RUSH: Shortly after this program began… (interruption) What? No, no, that’s true. It’s true. (laughing) It is true to say. Each day I probably do choose the path of the most resistance when doing this program. (laughing) Some people choose the path of least resistance. I aim this program at the most resistance. I do! Not even by design. Just standing up for what’s right takes you down the path of most resistance. That’s where this program goes each and every day.
Anyway, shortly after this program began in August of 1988, something happened. I forget what it was, but there was a rash of highway accidents, and there was a lot of concern over people driving in ways that distracted them. So I came up with a solution, and the solution was to get women to stop “farding” in their cars while they’re driving, and this caused an absolute outrage down the affiliate line. At our affiliate in Chicago, WLS, Tom Tradup was the program director, the general manager.
Back in those days, they still weren’t sure. Not just LS, but they still weren’t sure that syndicated programming was the answer. What I was trying to do had never worked in the daytime and had always failed, both in ratings and in financing terms. So there was — and I knew this. There was a very thin line that I was on, and it didn’t take much to veer off that line. If I gave any ammunition to people who really didn’t want to carry this program, they would take it.
That’s not a criticism of them; it’s just the lay of the land as it was back in 1988 when the program started. I don’t want to get too inside baseball, but back then the belief was that radio, to succeed, had to be local, local, local. You had to have local hosts. You had to have local phone numbers. You had to have local issues. Or you didn’t have a prayer. Television was national. But radio? No, no, no. It would never work. Oh, yeah, and you had to have guests.
“If you’re gonna do a talk show, you have to have guests. What do you think you’re doing?” I faced that even when I was in Sacramento, but I didn’t want to do guests because everybody else did. Anyway, so when I suggested that women stop “farding” in their cars, I got canceled, on the spot, at WLS in Chicago. They called and said, “All right, that’s it! That’s it! We’ve been able to look the other way at some of the stuff up to now, but that’s it! No more,” and they canceled me.
(laughing) Now, the cancellation lasted 45 minutes, because I then explained that the word was “fard,” f-a-r-d, and it’s French, and it means to apply makeup. Don’t misunderstand, I love Tom Tradup. Tom Tradup’s one of the best radio people that I’ve ever encountered in my entire career. It was just the lay of the land then, the suspicion and uncertainty about whether a program like this — a nationally syndicated program — could work or not. It wasn’t me. It was being nationally syndicated.
So after explaining — and, by the way, I had phone calls, “What do you mean, women farting in their cars? How do you know?”
I said, “I can see it.”
“You can see it?”
“Yeah, I’ve seen it I can’t tell you how many times.”
“Well, do men do it? No, I have yet to see a man do it.” Of course that was just driving everybody crazy, ’cause they didn’t stop to think and why would they, that was the joke. That I was uttering the word “fard.” The point here is how things have changed.
Now, if I were to say f-a-r-t-i-n-g it would not be a big deal. No program director would want to cancel me. Nobody would raise an eyebrow. Now, it’s been 26 years, obviously, and things change over 26 years, but I’ve got a story here that in no way would I have touched 26 years ago. Now, because of the way I was raised, my manners and my sense of propriety and decency, I even am reluctant to mention it now. I really don’t want to touch this now, but I’m also aware that the vast majority of people are not gonna have any problem with it and, in fact, will be laughing themselves silly. So, here goes. And to prove my point, it ran on ABC News.
“Police say a woman crashed her car while shaving her privates.” Well, this is also as dangerous as farding in your car when you’re driving. This could be just as potentially dangerous, shaving your privates, as farding when you’re driving.
“Thirty-seven year old Megan Barnes catapulted to instant fame for an alleged multi-tasking mash-up that earned the bottle-blonde’s mug shot a spot on hundreds of Web sites. According to a startled Florida Highway Patrol trooper, Barnes was shaving her bikini area while driving south on the famed Overseas Highway when she crashed into the rear of an SUV on March 2nd.
“In the police report obtained by ABC News, the trim job was apparently essential because the arresting officer, trooper Gary Dunick, said the Indiana native told him she was heading to Key West to visit her boyfriend. ‘She said she was meeting her boyfriend in Key West and wanted to be ready for the visit.'”
So she was shaving the bikini area in the car while driving on the way to meet the boyfriend.
“It gets weirder. In order to pay full attention to her sensitive regions, police say Barnes enlisted her ex-husband, Charles Judy, who was riding shotgun, to hold the steering wheel,” while she shaved.” So this woman is on the way to Key West to meet her boyfriend, her ex-husband riding shotgun, she decides she’s got to shave her privates. She asks the ex-husband riding shotgun to hold the steering wheel, and that’s what happened. And it all went bad when an SUV driving in front of them slowed down to turn. Megan Barnes’ 1995 Thunderbird smashed into it.
“Two of the SUV’s passengers suffered minor injuries, police say. Barnes shouldn’t have been driving that Thunderbird, since she had been convicted the previous day for driving under the influence and driving with a suspended license.” But she was still out there driving and shaving while the ex-husband was holding the wheel.
“According to the arrest report, it was the sixth time her license had been suspended.” What details are we missing, that she should have had one of the kids on the pedals? (interruption) Oh, what happened when she crashed? While shaving? Well, let’s see.
“After the accident, Barnes and Judy drove off, police say. The Thunderbird limped a few hundred yards before the couple switched seats. ‘She jumps in the back seat and he moves over,’ Dunick told the Citizen. ‘It was like the old comedy bit, “Who’s on first?”‘ But the attempt to claim that Judy, not Barnes, was driving was also doomed. Judy had visible burns on his chest he claimed came from the exploding airbag, but only the passenger side airbag deployed, according to the police report.”
So, anyway, Barnes was charged with “driving with a revoked license, reckless driving, leaving the scene of an accident with injuries and driving with no insurance. Judy was not charged. According to the arrest affidavit, the trooper asked her afterward why she didn’t hit the brakes when she saw the SUV. She answered bluntly, ‘I told you, I was shaving.'” The trooper said, “If I wasn’t there, I wouldn’t have believed it.”
And from that story… (interruption) What? (interruption) Did what? (interruption) Oh, is Big Razor gonna get involved? Do you think a warning label is called for here: do not shave your bikini area while driving. Could well be, trial lawyers get on this, you never know.