Radio-appropriate attire.

I’m a lucky, lucky girl, if a 45-year old woman can still claim girl status, that is. Anway, I’m extremely lucky. I’m married to the world’s coolest guy, we have super kids, we have an astounding place in Nowhersville, and a great house in Houston. We are healthy. We like our day jobs. We get to collaborate on SkipJack Publishing.

And I get to do radio interviews.

I lo-o-o-o-o-v-e doing radio. Especially when I’m the “call-in” special guest. Call-in guest = Pamela doesn’t have to change out of her PJ’s to talk to thousands of people over the air waves. Sweet!

I got to do exactly that on the Health & Wellness Solutions radio show with my hero, Dr. Stephen F. Hotze. Now, if you’ve read Hot Flashes And Half Ironmans (and, if you haven’t, what are you waiting for, for goodness sakes?), you’ll know about Dr. Hotze already. His natural health and wellness practice saved my life. I’m not exaggerating. All my life I suffered from PMDD, and every year it got worse as my progesterone deficiency increased. Conventional medicine failed me (big time). I thought at the age of 39 that I was over, kaput, finished.

Enter Dr. Hotze.

Five months after my first visit, I did my first half ironman. Within 18 months, I’d added five marathons and several half marathons. I did another half ironman 18 months after that. I’ve written ten books since then.

Guess how many half ironmans, marathons, half marathons, and books I’d done before I saw Dr. Hotze?

That would be ZERO.

I got my life back, and then some. I had no idea my general health had declined so drastically over the years. It was nothing short of a miracle, except that it wasn’t a miracle. It was simply bio-identical hormones.

So, anyhoo, anyhow, Dr. Hotze invited me on his show. I put on my very best sleepy sheep PJ’s for it. I had my headset on and was sitting by the phone at the appointed time. I picked up.

“Standby to join Dr. Hotze after the commercial break,” a woman said.

“I’m ready,” I replied.

The music came in signalling the start of the show. Dr. Hotze and his co-host Brooke talked for awhile, then came my queue to speak.

As I opened my mouth, the lawn crew that takes take of the yard at the house next door fired up their industrial mower.


I was in a panic. I did my best to answer their questions during the first segment, then we broke to commercial. Shit shit shit. What was I going to do about the background noise? But then the mower moved off to do the other side of the yard. It was better. Good enough.

The cue music started. Dr. Hotze asked me a question.


T.J. Walker didn’t teach us how to handle the noise of industrial mowers in our media training. And I was on a hard-wired land line with a short cord. Eric had replaced our cordless phones with this old-timey model when he could never get the kids to put the phones back on their chargers. It had seemed like such a brilliant move at the time. Not so much now. I stalked to the furthest point I could stretch the cord into reaching. The lawnmower still VROOM’ed in the background.

The segment ended. We went to commercial. By now, sweat dripped down my sides and pooled in my bra. This was not how I had pictured this interview going down. I didn’t have time to stress over whether I had hit my message points or not, or if I sounded like an idiot.

The mower headed toward the backyard. Thank God. I could do the last segment in peace.

The music cued the start of the last segment. I cleared my throat, ready to begin.


This time the lawn guy was mowing the strip of grass adjacent to my office window. Basically, he had all but lodged himself into the phone’s mouthpiece. I had to do something, but what?

I threw myself underneath my desk, the wood providing an extra barrier between me and the awful noice. A little better.

“And so why did you write Hot Flashes and Half Ironmans, Pamela?” Dr. Hotze asked me. Or at least I think he did. I couldn’t quite hear him.

I cupped my hand around the mouthpiece to hold out the noise and in the sound of my voice. I prayed it didn’t sound like a prank caller heavy breathing into the microphone. I began to think about the fun I would have blogging about the experience. I imagined myself away to my happy place, the Annaly tidal pools back on St. Croix.

And then we were saying our thank you’s and good byes. The line went dead. I slumped against the inside of the legs to my desk.

The sound of the mower stopped. I looked outside. They’d done a mighty fine job on the yard. And they were done. Time it took them to mow my neighbor’s yard? The exact forty-five minutes of my appearance on the radio show.

I’m a damn fine Girl Scout, but this time I was not prepared. For a Petey the one-eyed Boston Terrier barking emergency? Yes. I had stashed him in the game room with special treats. For call waiting? Uh huh, I’d turned that off. I’d warned the kids, turned off my cell phone, and put a note on the door so no one could call or ring the bell to interrupt us. But I hadn’t planned for industrial mowers.

And Dr. Hotze still sent me these flowers as a thank you gift for appearing on his show.

Eric listened to the show, and he swears he couldn’t tell. I don’t think he’d tell me if he could, though. Do you?

Pamela Fagan Hutchins

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12 Responses to Video killed the radio star.

  1. JennyBean says:

    Even a Girl Scout gets sabotaged occasionally. Is that why you wear a bra under your PJs?!

    • Pamela says:

      It’s why I wear one under them SOMETIMES. That and because my great grandmother had breasts down to her hips. Me no want dat.

  2. Eric says:

    I think the notion that you can have a peaceful, “home office” is a nice thought and almost impossible in reality. You have some hilarious stories of really poorly timed interruptions. This one is really a topper though. I was laughing as I was IMing you during the interview because you held it together so well, and sounded so “normal” on the radio.
    It was a great interview by the way. Was very proud of you and think that they really know what a wonderful advocate you are for their program.

    • Pamela says:

      Thanks. I look forward to hearing the edited show. It should be up soon.

      This may rival Clark ringing the bell over and over when I was on the expert witness call with four other parties, and had to take a break (combined billing rates of like 2000 an hour) to let him in and chew his butt.


  3. Bill Dorman says:

    So, you sleep in a bra, huh? I’m not going anywhere with that, just re-confirming your statement…….:).

    I haven’t done the radio thing, but my office window overlooks our complex and there has been a time or two yard-boy w/ mower and blower are going to town right outside my window while I’m on the land line phone. To take it a step further, they come on Monday usually after my car has been washed just so they can blow and go all over my nice clean finish……..sheesh……..

    I’m sure your call went fine and interesting story about the change in health. You know better than most, if you don’t have your health you really don’t have much.

    I did sign up to do a half-marathon at Disney in January; that’s about as energetic as I’m going to get for now. I already have a 3:42 marathon under my belt….

    • Pamela says:

      You are KIDDING on the marathon? Can I just hate on you for a moment? With sheer athletic jealousy????? Oh man. You are amazing! My daughter wants me to do that marathon with her in January (Disney in OrlandO), but I just can’t do any more events on pavement. I’m saving it all for the big ones: St. Croix half ironman May 2013 and Houston/Memorial Hermann Ironman May 2014.

  4. Vidya Sury says:

    🙂 I am sitting here, grinning like an idiot. Because I am sure as hell not going to cry with all the talk about marathons. All am thinking is – I’d better step up my walkathons. Sheesh! Go on, Bill and Pamela, make me jealous!

    So how does one catch the interview, Pamela? 😀 Hugs. I am pretty sure you did a damn fine job too!

    • Pamela says:

      Hey, have you ever walked a Marathon, b/c that is DAMN HARD. Walking is awesome, and not nearly as hard on the knees or feet. Walk, Vidya, walk.

      The interview will be posted on the internet, sometime soon. I’ll put a link up. They edit out all the commercials first, which is goooood.

  5. You are my hero – my entertainment – my goal. I want to be cool like you when I grow up. Give yourself credit. You have to be incredibly limber to be able to do all that with a land line!! I well remember limbo, twist and shout, and pull the phone off the table! Fun times!!

    • Pamela says:

      LOL, you are too funny. I hadn’t though of that. A further testimony to the effectiveness of my bio-identical hormones (and YOGA).

  6. Julie says:

    You always find yourself in the silliest of situations. I love that song Video Killed the Radio Star. At least you survived and the neighbor has a pretty lawn!

    • Pamela says:

      You have a fantastic attitude — my neighbor’s lawn DOES look nice 😉
      I loved that song too!