Adventures of a foreigner in the south of Brazil.

Friday, September 12, 2008

Brazilian radio

The average Brazilian radio programme has many admirable qualities. One of them is - alas -  that you can listen to it. I am driving an average 45 minutes a day to work. And back. Along the ugliest road known to humankind. Zoom in. Here's me, pressing the button on the radio. Skipping an average of 8 or 9 channels with advertisements. Another with Gaúcho music. The traditional music is swell if you like Bavarian folk. Then there's a channel with a guy called Soapy Sam who whines about Jesus. In the most sickly sanctimonious voice I've ever had the misfortune to listen to. Time to briefly wonder why in the country with the highest homicide numbers through fire arms world-wide nobody has shot him yet. Just my bad luck, probably.

Go through all channels twice or thrice. Then, there's the one channel that has music. From the 80s, and it's always the same 3 or 4 songs. Good ones, but after a few days of driving even the Dire Straits start to sound like nails on a chalk board. I've been here for more than a few days.

Then there are radio comedy shows. Well, I assume it's comedy. People are laughing, unless they brought donkeys in and shoved some raw ginger where the sun don't shine. The principle is fairly easy. Every 30 seconds somebody in the show says an incredibly funny word, such as "mattress", in a squeaky voice. Then he (or she, as the case may be) starts to bray hysterically and repeat it a couple of times just to make sure everybody understands just how funny a mattress is. Everybody else - that's 3 or 4 more guys - starts repeating the word and braying hysterically, too.

The show then proceeds like this:
  • Funny dude: Mattress. hahaha. MATTRESS. MAAAAAATTTRESSSSS!!!!!! hahahahahhaha. HAHAHAHAHA.
  • Everybody else: MATTRESS. MAAAAAATTRREEEEESSSS!!! HAHAHAHAHA!!!
That can easily go on for five minutes or more.

And the lesson? Don't try to beat the radio. The radio beats you. Every time.