The "official" story of my disappearance five years ago is being laid off due to budget cuts. But what's the fun in "official" explanations? This is the internet, darn it!

Buckle up for what actually* happened five years ago, and the long strange trip to the present.

That Fateful Day

On a beautiful fall day in 2018, Laura and I were prepping to kick off Dream Getaway 45 when the Loon's broadcast signal suddenly went dead. This wasn't unusual because we were stealing electricity from the Casey's gas station next door via a loooooong extension cord. Sometimes a new employee would get righteous and unplug the cord, thus knocking us off the air. Laura and I decided - by way of "Rock, Paper, Scissors" - that it was my turn to sneak over to the station to plug us back in.

But something happened on the way over, and not my usual tripping over the tall grass between the radio station and the gas station (yes, I'm that clumsy).

What happened? In a nutshell: aliens*.

Bonjour Photo by Leo on Unsplash)
Bonjour! (Photo by Leo on Unsplash)

We (more on that in a bit) eventually found out that aliens had used our radio waves against us to put the world into a dream state. They were huge fans of Baxter (???), so they made the world believe that Baxter came back to The Loon.

Since I was face-first in six feet of overgrowth and not in the station, I was spared from the mind takeover. I was not spared from the task of taking Planet Earth back from the Poranoids.

I never asked to be a hero. *But when the call came, I answered.

I don't wanna! Image by Choad)
I don't wanna! (Image by Choad)

Most of what happened remains classified; but in the end, the Poranoids were no match for Black Pepper Bombs. They would sneeze until combusting into dust, which we soon discovered had a certain autumn-inspired taste and smell when mixed with espresso and hot steamed milk.

So now you know where *pumpkin spice lattes come from.

Alien cremains are tasty and basic! Photo by Braden Collum on Unsplash)
Alien cremains are tasty and basic! (Photo by Braden Collum on Unsplash)

The war raged on until last Friday. As the world awoke, I was tasked with gently removing Baxter from the population's everyday routine. We decided to have "him" retire. The Casey's next door didn't survive the war and had to be replaced by a BP station. What were originally supply outposts were converted into Kwik Trips.

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I was to return to the now-clear airwaves October 2nd, but was delayed a day. My cover stories included a one-day suspension, being too hungover to drive, and forgetting where the station was located. In *reality, I had to see that the defected Poranoid who told us about the Black Pepper Bombs was safely launched back into space.

We even gave her a costume as a parting gift! Photo by Leo on Unsplash)
We even gave her a costume as a parting gift! (Photo by Leo on Unsplash)

It was a long five years, but I'm happy to be back to my civilian life on the air. *You're welcome, world!

*no, not actually

Behind the Scenes: A WJON News Series


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