I just remembered something comical I heard on the radio when I was about 12 years old. It’s stuck with me this long because it was just that rediculous to me. The memory pops into my head every now and then, so I figured this time I’ll share it here on the world-wide interweb space that i’ve laid claim to.
I was riding in the car and the local rock station just finished playing Dire Straits’ “Money For Nothing”. Feeling the need to make with the “witty” banter, as DJs are wont to do, he decided to recall a relevant story from his past, much like I am doing right now. He proceeded to tell a story about a crazy lady who, after hearing “Money For Nothing” on their station, called in and started berating the DJ and his station for putting such filthy drivel on the air.
I thought to myself, “Hmmm… I’m sure he’ll explain.”
The DJ explained… The clearly up-tight woman felt that the chorus was underplaying the evils of the worlds’ oldest profession. She thought the line “money for nothin’ and your chicks for free.” was condoning prostitution and demeaning women. She thought that the song had no business being played in a decent person’s home, let alone on the radio.
I thought to myself, “What an asshole. If you don’t like it, don’t listen.”
As astonishing as that was, it wasn’t until the DJ revealed his response to the woman that he proved himself to be more of an asshole than the enraged listener. By default it is the most humorous part of the story.
The DJ told the woman that she was direly mistaken. (see what I did there?) Sorry… that was lame. In all of his professional DJ wisdom, he told her that the lyrics weren’t about prostitution and that she had merely misheard Mark Knopfler. He told her that the lyric was “money for nothin’ and your checks for free.”
I thought to myself, “What?”
The woman, according to the DJ’s story, had colored herself embarrassed, and shamefully apologized for wasting his time.
I thought to myself, “These people are both alarmingly dim.”
Your checks for free? Even at 12 I knew that didn’t make any sense. The lyric is most certainly “chicks for free”. The lyric was most certainly about prostitution. It always had been and always will be. Why would you have to pay for a check? This dude gets paid to know about music and he doesn’t even know the chorus to one of the most popular songs of the 80’s. I remember being as pissed as I was amused. I wanted to go to the station and slap him around a bit. A 12 year old was more knowledgable about music than he was.
I then thought to myself, “Wait a minute…”.
That lady was angry about the chorus? Did she take the time to listen to the rest of the song? To quote an earlier verse, “see the little faggot with the earring and the makeup, yeah buddy that’s his own hair, that little faggot got his own jet airplane, that little faggot is a millionaire.”. One would think that this lyric would be quicker to offend than the chorus. That’s not to say I’m offended by any of it. Of course I’m not. Everything about the DJ’s story was so stupid. I couldn’t stop laughing.
I’ll never forget it. On a side note, my mother was driving the car. When I was doubled over with laughter she asked me why I was laughing. She wasn’t much for music, my mom. She couldn’t put it into context. Keep in mind that I was 12. I couldn’t answer her. There was no way to explain why it was so funny without repeating the word faggot over and over again. To this day, whenever I hear the song, I am reminded of that broadcast. It makes me laugh every time. For that I am thankful.
I’m also thankful for this terrible 3D animation from the famous “Money For Nothing” video. Gets me every time.