"Let's stay in touch."
I've said this - and so have you - upon leaving a job and saying goodbye to your soon-to-be-former coworkers.
One of two things will now happen. You will. Or you won't. It doesn't matter what your stated intentions are. It's a process that takes on a life of its own, and suddenly that person you swore to keep in touch with is now very far in the rear view mirror, while others are in your life with stunning regularity.
I'm happy to say my good friend Ed, a former co-worker at Bloomberg Radio, fits into the latter category.
But why? How did Ed make the cut when others did not?
It might be our common fondness for breakfast at IHOP, where we meet every month or so. It might be the fact that we both have an undying love for the radio business, even if it hasn't always treated us so well.
But here's the real reason: Ed is totally wacky, which allows me to act the same way, with impunity. We could have the same silly conversation about the same thing 427,000 times in a row, and we'll laugh hysterically EVERY time.
The subject doesn't matter, although we have one favorite: Stupid management tricks, as practiced by my former and his still-current bosses.
However, the centerpiece of our wackiness revolves around Casey Kasem, the radio host who put American Top 40 on the radio map.
There's an AT40 outtake involving Casey that's made the rounds for years: he gets upset because his producer has him going from an upbeat song to a dedication to a now-deceased dog, a transition he's finding nearly impossible to make. As his rant continues, he gets angrier and moves on to pretty much every other subject that's bothering him.
The rant crescendos when he tries to calm down and read a custom promo for one of the radio stations that runs the show. It goes something like: " .. so tune in to American Top 40 Sunday mornings at 2 ..... TWO???????????"
Trust me. It's funny. It may be the funniest thing I've ever heard. It may not be apparent from the reading but it's funny. It is. It is. It really is. And it gets funnier each time.
Ed agrees. That alone would be enough to make him a friend, but it gets better. If our conversation (or any other within 457 miles) even comes close to referencing the number two .. you can bet your last dollar that one or both of us will yell out .. "TWO????????"
I know what you're thinking. "What's WRONG with these people?" But that's not really the point. No matter how stupid something may seem to be, it's a possible bonding point. And thanks to Casey Kasem, Ed and I will be friends for a long, long time. Even if IHOP goes out of business.