Cory Farley, voted "Best of Reno" 26 times in 27 years by readers of his column in the Reno Gazette-Journal, takes an unconventional look at topics from presidential elections to the best way to cook Brussels sprouts.

Location: Verdi, Nev, United States

Thursday, January 17, 2008

Are you sure Charlie Gibson started this way?

I didn't have to call 911 to get rescued from my television debut, but it was close.
That was me on the 6:30 news on KOLO TV, looking wooden next to anchor Brent Boynton. I'll be doing commentary there occasionally, and Thursday I got to go on Real TV while Brent introduced me and I rambled on about something or other.
Next time will be better. For one thing, I'll try to have a plan. For another, I'll try not to lock myself in the lobby when I leave.
Getting into a TV station these days is about as hard as getting into the White House used to be. You check in, wait, and eventually somebody comes and gets you. They lead you back through a maze of hallways, offices and closed doors, treat you nicely, let you say a few words to God knows how many people, and then they send you home with dramatically lowered self-esteem.
In my case, most of the self-esteem problem was self-inflicted. After I got done saying whatever it was I said (something about the caucus, the pronunciation of Nev-ADD-a and polarization, I think), four people asked me if I could find my way out.
"Sure," I said, and I did: With only one wrong turn, I got to the next-to-last door, through which I could see the last door, through which I could see my car.
Piece of cake. I opened the next-to-last door, stepped to the last door and give it a shove just as I heard the next-to-last door click shut behind me.
The last door didn't move.
I turned back. The next to last door didn't move. I had locked myself in to the lobby, a tiny cubicle furnished with a couple of chairs and a copy of last month's Martha Stewart Living magazine.
In moments like this, I ask myself, "What would McGyver do?" Easy: He'd scrape the coating off the slick magazine pages, mix it with some kind of acid (as it happens, I was carrying a pretty good supply in my bladder), pack it around the door, let it dry, then blow the hinges off.
I actually thought of that, but I'm not sure magazines are still coated with the same stuff they were when the Army taught me to do it, and in this weather it wouldn't dry before I froze. Unfortunately that was both Plan A and Plan B, and I had no C. I tried the doors again. Still locked. I beat on the inner one, but everybody in the building at night is in the back, and busy during the news. The receptionist who watches for idiots goes home at 6.
After an embarrassingly long time, it finally occurred to me that I had a cell phone in my pocket. But the only KOLO number I could remember was Boynton's personal line, and he was on the air. Probably not a good idea to use that.
Call home? "Honey, I'm locked in the lobby at the station--could you bring that big crowbar from the garage?" Not just yet.
911? That would get me out, but I know some cops and firefighters, plus there's a scanner in every newsroom in the Truckee Meadows. Locking myself in at my new gig might even get me into the Gazette-Journal one more time, but not in a context I'd welcome.
Finally, from I don't know where, a number popped into my mind. I punched it up, not certain what it was, and Tad Dunbar's voice (recorded, I assume; I have no evidence they're holding him in the basement) welcomed me to KOLO. When he said to press 1 for the Newsroom Hotline I did, and when a woman answered.
My mind went blank. Finally I blurted, "This is Cory Farley. I've locked myself in the lobby and somebody needs to come let me out." i would have been a little suaver if I'd been able to think of a way, but I couldn't. I still can't.
In due course someone showed up and let me out, then led me down a hall I'd missed to a side door and freedom. My television debut was over, and I'm looking at the bright side: As long as I check my zipper, everything from now on is bound to be less embarrassing than this.


Blogger dwoods48 said...

Sorry we missed you . You need to let us Blogheads know when you are going to be on the Big Screen.. We don't usually watch the Local news but would if we knew you were going to be on.....

I am sure it would be hard to sit in the glare of " Brents Tie "

5:58 AM  
Blogger tuzoner said...

No big deal - the whole episode with be buried in the BIG dustbin of history within a few short days.

When more than one person asks if you know the way out - that is a dead giveaway something is amiss. The cell phone saved the day and and your sorry arse in the end. *grin*

To put your experience into some sort of prespective: Nothing you could ever do could embarrass us more than what Bush has done to our country and to the Constitution.

6:08 AM  
Blogger EidolaC said...

Embarrassing incidents sometimes stay with us a long time. But the humilations of childhood seem to cling forever. When I was young the boy behind me would pick a single hair that had strayed from the braid and jerk it out, making me jump. The teacher would say "M, sit still and listen". Being the shy nerd of the day I never said a word but to this very day I have a tiny core of hatred in depths of my being for that boy and I hope that he grew up with a huge bulbous nose.

11:12 AM  
Blogger horizon said...

Just watched your video on the KOLO web site -- perhaps a teeny bit wooden but, all in all, not a bad debut.

Seemed like a lot of disclaimers by the station re not necessarily agreeing with or being responsible for your views -- what in the world did they think you might say in 90 seconds?

I would not have recognized you from your old RGJ photo. Any anonymity you may have enjoyed will surely be gone now.

Good luck with this new phase of your retirement (break a leg?), but please, keep blogging as well.


2:09 PM  
Blogger Sharon said...

I used to read your column whenever I picked up the local rag, but now I am addicted to your blogs. It's all words but different just the same, or not. I was reading you to Ian while he was emptying the woodstove, though I know he'll read you later - we both subscribe. To see you on TV would require that we watch that channel, whatever it is.

4:23 PM  
Blogger stevex said...

I agree with horizon - you looked great, Cory, but Boynton's attempt to cover the station's butt by having you on was a little nauseating. Is KOLO really that afraid of the KKOH crowd?

6:26 PM  
Blogger Thursday's Excuse said...

I've enjoyed your column for years and look forward to your weekly appearances on KOLO.

Regarding your little problem with an exit strategy, you should consider upgrading your cell phone to one of those fancy units that connects to the internet. You could have taken a picture of your tie, posted it on the vintage clothing section of ebay and had dozens of people breaking down the door to rescue you and buy your tie.

6:36 PM  
Blogger Happy Camper said...

A great read, and the getting locked in the lobby, just could not stop laughing, So good to have you back; keep showing up here on the blog and we will all share the good times.

2:12 PM  

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