Hey Marilyn: Shouldn’t have unbooked a blogger!
Because I had written in to convince them that I was Marilyn’s biggest fan. The nice producer conducted a pre-interview, asked for directions to my house, said they’d probably send a crew the next week, and told me she’d get back to me when they made their decision.
How exciting! An appearance on the newest Canadian talk show on CTV!
What an honor! What an opportunity!
I cobbled together my plan. I would show the producer my wardrobe of Value Village t-shirts, my three pairs of jeans, my unkempt mop of hair. She would tut-tut and get me to the hairdresser stat. I would select a new wardrobe and they might even give me a trip some place exotic (Whistler!) or at least give me money for a dinner out.
There would be a big reveal in studio, as Marilyn showed off my new look to the audience. A newly remade Rose, set for the New Year!
What a treat for Marilyn’s biggest fan.
The next week, the producer called to say I would be on January 20th — today — but they’d decided to make it a “phoner” meaning I would phone in to the show, gush about being Marilyn’s biggest fan, and maybe they’d send me a Sears gift certificate. My balloon was deflated (though I remembered I was dealing with CTV, not the Oprah Winfrey Show).
The producer gave me talking points which were spit back from my pre-interview: how I’d listened to Marilyn on CHUM radio since the kids were in diapers, then followed her to her CITY-TV talk show (without mentioning the name), and how excited I was now was that she’d made it to the bigtime. Oh, and how finally Canadian women had a Canadian talk host to admire. (I didn’t spend years in public relations for nothing.)
I’d still be on the show but just as a voice-over with a picture of me. Wasn’t so bad. After all, Jann Arden had phoned in to congratulate Marilyn on her new show. So had Marilyn’s dad. I was in good company. Besides, I’d be in a position to plug my blog to a national audience — and isn’t that what being on a talk show is all about?
Earlier this week, I was called to say that I’d been bumped for a plant specialist. The “good luck with the gym” comment at the end meant, I assume, that I would never be on the Marilyn Denis Show. It was the television equivalent of a kiss off, evidence that Marilyn “just wasn’t in to me”.
Is this anyway to treat your biggest fan? No sirree, Bob. No sirree. Misery started this way.
Anyway, I thought I’d do what the people in show business call an “imagining” of what the phoner might have sounded like, if I had been phoned by the show at 10 this morning, which I will clearly not be.
Here is it:
Marilyn: We have our next guest on the line from Ottawa, Rose Simpson who writes a blog called The $10 Life. Hi Rose!
Me: (trying to sound casual) Good morning, Marilyn. I’m so excited to be here.
Marilyn: Great to talk to you, Rose. My producers tell me that you’re my biggest fan. Why is that?
Me: Well, Marilyn, It seems that I’ve known you forever. You see, I’m a shut-in who suffers from anxiety disorder and agoraphobia. I used to have a small business, but it went under, so I’m poor. I can’t get out of my house because of my mental illness, and what would I do if I could get out, having no money? I can’t afford a gym membership and that’s why I’m so fat, so I sit here and eat Doritos and watch you everyday.
Marilyn: But why are you my biggest fan again?
Me: Uh, because I have no friends. (Gordie barks) Except for dogs. I want to make friends but I don’t have a job to go to. And I don’t have money for Starbucks, so it’s just you and me, oh, and Regis and Kelly, but Regis is going off the air. And Oprah, but she’s going off the air, too.
(Chuckle.) So you’re what’s left. That and I was hoping for a makeover.
Marilyn: It sounds like I’m your default.
Me: No offence, but it’s a Canadian talk show. And thankfully you aren’t Ben Mulroney.
Marilyn: Okay, then. Gotta go. Just for calling in, we’re sending you out a certificate for the Jelly of the Month Club.
Me: What about my makeover?
Marilyn: Sorry Rose, we only do makeovers on people in the GTA. It’s CTV, Rose, it’s not Oprah.
Me: Well, thanks for nothing, I guess.
Marilyn: Thanks for this crap interview. Stay tuned, ladies and gentlemen, for the wonderful, the bionic, Suzanne Somers!