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John Lancellotti (former writer-producer WCBS-AM, WCBS-TV) 7/6/05

The following may clear up a long-standing mystery for Lou Adler, our former news director [at Newsradio 88].

On weekends I'd bring my great Siberian/wolf-dog Togo to the station while I worked my shift. Togo was housebroken, a dog that could hold his water for as long as 24 hours if it happened that I did not get home to walk him. And usually, his training held even if he was inside a strange building. On one occasion, however, I put Togo to the test for too long. It was near the end of a Saturday afternoon shift, and Togo had had several cups of water when it suddenly occurred to him that he had to pee ... badly. Unfortunately, he picked a spot right in front of Lou Adler's door. As he started to go, I noticed him, and I shouted at the top of my voice, "TOGO STOP." Not quite understanding my problem, he continued urinating, even as I rushed in his direction, hoping to scoop him into my arms before he did any more damage. As everyone in the office roared with laughter, the poor confused, frightened animal tried to flee but all escape routes were blocked, so he just ran around in a small circle, still peeing, and leaving a perfect, moon-shaped stain on the new carpet in front of Lou Adler's office door.

The stain was still painfully evident when Adler arrived on Monday morning. Of course, he noticed it immediately, tested it (for moisture, I suppose) with his foot and said aloud to no one in particular: "I wonder what that is." As the other writers within earshot struggled quietly to stiffle their laughs, Adler dropped the subject, walked in his office and never mentioned it again. I've kept it a closely guarded secret ever since, and for all I know, the stain remained in the rug until News 88 moved into its new space at the Broadcast Center.

I guess I didn't really tell you the streaking story. It was during a period in the 70s when streaking was the rage. The newspapers were full of it and I had just written a story about it for Rita and Gary.

After the story went into the live studio for reading, I started thinking I might be able to break up the two of them -- or at least Rita -- by removing my shirt in the hallway outside the control room and bursting into the control room at the end of a sound tape, just as the two resumed their reading.

Since the glass between the studio and the control room only allowed them to see the top half of my body, I was also banking on the fact that they wouldn't know whether I was just shirt free, or totally naked. It was, I thought, a sure-fire stunner. With this in mind, I waited for my entrance cue -- the engineer raising his hand at the end of the actuality, signaling the throw of the live mike back to the anchors.

As the moment arrived, and with both of them watching attentively for the technician's signal from the control panel, I exploded into the room in my full half-naked glory. Now I'm a rather hairy person, with a chest that looks like it's covered by a shaggy rug so when I went into the room, I took great pains to surprise the anchors with maximum exposure. It was I, however, who was surprised.

Neither Gary nor Rita even blinked at the sight of me. Like the consumate pros they were, they never missed a beat, reading their stories, silently placing the finished copy atop a stack of other read stories and never allowing the slightest indication that something was amiss to creep into their voices. For all the audience knew, the anchors were reporting the news in a vacuum. They had no reason to suspect that a slightly mad tableau was playing itself out in the all business newsroom of WCBS Radio, News 88.

Best always, John R. Lancellotti, Retired 1995

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