So yesterday was our big day. We woke up early, fed our kids, and handed them off to Bob, who had agreed to look after them for the day on the condition that he could look after them using our car.
This left us with Bob’s 15-passenger van as our conveyance to Washington. Everyone knows that small-town, first-time television personalities drive oversized vans to television studios.
We stopped en route to buy Robbi a muffin.
Along the way, we tried to psych ourselves up. We couldn’t really prepare, since we would be at the mercy of whatever questions they were planning on asking us, so we spent the two hours walking down the memory lane of the past five years, agreeing that our lives have been a very surprising series of events.
We got to Arlington and pulled into a parking garage with incredibly low ceilings. As such, the van antenna kept whacking into pipes as we drove under them. The racket attracted the attention of a parking attendant, who asked with some irritation how we’d gotten into the garage. We informed him that we’d just driven in. To which he responded by saying that our car was too big. To which we responded by keeping our fingers crossed. Eventually, we found a spot and parked.
On the way out of the garage, we passed by the same attendant, who had this to say to Robbi: “Strong woman. Drive big car.” It took a great deal of persuasion to keep her from running off with him right then and there.
But somehow, I prevailed, and moments later we emerged on the bustling streets of Arlington. ARLINGTON! I was tempted to jump, but figured I’d better save my energy for the interview.
We were a few minutes early, and Robbi was still feeling peckish, so we stopped at a hip deli for a snack. Robbi found her favorite, Pocky.
Once Robbi was fed, we wandered inside.
We knew by the moody blue back-lit sign that News Channel 8 meant business.
A few minutes later, the producer appeared and ushered us (and the rest of the day’s guests) to the set. Along the way, we passed through the offices of Politico, which shares space with News Channel 8.
There were three sets clustered together. We were directed to sit on one while Let’s Talk Live! began on another.
After the first commercial break, we were directed to the third set to sit by ourselves. A production assistant told us that during the lead-up to the next commercial break, the hosts would be talking about our segment and that during this time, they wanted us to smile at the camera and wave. We felt awkward and sheepish and yet we did what we were told. At the appointed moment, we waved. And smiled. And waved some more.
After the waving, we sat a while longer. I fretted anxiously and massaged my nervous jaw.
Robbi practiced what not to do when our turn came.
Eventually, we were whisked to the stage and outfitted with tiny microphones. The camera started rolling. The interview was a blur. After what seemed like only a minute or two, it ended, we shook the host’s hands, and were whisked down a hallway and back to the lobby.
We stood there for a moment, stunned and bewildered, convinced that we had been incoherent, clumsy, and thick-headed.
This is how we felt as we walked out of the studio.
We spent the entire ride home cursing our failed (and surely short-lived) television careers, lamenting our lack of poise under fire, and taking comfort in knowing that we’d soon be returning to the solitary lives of barn-bound bookmakers.
But then we got home and watched the segment online. Somehow it wasn’t quite as awful as we had initially feared.
Here it is, provided you have 6 minutes, 9 seconds to kill.
If the video above still hasn’t loaded, you can just click here to go straight to the page.
All in all, it was a fun day, a new experience. I can’t say we’d decline if Conan came calling, but all things being equal, we think we’ll stick to the books for now.