Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Pledge Drive as My Mother
What’s the matter? You don’t have time for WBCD anymore? I see the way you go traipsing around with that easy-listening station. Ah, what’s the use. I only raised you on hours of stellar programming, in-depth news analysis, and interviews with the political minds and cultural luminaries that shape our world. Why should I expect anything in return? Go ahead, let old WBCD get tossed into the archives. No need to visit either. I’ll be fine.

Pledge Drive as High-School Wrestling Coach
Listen up! Drop and give us ten, twenty, whatever you can spare! Move it! What’s the matter? You gonna crawl back to your wussy corporate-backed stations? Wahhh! I need advertising and a big parent company to support me! Wahhh! Where are those stations when you want unbiased reporting and comprehensive coverage of issues that actually matter? Yeah, that’s what I thought. Now let’s go. Do it for WBCD!

Pledge Drive as Frat Boy
Dude, seriously just hook me up. Just a little dinero, man. Bro, you know I’m totally good for it. I mean, we’re bros, bro. Come on, MacArthur. Just ask your ’rents, John D. and Catherine T. They totally won’t care. Especially if they know it’s for me, WBCD. By the way, seriously, I think Geraldine R. Dodge is totally into me.

Pledge Drive as Embittered Divorcée
WBCD was your home. Your home where we spent evenings with fine wine, easy conversation, and classical music. Turns out I was more like your pit stop. You always had a penchant for going out with your friends, listening to rock ’n’ roll stations, partying it up all night and then coming home to WBCD. I laugh now thinking about you listening to WBCD in your cubicle so your officemates could see what a good relationship we had—and how cultured you are as you hummed along to Handel’s Concerto Grosso No. 5 in D Major. It was always about appearances, wasn’t it? So transparent. Now you’re free. But you should be paying us that court-mandated monthly check. We have an old saying around the WBCD studio that “Our listeners are a stingy lot of no good deadbeats.” Prove that saying wrong by picking up the phone right now and making your pledge. Oh, by the way, Timmy (your son, you remember him don’t you?) is having his birthday party Saturday. Not that you’ll remember to come.

Pledge Drive on NPR’s Affiliate in Sybaris
Thanks for having your servant tune us in and position your ears at exactly the right angle for optimum listening. WBCD needs your help (ha!) and every little bit helps (double ha!). Even that $10,000 you found wedged in the seat of your bespoke Rolls Royce could go a long way to paying an intern’s weekly salary. Please consider becoming a part of WBCD by giving at one of the following membership levels:

If you donate at the basic level, the C.E.O., you’ll enjoy the CD you just heard of the Estonian National Symphony Orchestra (no one rocks Brahms the way they do). You’ll also get the first violinist of the Estonian National Symphony Orchestra. He’s a great guy.

Giving at the next level, the Venture Capitalist, gets you a lifetime supply of Iranian beluga caviar direct from the sturgeon of the Caspian Sea. We here at WBCD love this gift. How many times have you had to host a last-minute gathering of friends, neighbors, and people you can’t stand but that you have to invite anyway so they can see how breathtaking your estate’s grounds are? Save yourself the embarrassment. Never be without this food staple again.

The Sultan is our most exclusive level—in fact, we usually don’t even advertise it. As a Sultan, you’ll receive a limited-edition François-Paul Journe tourbillon with our call letters etched onto the back of the case. Plus, you’ll get your own weekly radio show.

Pledge Drive as a Radio Anthropomorphized as a Guy You Experimented with Years Ago
Remember that tree in your backyard? After the big storm, it bent over your fence and into the Jenkinses’ yard, looming precariously over their kid’s trampoline. I was with you as you switched right into safety mode. You felled it, then cut it into logs and built a fire that night in your cozy den. You knew how to push my buttons; and I knew what you liked. I recapped the day’s news for you as we lay on the carpet in front of the flames. Then I switched formats, gently but firmly pumping the smooth jazz you love so much. I was still playing as the early morning sunlight began to peek through the gossamer curtains. Only gentle embers remained in the fireplace, and your head was next to me as you slumbered peacefully. I’ll always remember your sleeping smile at that moment, as if you were content to stay just like that forever. So what I want to know is why don’t you ever call anymore? Not just now. Not just during pledge time. But ever.

Pledge Drive as a Disreputable Estate-Planning Attorney
Have you thought about what you’re going to do when you fake your own death? Think about leaving behind a token of your appreciation for all that WBCD has done for you. Include us in your will. We call it a legacy gift—and it’s an easy racket. Cut your wife and kids out of your will—I can do this for you discreetly and free of charge in return for a cut on the back end. We’ll transfer all the assets into my name and I’ll spread everything out into untouchable offshore accounts. This way, if your family finds out you’re still alive (they might suspect something when they find out the will was altered the day you disappeared), they can’t get their hands on a nickel. The dough will be in my name, but trust me, you’ll have full access to it. So do it. I need this. Dammit, I need this so very bad.

Frank Ferri is a copywriter who thinks he’s funny. Visit him at ffcopy.com.

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