RUSH: Kathryn in Austin, Texas. You’re next. It’s great to have you. Hi.
CALLER: Hi. It’s an absolute honor to get to speak with you. I grew up a Rush Babe. And in our family we like to say you’re the best friend we’ve never met.
RUSH: Thank you. Thank you very much. I like that.
CALLER: Yeah. So I live in Austin, Texas, one of the most liberal, atheist cities in all of America. And my fundamental viewpoints could not be more polar opposite. So I was wondering if you have ever thought about doing a singles for Rush dating website.
RUSH: A singles for Rush dating website?
CALLER: That is correct. I personally think that anybody who calls your show is a quality person.
RUSH: You’re right about that. In fact, you know, I’ve never thought about a dating website. One of the problems with that is, obviously all the women would want to choose me, and I couldn’t be available on my own site. But, you know, you’re right about something. You really hit a — we engage in a lot of audience outreach here. We started doing it during the Revere books, and it continued through a number of different outlets.
And we’ve made it very easy for people to reach out to us if they want to share things with us about what the program has meant to them, how long they’ve been listening. We have found the most incredible people make up the audience of this program. I can’t describe for you how heartwarming it is to listen to what people, who participate in these outreach efforts, literally say about what this program has meant to them and me, of course. And so you’re absolutely right. The people of this audience are definitely quality people, and I need to thank you for that. Now, a dating website. When I start thinking of things like that, Kathryn, I started thinking of liability —
RUSH: — and all that.
CALLER: I know.
RUSH: So you want to find a way to access the great guys that are in this audience?
RUSH: That’s what you want.
CALLER: Oh, yes. It couldn’t be more disastrous than what I’ve currently been through.
RUSH: I’m sure. How did you end up — were you an Austin native?
CALLER: I’m not. I’m from a tiny town called Troy, Texas. It’s about an hour and a half north, and so I went to school at UT at a time when it was much less liberal than it is now.
RUSH: Yeah, but see, the tech companies took over that town and they started bringing their tech employees in. They started setting up their tech stuff like South by Southwest.
CALLER: They sure did.
RUSH: And they just culturally took over. And of course it didn’t hurt that it’s a university town as well. You know, there was one time, Kathryn, I didn’t really dabble in it as a website, dating site. I don’t know how long you’ve been listening. But, oh, within the first three or four years of this program, one of the Snerdleys, I think it was Mario Snerdley, who was one of the original call screeners, suggested that it might be a cool thing if every female caller had a photo with us on file as a requirement before she could go on the air.
So I thought, well, this could be fun, and I mentioned this. I required every woman who thought that she might someday call the program and want to appear to send us a photo so that we could then qualify. You wouldn’t believe, Kathryn, the photos that came in. I mean, they came in by the tens of thousands. Mario Snerdley, I’d never seen a guy so happy.
CALLER: I bet. (laughing)
RUSH: And women were going out to the beach, taking pictures in their bikinis. Some were taking pictures showing some brownies that just came out of the oven. It ran the gamut. And, boy, did I get in trouble. Oh, did I get in trouble.
I got in trouble from the women who thought it was most sexist thing. Why don’t you require pictures of men? Of course, I couldn’t tell ’em why this really happened. It was ’cause one of the Snerdleys had the idea. But see, I can’t blame it on one of the Snerdleys ’cause I’m the one that actually did it, so I had to take the hit.
CALLER: Not easy.
RUSH: And the pictures are gone. Snerdley took the pictures with him when he left to go work at Entertainment Tonight or some other such thing. But I’m flattered by your question. I’d like to find a solution for your problem, too.
CALLER: I would love for you to as well.
RUSH: What is your solution?
CALLER: I don’t really have one. That’s why I called the great Maha Rushie. I thought maybe you would have a solution.
RUSH: Oh, okay. Well, Mr. Snerdley here is saying the first step may be for you to deposit a picture of yourself on file here with us.
CALLER: Just let me know the email address to send it to.
RUSH: No, no, no, we are teasing about this. (laughing) But this is a challenge now. You’re correct in your assessment of the quality people that listen to this program. And I understand the obstacles in your way living in Austin. A dating website. That’s something, no, we’ve never actually thought about doing. But I really appreciate you calling and suggesting the idea and the nice things you said. I really appreciate it. It’s great that you did, and it’s great to meet you and have a chat with you. And, you know, I’ll tell you what. If you want to leave your number with Mr. Snerdley, you never know what could happen.
RUSH: Nobody will have it, nobody will know it, don’t hang up after the call.
RUSH: You never know what can happen here, Kathryn.
CALLER: You got it.
RUSH: You never know.
CALLER: I will leave it.
RUSH: All right. All right. And you can be totally trusting with us on this. Do not have any fears whatsoever that anything untoward is gonna happen. So don’t hang up.