The joys of eavesdropping

‘Freqing’ Out with Bill & Jack

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Deluxe mobile radio setup

I listen to the Bill & Jack Show every morning. They can pretty entertaining at times. Don’t look for them on your FM dial. Or AM, or satellite, or Internet radio either.

I listen to the Bill & Jack Show because I don’t have a choice. Between 6 and 7 o’clock every morning, they drop in uninvited on my police scanner frequency.

It annoyed me at first. I’d turn the volume way down until they signed off and I could once again listen to police and fire calls uninterrupted.

Yes, I’m an ambulance chaser. Not the highly paid variety. I’m not an attorney, just a journalist. I go to crashes, fires, crime scenes, and nuisance animal calls. In the county where I work we have more of the latter than all the other calls combined. Cows in the road are a huge problem here.

Eventually, I found myself keeping the volume turned up when Bill & Jack were on the air. They don’t talk about anything exciting — mostly the weather, their ailments, their families, the dog next door.

It didn’t take much “listening between the lines” to realize that Bill secretly wants that dog. He talks about how her owners don’t seem to have time for her and how much he enjoys playing fetch with the dog.

Judging from their labored breathing, the ambient sound of bones creaking and the topics of conversation, I have them pegged as retirees in their 70s.

Their banter is pleasant and comforting, kind of like listening to your own parents or grandparents talking with their friends. But, one morning, I sensed a little tension in their voices. They found themselves embroiled in a game of “ailment poker.”

It went something like this:

Bill: “Yeah, I don’t get around like I used to, not after my heart attack.”

Jack: “I know what you mean. I’ve had two heart attacks.”

Bill: “Well, I’ll see your two heart attacks and raise you knee replacement.”

And on it went till they had covered pretty much every joint and organ on their bodies. I think it ended in a draw because Bill changed the subject.

“I think I’ll go out and play with that mutt next door,” he said before signing off.

So ends another fun-filled morning on the Bill & Jack Show.