CB Sexcapades (The ultimate reality show)
Lately, the TV channels have been inundated by variation after variation of a seemingly endless string of thinly scripted shows, which the producers try to pass off as "Reality TV". These shows claim to portray "regular" people living in the "real" world. But anyone with more than one active brain cell will realize that these shows are hardly "reality", as most regular people and their routine lives are just not interesting enough to warrant a spot on prime time television, without a little "spicing up" Hollywood style. At that point the line, where reality ends and manufactured fiction starts, blurs to the point of being indistinguishable. But as vapid and superficial as these shows are, their apparent popularity only adds credibility to the notion that the garden variety couch potato enjoys living vicariously through the "lives" of others (which only serves to underscore just how meaningless their own lives are). One common element, whether the participants are "marooned" on a tropical island, or whether they're shamelessly trying to win the heart of some beautiful and equally superficial supermodel, seems to be the element of sex. It seems that most viewers like to see the people on these shows either kicking the crap out of each other (either physically or verbally), or seeing which of the contestants will seek that "love connection". Indeed, the people who seem to survive to the final rounds are not the ones with the most talent or skill, but the ones who garner the most popular following, due to the drama they create. Such is the nature of this rampant voyeurism, a "Soap Opera" mentality if you will, which has permeated our culture. Before the current fad of reality TV, it was "Melrose Place". Before that it was "Dallas", or "Dynasty". But these voyeuristic tendencies were not limited to TV alone. No, in fact, many elements of today's "reality TV" were present on the CB radio scene in the 1970's. CB radio was often a soap opera in itself, with many of the adult housewives yakking it up all day long, while the men (and teenagers) took over in the evenings. Some of the conversations became a bit frisky and flirtatious at times, especially for the few second shift guys who found themselves outnumbered by the women during the day, or late at night when a few too many drinks had been consumed. In some cases these initially innocent radio trysts evolved into more serious relationships, some of which were extramarital. One of our locals, who shall remain nameless out of respect, had a habit of wooing the lonely married women on the radio. He was even bold enough to mess with the wife of a local cop and nearly got caught, when the husband came off duty one morning, and discovered this guy sitting in the kitchen having coffee with his wife. The cop husband accepted his story of "just stopped by for a cup", but had the cop been a little more observant, he would have wondered why there was frost all over the other guy's car, if he had just "stopped by". Hmmm......
There were other stories of those occasional sordid affairs, but by far, the most intense story of infidelity that I can recall, was told to me second hand by Blue Bandit (Whitey). Whitey, by the nature of his job, was in a position to be by the radio both during the day and at night, and was often poised to overhear the most interesting, and voyeuristically satisfying conversations, especially when the people involved were unaware that he was listening. He was also known to put in a witty comment or two of his own along the way as he saw fit and the situation warranted it.
The setting for this particular story occurred on Channel 3, the local "adults" channel at the time. One of the daily housewives, who was a regular on this channel, was a woman by the handle of Dagmar. Dagmar was a friendly, outgoing, and somewhat frisky individual (and was also the mother of one of my school friends). She was also not shy about inviting people (usually men) over for coffee, in seeming ignorance of, or indifference to, the appearance of the potential impropriety for such behavior. Whitey and a few of the other locals took her up on her hospitality and would make somewhat regular appearances there throughout the early part of 1974. When the spring came, Dagmar also had an in-ground swimming pool put in (which Whitey nicknamed "the ditch"), and then invited people over to swim that following summer as well. Dagmar's husband was a truck driver, who was often on the road for days at a time. He also appeared to be oblivious, or indifferent to his wife's radio related social activities. So now let's recap. We have a flirtatious wife with coffee, a swimming pool, and a part time husband. A recipe worthy of a reality TV show right? It wasn't that far off from some of the crap they peddle on prime time these days. But the difference was that this was 100% real.
Well as luck would have it, somehow Dagmar's inviting demeanor attracted the attention of one of the power house guys from Channel 4, by the handle of Hot Rodder. A guy with a love of high powered radios, fast cars, and even faster women. I'm not sure when exactly they met, or for how long they were "hooked up", but one night, while her OM was supposed to be on the road, Hot Rodder was spending the night at her house performing his rendition of the "horizontal bop". The finer details of this part, obviously, are generally not known, but it doesn't take more than a little imagination to fill them in. All was going well in this house of shame for the moment. But things were about to take a radical turn for the worse when a car suddenly pulled up in the driveway, effectively blocking in Hot Rodder's car and any hope for a clean exit. It seemed that Dagmar's husband had decided to come home early unexpectedly (well at least to her), and he couldn't have picked a better time. We've all seen those movies where the husband comes home early and catches his wife cheating on him, while the "other man" is jumping out of the second floor window and running for his life at the same time frantically trying to pull on his pants and shirt. Well, in this case, that scene was not far from reality. Hot Rodder, in his haste to avoid what was sure to be a very ugly, painful, and potentially life threatening confrontation, had exited the residence through a means other than the front door, and had not had the time to gather all of his clothes and, to make matters worse, he had left behind his car keys as well, which effectively stranded him. While he had managed to temporarily elude the wrath of his attacker, Hot Rodder was wearing little more than his undies, had no transportation, and had little choice at this point, but to disappear into the night, lay low, and hope for a break. Luckily for him, the weather was still on the warm side. Dagmar's husband, as it turned out, was not completely oblivious and had suspected that she might have been screwing around on him. Consequently, he had elicited help from a few of the local cops, who he was friends with, to keep tabs on who came and went from their house while he was away. The cops took note of the license numbers of the more frequent visitors, which included Hot Rodder, and passed the info on. The husband, at this point, was understandably pissed off and since he had been unable to corner Hot Rodder, he turned his anger in this escalating confrontation toward his wife, the stage for which had moved from the house out to the front lawn. In the ensuing fracas, he managed to break off the CB antenna from Hot Rodder's car, and he then proceeded to throw his wife, who was also not completely clothed, out of the house along with the rest of Hot Rodder's clothes, and the keys to his car. So now we had two barely clothed people running around loose in the neighborhood, which would probably seem comical to anyone other than the two participants. But at least Dagmar now had the keys to Hot Rodder's car. She got in and then proceeded to drive over the grass and around her husband's car and took off. It was at this point that parts of this little "affair" managed to make its debut on the CB, as Dagmar was driving around in Hot Rodder's car attempting to find him. She was noticeably shaken and upset and she called out over the CB for some help. Whitey, being only about a mile away, heard her very weak (due to the broken antenna) signal, and pretty much figured out what had happened. When she told Whitey that her "old man" had been spying on her, he became concerned for his own well being, as he was also a frequent visitor to her place, although it was only during the daytime for coffee. Whitey decided to take out his other car, which was not as well known to the locals, and look for Hot Rodder as well, while also checking on Dagmar's place to make sure there wasn't any more trouble. Whitey drove by her place a few times, but didn't want to stay in the area and risk attracting any unwanted attention.
Eventually Dagmar found the scantily clothed Hot Rodder still wandering around the neighborhood, after managing to hike to a local factory and asking the night guard to allow him to make a phone call. I'm sure the guard never had a situation like this happen on the usually dull and quiet night shift. She then picked him up and he was able to finish getting dressed. The two of them, plus Whitey and maybe a few others, met up at a local all-night diner to calm down and deal with the situation. Needless to say Dagmar was likely heading for divorce court, and not long afterward, vanished from the CB scene altogether. Hot Rodder was no worse for the wear and went back to doing what he liked doing. I don't know for sure if he was married at the time, but I don't think he and Dagmar continued their "relationship" for long afterward.
Reality TV? Bah! Who needs it when the "real" world was as close as the dial on the front of the ol' CB, and there were no script writers anywhere to be found..........