Recent Splats according to Miz Yank

Eye of the Tiger

FM radio has its fair share of critics, and sometimes I’m among them. In the D.C. area, we have plenty of stations to choose from yet most of them either feature nonstap gab or play the same five songs by the same five artists as if iTunes weren’t home to 40 quadrillion other ditties.

Despite this, at heart I’m still a fan of music on FM radio and here’s why:  serendipity.

A cruise up and down the dial doesn’t delight every time, to be sure, and sometimes it yields nothing more than eight separate encounters with Adele in a four-second span.  But every now and then, the song you bump into is exactly what you want to hear, exactly when you need to hear it, even if you don’t know it yet.

When I surfed the FM waves for a few minutes on Wednesday morning—January 2, for those of you keeping score at home—I never expected to run into “Eye of the Tiger” by Survivor, one of the best movie theme songs of all time.  The song launched me back to the 1980s, when I was a tween and a huge fan of the flicks that pitted Rocky Balboa against challengers like Apollo Creed, Mr. T, and Mitt Romney.

That said, on Wednesday morning, after an extended break and a fantastic holiday, I felt less like Rocky Balboa than the art museum steps he trampled in training.  Still, I stayed glued to the song.

Aside from the fact that my craving for 1980s cheese never needs an excuse to activate itself, I hung on til the end because, by the time the vocals had faded out to the decisive three-beat guitar/drum crash makes the song instantly recognizable, I kinda felt like fighting to win.

It was the pitch-perfect sentiment to tote along as I walked into a conference center for my clients’ national sales kickoff session.  The kickoff is my favorite meeting of the year. It gives me a chance to connect in person with the people I support, but it also has unbeatable ambience.  Without fail this event radiates optimism, energy and enthusiasm, and yesterday’s was no exception.

It had senior leadership, it had music, it had…thunder sticks. (For the uninitiated, thunder sticks are big inflatable wand-like things that people bang together to make a racket at sporting events and such.)

Tell me these wouldn’t make your next business meeting better. You know they would.

When was the last time you went to a daytime business meeting that featured thunder sticks? Yep, that’s what I thought.

As you can imagine, this sales meeting stood in marked contrast to your average lawyer gathering, where the only music emanates from mobile devices chirping to announce the arrival of new messages.

And the entertainment at lawyer-fests, such as it is, usually consists of poking fun at other humor-impaired professionals, like accountants and auditors.

For example, I went to a continuing legal ed course last summer where a presenter told the following joke (WARNING: Be sure to have some thread handy so you can stitch your sides back together after uproarious laughter blows them apart):

Q: How can you tell when an auditor is an extrovert?

A: He looks at your shoes instead of his own.

Needless to say, there wasn’t a thunder stick to be seen or heard in the joint (crickets, on the other hand…), nor were these the kind of attendees who would turn off WTOP in favor of a possible run-in with “Eye of the Tiger.”



  1. Yaaay, Survivor! The album Vital Signs lives in my personal history as the first cassette tape I ever bought.

    Also, um, what are thunder sticks? From the picture, they look a little like string cheese, but I’m confused by the flattened ends at the tops.

    • Shel, every now and then that void in your sports pop culture knowledge asserts itself, but I’m so glad it did because now I won’t be able to picture them as other than inflatable string cheese. Anyway, picture a room full of adults in business suits, creating a cacophony by banging together two sticks of giant, inflatable string cheese. See? Now you need ’em, too!

      • Ohhh, THOSE things! I first saw them a few years ago, I think during the Olympics. I of course had to ask what they were, and when I found out, I said, “You mean they TRY to distract the players? On PURPOSE?” It sounds rather unsportsmanlike to me.

        But they’re perfect for a business conference.

  2. You had me at 80s music. I confess that for the first decade I lived here, I never listened to the radio cause I hated most of the DC radio stations so much because of the lack of variety. But these days I’m a huge fan of Jack-FM, and yes, I confess, I do actually listen to WASH-FM and occasionally the classic rock station. And yes, I do, in fact, NEED thunder sticks!

    • Why thank you! And I think we’ll all think twice now before we go anywhere without the thunder sticks. Is there any gathering they wouldn’t improve?

  3. Finnish people make that same shoe joke about themselves!

    • Thank goodness you told us! This gives me time to cancel my trip to Finland for a continuing legal ed conference.

  4. Little known fact: Dave Bickler, the lead singer of Survivor that sang that song, “Eye of the Tiger,” is also the same guy who does the Budweiser Commercials and sings the “Real Men of Genius” lines. So, here’s to you, funny splattosphere blogger, (“funny splattosphere blogger!”). And, perhaps you can take solace in the fact that just before you went on a date or attended one of your “rah rah” legal functions, a more appropriate 80’s song did not grace the airways…you know, something like, Golden Earring’s “Lunatic Fringe?”

    • What a crime that this fact was little-known. I adore those Budweiser commercials. And your singing voice, by the way. It’s excellent. Though I don’t know if I can forgive you for planting the Golden Earring seed. Their entire detestable catalogue is now on a systematic march through my brain. It’s going to take an artist and a song at least that vile to vanquish it. Off to iTunes to buy “Turn On Your Heartlight.” Thanks a lot, TNT.


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