High-pitched whine

I admit it: I’m an NPR junkie. Not only do I listen to KXPR to and from work, but I also download the NPR podcasts so I can listen to the stories I missed.

And yes, I donate every year.

Like any good Catholic girl (Sacred Heart, St. Francis), I am driven by nothing so much as a sense of responsibility seasoned with more than a little bit of guilt. Which is why when the begathon begins, I pay up. I don’t even ask for the free year’s subscription to Target Demographic magazine that’s offered if I pay with my platinum Amex card.

“Use it all for the station,” I say magnanimously, turning down the Capital Public Radio commute cup or umbrella as if my $120 annual toss-in were on a level with donations of the late Joan Kroc.

Of course, I’m not in Kroc’s class, but I would gladly double the pledge if only I never again had to hear Donna Apidone, usually the smooth-voiced professional, chirping like a big-haired QVC pitch girl during this week’s run of the “shortened pledge drives” that seems to go on longer than the career of Kings coach Rick Adelma — uh … well, a long time, anyway.

“Our consultants have told us that shortened pledge drives only work a couple of times,” she threatened us this morning. “Prove them wrong. Call now … [or will keep whining at you forever].”

To judge from her barely concealed loathing at being forced to dance like a organ-grinder’s monkey, it’s possible Apidone hates pledge drives even more than I do. Not only possible, but likely, since I can turn off the radio and she can’t stop her chirping until they’ve wrung half their annual operating budget out of their loyal listeners. “YOU keep this station on the air. You. Not the government. You.”

I get it. Me. And I also know the only time you, NPR and Capital Public Radio, give a damn about me, your loyal listener, is when you’re trying to guilt-trip or annoy me into giving you my money. And that’s generally fine, but your concern is genuinely annoying during pledge drives.

I’d rather hear profanity-filled rap music or a horror-movie scream than one more minute of pledge drive. Which is, of course, exactly the point. But this time, I didn’t just roll over when I called in and gave over the credit card number.

I wonder when the first issue of my free magazine will arrive.

2 thoughts on “High-pitched whine”

  1. It seems like most people aren’t fond of Donna Apidone, and yet she’s still around. I guess she’ll have to be there as long as Bob Edwards before anything changes.


  2. Oh man – the hardest thing is listening to them try to come up with reasons why you should give. Example:

    “Gas prices have gone up and that effects even us here at NPR. It takes more gas to… drive… our engineers… to the broadcast sites.”


    I also like when they are freestyling during these things because they sound so bitter (because they are reduced to do what amounts to shaking a styrofoam cup and asking if you could spare a dime).


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