Wednesday, February 9, 2011

Most brutal Valentine's Day story ever...

My colleague Annie Calovich and I were reminiscing about Valentine's Day stories and just remembered this one from 2004. A classic. I'll never forget hearing that painful, botched wedding proposal on my morning drive to work.

Here is an excerpt, along with the full transcript of the radio show. That was back when we had plenty of space for such treasures.

Saturday, February 14, 2004
Page: 1A
Source: BY ANNIE CALOVICH, The Wichita Eagle

It's Valentine's Day, people. Have a little heart...


One poor man laid a big Valentine's egg on Friday - ear-witnessed by thousands of people listening to the radio on the way to work.

"Walter" was the last of five people to propose on the air this week during the annual Five Proposals in Five Days promotion that disc jockeys Brett Harris and Tracy Cassidy of B98-FM do every year leading up to Valentine's Day.

The way the promotion works, a man comes into the studio and calls his beloved on the phone, live on the radio, and asks her to marry him. In five years, no woman has ever said no.

Until Friday.

After Walter told "Katie" that he knew he could never be with another, that he knew she needed structure and someone to take care of her, that her eyes were like pools and her touch like a feather, he was met with the dreaded radio silence. And then:

"Absolutely not. Not now. Not ever."

Her anger was palpable. His voice choked and faltered ("I'm sorry, sweetie, but I do love you").

The phone line eventually went dead. Katie had hung up. Brett and Tracy, like all their listeners, were in shock. Among the first words spoken were Tracy's, offering to give Walter a list of counselors. Walter, declaring that he loved Katie, simply walked out of the studio and straight to his truck.

The song "Have You Ever Been in Love?" -- chosen, tragically, with a differen t outcome in mind -- was queued up, giving the disc jockeys a chance to gasp off the air.

"It should have been J. Giles -- 'Love Stinks,' " Brett said afterward.

While e-mails flooded the radio station -- saying everything from "Bless his heart" to "He should have seen the signs" to "Can I meet this guy?" -- Brett got Katie on the phone after the show and asked her to come on the air Monday to give her side of the story. Still sounding angry, she agreed. Tune in during the 8 o'clock hour.

'Will you marry me?'

Here is the transcript of a marriage proposal made Friday morning during "The Brett & Tracy Morning Show" on B98-FM. Walter is in the studio with Brett and Tracy. Katie is on the phone:

Brett Harris (talking to Katie): Do you know a gentleman by the name of Walter?

Katie: Uh, yeah.

Tracy Cassidy: He happens to be with us this morning.

Brett: Yeah, hang on one second here.

: Hi, sweetie.

Katie: (Pause.) Hello.

: I just wanted to let you know that when I met you I'd never be with another. What we've been through these long last eight months has taught me one thing, and that's to lead with my heart. And so that's why I'm calling you this morning on B98. I know the one thing you need more than anything right now is structure, someone to depend on . . . someone to take care of you. Your eyes are like pools, and your touch is like a feather. Monday night you said you could spend the rest of your life with me, so I ask you this morning: Katie . . . will you marry me?

Katie: (Audible sigh.) Absolutely not. Not now. Not ever.

: Why not? Sweetie . . .

Katie: Please tell me this isn't on the air.

: Yeah.

Brett: We are on the air.

Katie: Ohhhhh, gee.

: Are you all right, baby?

Katie: How could you do this to me? You're so manipulative, putting this kind of pressure on me. You know I'm not ready. You know I've been seeing other people. Uhhh. Where are my kids right now?

: They're at Mom's.

Katie: I can't believe you've done this to me. I am so embarrassed right now. (Heavy sigh. Silence.)

: I'm sorry, sweetie, but I do love you.

Brett: Walter? Um, Trace? Hold it.

(Dial tone.)

Brett: Oh no. She hung up on him.

Tracy: Uh, Walter, um, maybe you should come and let me give you a list of good counselors. This might be a real good time for that.

: I'm sorry. I'm sorry about this. I gotta take a walk. I'm sorry.

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