My Mo
by Stefi Sparer

I don’t really like to admit just how big a dork I am. I can admit the small stuff. Everyone watches The Daily Show and Colbert Report (my “power hour”), and watching CNN can be excused, and Al Franken is cool because he’s on Letterman all the time, but listening to Discovery Radio on Sirius in your car, when you could be listening to Cavino and Rich talk about “nussies” and “knobbers” on Maxim radio, or even Howard Stern on one of his 800 stations is… well it’s a tad on the Chess Club President side (but to set the record straight, I was only their secretary).

But the thing is, I really like Discovery Radio. I really like learning about rare monkeys in Africa and then, later, about the American Civil War. It is so totally my thing.

Which is why I listen to / am completely ass over head in love with Mo Rocca*.

MoRoccashot.jpgAnd I shouldn’t be. He is what I dated in high school. That Elvis Costello-glasses wearing-cardigan sporting-drama nerd in the honors program is exactly what screwed me up back in the day.

But I love him.

Even if we could only ever be just friends.

That’s why I called into his Discovery Radio show. I never thought I was one of those people who call into radio stations… I never thought I would be. I never expected it to happen. I didn’t know what I was doing. “Call in now to talk to Mo!” his producer urged. And, I could blame it on lack of sleep or dehydration, but something inside of me made me pick up my cell phone and dial. Something inside me whispered “today is your day to win a When Dinosaurs Roamed America DVD.”

I expected a busy signal. I never expected him to pick up. Actually, I never expected him to not screen calls either.

“Hello?” He wants to know who’s calling.

Big. Fucking. Pause.




“Oh. Hi?”

Um. Oh. Hi. Fuck.

“Hi, and who’s calling?”

Oh shit.


“From where?”


I have forgotten my purpose for calling, my name, my state, I think also my address and phone number. I am completely disoriented. And I am driving. I begin to think, If I crash my car and die on air… could that get me face time on ET? Probably not, but maybe Extra? They’re sorta slutty… is Mo still talking? Should I be listening? I have to concentrate. Concentrate… concentrate… MO!

“Oh yeah! What part?”

Oh fuck me.

“Phoenix? Paradise Valley area?”

This is where I black out. Just as the conversation was about over, I can vaguely recall spitting out (after a sarcastic rant about… football and Navy Seals? What?), “But, no, seriously, I love you and your show!”

“Oh, well… great! Thanks! And congratulations!”

Wait… Did I win something?

“I need your address so I can send the DVD,” his producer is now on the line with me.

I’m brazen, “Can you get Mo to send me an autograph too, please?”

Big. Fucking. Pause.

“Uh, I’ll see what I can do.”

Still waiting.

*(Q.- “Who?” you ask. A. - The dude from I Love The… whatever year and a former Daily Show correspondent… he’s also a judge on Iron Chef sometimes and does work for Leno and CBS on Sunday mornings? His book is All The Presidents’ Pets … Why am I so alone in the world?)

Stephanie likes to get her nerd on.



I go to sleep listening to the history of the Byzantine Empire.

You are not alone.


I often download audio books onto my MP3 player so I can listen to them on my ride into work.

I also watch History and Discovery Channel religiously.

You have your Mo Rocca. I have my Kari Byron.


Hey, I'm an NPR whore. Nothing wrong with it. Every time I hear Diane Reams' voice I cream my pants. Does that make me weird?


I don't think that's weird at all, Uber.
It's nice to know I'm not alone.


I almost started listening to the radio back in '91, but I moved to a remote area with three, suck-ass stations. Wore out my cassette deck, then a few CD players till mp3's came along. If I could get Discovery Radio, I would give up music, forever.



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