A: Hanging out with Elizabeth. And not me.
H: No, ‘cause Elizabeth has not been here.
A: That’s true. But you would have hung out with her, wouldn’t you?
A: You would call her every day.
H: She lives on my street. Give me a break! You hang out with Quinn more than you hang out with me.
A: Yeah, but…
H: Because Quinn lives so close. That is no longer an excuse.
Q: Yeah, but I’m so funny!
A: No, Quinn’s not funny at all. (all laugh) Anyways. Um. This is really making me kind of angry, it’s not loading. I’m gonna force quit. But it’s not letting me do that either. Oh my God, I froze the computer! OK. You know that Mac spinny beachball of doom that you cannot get rid of? Like once it starts it never ends? I think I’m gonna have to reboot this computer, because the spinny beach ball of doom has been going for awhile now. All I wanted to do was play a video. It’s funny cause the song is called Video and I wanna…
Q: That’s really funny, Annalena.
H: Almost as funny as Quinn!
All: Ha Ha Ha!!
A: A Quinn joke!
Q: It was a Quinn joke. Because I’m Quinn and I made the joke!
H: No, Annalena made the joke.
A: Today Quinn leaned up against a chalk sign, and she turned around and I said, ‘Quinn, what’s your shirt say?’ Because the letters that were written in the chalk, like, came off perfectly on her shirt. And then a woman in like the thing that we were in laughed at her really hard. It was really funny.
Q: And then she liked helped you dust off my shirts.
A: Yeah. It was a good time. Anyways. Well. This is a really great time that I’ve been having without Hannah. You know, I’ve just been like living la vida loco without her. Now that I don’t have her to like…
H: She really has though. Like, she’s not even kidding. She doesn’t even need me in her life.
A: he he
Q: I got really sick.
A: Quinn wants to talk about her medical trauma. Alright, Quinn, give it a go.
Q: Alright. So Annalena and I went to Washington for like a week, and it was fun.
H: Are you done? I’m just kidding.
Q: Shut up. And then we came back, and I started getting like really, really bad headaches, and um, like, really, really sore necks. My neck started getting really, really sore, and I was like ‘oh, I have to go to the doctor…’
A: I miss you!!
H: I miss you too!!
A: Continue Quinn.
Q: So… I went to the doctor, and they sent me to the emergency room, ‘cause they were like, ‘Oh, we think you might have meningitis,’ so I was like ‘Oh my God!’
H: (whispers) I’m not listening.
A: (laughs) Me, either. I’ve heard this story so many times.
Q: Shut up! I hate you.
Q: And so, they did like a spinal tap, and my spinal pressure was really high. So then they did blood tests and they said I had lyme disease, but then my doctor talked to the people at the Center for Disease Control, and they were all like, um, well you should put a catheter, like a pick line in her arm, which is like a tube arm…
H: AKA a tube in your vein.
Q: And it went up like 20 centimeters into my arm.
A: Isn’t that disgusting?
Q: No one cares what you think. And so… I had to go to the hospital… just kidding! … every day for treatment for three weeks, and it was really boring. But I got it out on Wednesday.
A: And now she can go swimming!
H: Guess where we could have been?
A: Where could we have been?
H: Today was the McLovins concert. Or is.
A: No way. Maybe we should go. Maybe we should just stop radio right now and just hop in a car and go right now.
H: I don’t want to go.
Q: You’re a really crazy kid.
H: It’s probably far.
A: Ohpshhh. We can go on a road trip.
Q: I’ll drive.
H: You drive.
A: Good thing I haven’t taken a shower in a week. Ha ha ha ha. Just kidding, folks. I took a shower yesterday.
Q: Folks? Oh. Am I….
A: Yeah. You’re on radio right now.
Q: I’m sorry. I mean, um, never mind!
A: Quinn’s really funny. She just gets nervous when you put a mic in front of her.
Q: Yeah, ‘cause we have a total of like 10 listeners.
H: That’s a lie! Don’t insult us like that! I’m insulted!
A: Actually, we have a lot of listeners. Everyone listens to our show. We have a lot of listeners.
H: Get out! Leave!
A: You’re a guest, you have to respect us. Geez. These people.
Q: Cheese? That’s a really funny joke, Annalena.
H: Yeah, ‘cause cheese, like Cheese Shack.
Q: Funky Cheese.
H: We are too cheesy.
A: Yeah we are. We need to get Rachel Maddow down here.
Q: Yeah, that too.
A: Anyways. Did you guys know that Quinn and Hannah have the same shirt?
Q: Except for Hannah’s is in red.
H: This is purple.
Q: That’s red.
A: That’s purple.
Q: That’s maroon.
A: That’s maroon.
H: It’s maroonish-purple. It’s on the purplish side.
A: OK. Why are our school colors white and maroon? I think those are the worst colors ever.
Q: I think they should be like orange and green, cause that’s not like a pumpkin or anything.
A: The pumpkins at the garden are HUGE! You know what? I haven’t seen you down at the garden at all this summer.
Q: Actually, I haven’t been down at the garden either.
H: Have I ever been at the garden?
A: That one time in English class.
H: I’ve actually been there also to help you with some kids. Because you wanted me to help you. Because I’m a great friend.
A: Yeah, except not anymore. Because you don’t even hang out with me anymore. You don’t even like me anymore.
H: Because somebody doesn’t call me and ask if I want to hang out.
A: You didn’t call me!
H: Well, that’s both of our faults.
A: Yeah, but you’re not, I’m not, I don’t even know when you’re in the state, Hannah T. You’ll just be like, ‘Oh, yeah, I would hang out today but I’m in the Netherlands. Oh yeah, I would hang out today, but I’m in Peru. Oh, yeah, I would hang out today but…’
H: I’ve never even been to Peru.
A: That’s not the point, Hannah T.
Q: …around in Otis.
H: That’s like different countries. I got to like Cape Cod, or like New York City. Those are like three hours away.
A: Yeah, well they still prohibit us from hanging out.
Q: [couldn’t catch it…]
A: Yeah, Quinn’s a very sheltered child. She leads a very, very sheltered life. OK, well anyways. Did you know that I hung out with Italians last night, because I’m exotic?
H: Did you know that I’m half Korean, because I’m exotic?
A: Did you know that I have green eyes, because I’m a green-eyed goddess, which is exotic?
Q: I have a tail.
A: You do not have a tail Quinn! That is a certified lie!
H: Did you know that I have black eyes, because I’m a sign of the demon, because I’m exotic?
A: Sign of the demon?
Q: It’s like a Pokemon, Yugiyo…
H: Don’t make jokes about me, or I could… do something.
A: Abuse me?!
H: Unleash my demonic wrath on you.
A: Sometimes Hannah gets really freaky! Anyways. OK. You know what’s a really … I’m just like the girl in 500 Days of Summer.
Q: No you’re not. You’re not at all.
A: Well that’s what Cole said. Cole said I was just like the girl in 500 Days of Summer, and I didn’t agree for a long time, but then I did…
Q: You know, you kind of are.
A: Did you even see it?
Q: I’m not answering that question.
A: Sometimes I forget that Quinn like experienced things with me, so I tell her things like five times, because I always forget that I told her stuff.
H: I do that a lot to you.
A: Yeah, you do.
H: Because I don’t listen to you.
A: Because I’m not important in your life. Right. Uh huh. Anyways.
H: She tries to make it so I just sound like a bad person.
A: You are a bad person!
H: But really I’m just a victim in this situation.
A: How are you the victim? You go on vacation to exotic places like the Cape Cod.
H: The Cape Cod.
A: I am going to The Cape Cod for a few months.
H: You went to Washington.
A: For the first week of summer! You’ve been gone for like half of the summer, and when you’re here, you’re working.
H: You went farthest. No… you haven’t.
A: No I haven’t. And you know what else? We’ve only hung out four times this summer.
H: My sister’s in Germany.
A: That’s so exciting.
H: Isn’t it?!
A: That’s really cool, actually. That’s really really cool.
H: The airplane people lost her luggage.
H: So she’s there with one pair of clothes that she was wearing, and like the stuff she had in her carry-on.
A: Oh my Gosh. That’s crazy. That’s no good.
H: No good.
A: I’d be angry.
H: And she’s staying with her boyfriend and his three older sisters.
H: And his mom too, but the three older sisters, and you have one pair… one like clothing thing.
Q: You mean outfits?
A: Will the sisters like lend her clothing?
H: Yeah, but Jessica’s half Asian, and they’re from Germany. Germans are tall.
A: This is true.
H: Jessica is like …
A: She’s like 5 foot.
H: She’s like 5 foot something.
A: You Quinn’s only 4 feet tall?
Q: That’s a lie! I’m 5 foot 2.
A: Well, she looks like she’s 4 feet tall.
H: No, I’m 5 foot 2, and you’re not bigger than me.
A: I think they’re the same height, but you just have a bigger presence.
H: No, I’m really taller than her. Should we do a test right now?
A: Yeah, do a back-to-back right now.
H: Take off your shoes. Take em off.
A: Well Quinn’s not really wearing shoes. You guys have the same height shoes.
H: No, take it off.
A: Take off the hat though. Alright. Please stand by while we do this… oh, OK, they’re going back to back. They’re turning, they’re turning, now they’re walking and now they are, um, Quinn is taller. Wait, no. Hang on! That’s not right. Quinn is not taller. Quinn is taller
H: How is Quinn taller than me?!
A: Quinn is taller than you Hannah T.!
H: This is not possible!
A: That’s so strange. I always thought that Hannah was much taller than Quinn. I think it’s just because I’m much taller than Quinn.
Q: You’re like 5 foot 4.
A: I’m like 5 foot 5. I am a very tall person.
Q: You’re a very tall woman.
A: I’m not a woman.
Q: I’m sorry, are you a man?
H: She’s only 14.
A: I’m a ly-day.
Q: Oh yeah.
A: All the people at my work call me ‘doll’ and ‘lady’ and ‘goddess.’
Q: Goddess. Oh, Goddess Annalena!
A: No, no, they don’t even say that, they’re just like, ‘Hey Goddess. Can you like do this for me? Can you like wipe up this old man’s sweat for me? That would really be great.’ Yeah, cool, eight bucks an hour. Uhhhh.
Q: I’m a lifeguard.
A: Quinn’s a lifeguard. And Quinn’s like two feet tall. It’s really funny that she saves people’s lives.
Q: I’m working the day after tomorrow at my big girl job, with other kids.
H: For how long?
Q: For three hours.
A: She basically sits in a chair and watches people drown.
Q: That’s not basically what I do, that is what I do.
H: Yeah. No, I mean, for how long are you working? Just til the end of the summer? Because that would be kind of pointless.
Q: Sunday’s my last day actually.
H: Wait, when was your first day?
Q: I only worked a few times this summer, but I’ve made $200 bucks.
A: We don’t talk about money on this radio station.
H: That’s no appropriate.
Q: I’m sorry, I’m a guest, I didn’t know better.
A: You know what, I was super super bored at my work.
H: Really, Annalena, that’s really funny.
A: I always talk about my work because it’s…
H: I think this is really funny.
H: This is a really funny story she’s gonna tell…
A: You know Hannah T., we’re not even friends, so I wouldn’t even be talking.
H: You know what Annalena B.?
H: I don’t even have anything to say to you.
A: Yeah, because you’re mean and nasty and don’t hang out with me.
Q: Ouch, oh, oh, oh!
H: I have not been insulting you this whole time.
A: Anyways, I have something important to tell you.
H: Quinn, you have to help me.
A: This is…
H: You should be trying to bring peace.
A: We sat next to the most annoying person when we were…
A: You know what, I don’t want to talk to you right now.
Q: Yeah, she was so annoying.
H: And I don’t want to listen to your stories.
A: Can I tell you something very amusing?
H: Can we not tell me anything?
A: Well I’m going to tell our listeners something.
H: They don’t care.
A: They do care about me.
H: I know what they like, and they do not like-a that.
A: Last night when I was with the Italians, this guy came up to me and he was like, ‘I am Simone, what is your name?’ And I was like ‘I’m Annalena.’ And he was like ‘Oh! I am Simone!’ And I was like, ‘Yeah I know.’ It was good. Yeah, Simone Jacamo. But anyways, that’s not important…
H: I’m hearing you too loudly right now.
A: Well, I’m sorry I have a booming voice. That’s why they told me I should do radio.
H: I asked you to do radio! What a wrong decision I made.
Q: I’m gonna get my own show. And I’m gonna get thousands of listeners, and become famous!
A: I don’t think there’s thousands of people living in the Berkshires right now. I’m pretty sure the Berkshires have a population of about 500 people.
H: That’s a lie, considering our school has more than 500 kids.
A: What are you talking about?
Q: Yes. Ow. I just dropped my bracelet.
A: Is the upcoming Freshman class big?
H: I don’t know.
Q: No, I think it’s small.
A: Because we had a huge, abnormally huge class.
H: Do you know who’s gonna come into our school next year?
A: Um… who?
A: I don’t want to talk about this. Anyways, I think it’s time for us to go. I hope you enjoyed our show. Sorry that the music wasn’t working. I really wanted to play you this song by India Irie. You should look it up on your own time. It’s really empowering. Especially if you’re a woman.
H: Don’t do it. Just kidding.
A: Because it talks about…
H: Woman empowerment.
A: Yeah. And like how….I’m not the average girl in your video. Something, something. No wait.
H: She’s not very good at this Quinn.
Q: No, she sounds really empowering. I think people are listening to her and they’re feeling, ‘Wow! I’m a woman!’
H: I feel empowered.
A: Goodbye. See you next week.