I started my summer camping column on CBC Radio today. Very cool job. I absolutely love CBC Radio; but wow, never a dull moment. I begin at 5:30 a.m., which means I'm up at 2:00 a.m. to travel from my home in Peterborough to downtown Toronto; and I'm still caffeine free (I'm going on 7 months now and its hell!). De-caf or even green tea just doesn't cut it that early in the morning. From 5:30 a.m. until 10:30 a.m. I'm interviewed across Canada. Each city phones me up for a 10 to 12 minute live chat, and there's 17 or 18 cities. So far Whitehorse, Thunder Bay, St John and Cape Breton have been my favorite. And this week's column was on "glamping" - glamour camping. We discussed the goods and bads of having someone pick the blackfly out of the chardonnay for you or coffee served to you while you're still rolled up in the sleeping bag.
What makes it more interesting is what's going on around me at CBC Radio. There's a lot of famous people here - really nice famous people. That's the one thing I love about CBC — the nice people you hear on the radio are just as nice in person. Then there's the robot mail guy (or girl?). It's not nice at all. It's an actual robot that delivers the mail. Mind you, it looks more like a enlarged-shopping cart moving around by remote control - but it is a robot. On the front there's a sign posted "Move it or loose it." When it passes by you and you want the mail, you simply touch it and it will stop. Sounds simple enough - but I'm finding its attitude not as friendly as the "real" radio people here. The darn thing keeps taking turns too sharply or knocking into chairs and getting stuck; and when you go to help it, the robot tries to deliver you mail. For pure enjoyment I decided to say something nasty to it when it rolled past my booth. The darn thing turned around and came back at me. The whole studio laughed hysterically as I ran away. And imagine this, I'm running to the washroom to pee between live interviews with Goosebay and Sudbury, having literally 3 minutes to do the act, and there's the robot blocking the washroom door. I tried to move it to the side, and it tried to hand me a mail package. I panicked and used the women's washroom instead, and thank goodness I didn't run into anyone like Sheila Rogers in the stall - even if she is a really nice person.