Oh, Holy Paint
KDGE-FM (102.1) morning show hosts Lex & Terry have a plan to end the Middle East conflict. Sure. Right. Yesterday morning, they inadvertently announced (so they're insisting now, anyway) a plan to end the war when they discussed the Lex & Terry Holy War, which would call on Muslims, Jews and Christians to sign up to defend their religions...on the paint-ball field. The winner of the tourney should likewise determine the winner of the worldwide conflict.
"We didn't sit down and have a meeting about it," co-host Terry Jaymes says about what began as a joke, the type of hypothetical one would come up with while at lunch with a buddy. "The response was immediate. Now we have to follow through with it." At around 9:15 a.m., as I drove to down Oak Lawn Avenue, the pair had already gotten calls from several Muslims—not making complaints, but wanting to sign up. They went on to suggest that if there were any fundamentalist Christians making regular trips to the range each week, they should enlist as well. We assumed, of course, that agnostics would just hang out on the sidelines wondering what all the fighting's about and atheists would stand behind them shaking heads and muttering, "Nothing."
Sure, Carlos Mencia may have tried a similar idea with his "Royal Religious Rumble" on his Comedy Central venture Mind of Mencia, but that battle was just between religious icons, this one's between full-on believers. And it's local. As of now, the side filling up most quickly is that of the right-wing Christian. Droves, we're talkin,' but no real surprise there. Just makes us wonder how this thing will pan out on the field.
The team is planning for a live on-air broadcast, but Jaymes admits that planning an event of this nature could take up to six weeks; prospective participants will be interviewed to see if they're still interested (sanity and motive will surely factor in), and there are logistics like venue and date to work out.
"We don't want anyone hurt, and we'd love to all shake hands afterward," Jaymes says. "But like anything on our show we don't know how it will turn out until after. It's pretty impossible to tell people how to think and feel." And here we thought that's what this holy war business was all about.
But regardless of a hopefully "warm and fuzzy" outcome, as Jaymes describes it, and what some will chalk up to jackassery on the airwaves, the whole Lex & Terry Holy War joke was really an expression of frustration over fighting and how to mediate it. "We didn't want it to turn into a radio stunt, but of course that's what it's going to be," he says. "If it blows up in our face, it blows up." Oh well, whenever this thing goes down, Jaymes is definitely right about one thing (and this actually applies to any radio event now that we think about it): "People from certain parts of town will come for the free pizza." --Merritt Martin