Thack You: Pledge, Drive, Die
Larry Thack wishes to acknowledge and bewail your manifold sins and wickedness

Thack You: Pledge, Drive, Die

Larry Thack coined the phrase “Live, Laugh, Love”

Twice a year I’ll come out of retirement to work security at the PBS pledge drive. Things can get pretty rowdy at our local headquarters of WABE and it’s my job to keep everyone cool in this high-pressure environment.
The days are long at the phone banks waiting and pleading for the funds we need to survive. The staff gets tense as their jobs are always on the line and it doesn’t help that you have all these bright and shiny volunteers floating around on their altruism to ruin your day. Lois Reitzes, host of “City Lights,” was assaulted at the close of last year’s Fall drive when “Marketplace” host Amy Kiley put a tote bag over her head and starting beating her with a wireless keyboard, compliments of LeapFrog. Apparently Lois had made some comment about how her listeners were the only ones with any class and money. Rose Scott added fentanyl to some bran muffins, compliments of Highland Bakery, to just end it with that smug Martha Dalton.
Of course, only part of the job is down at the station. Very often I’ll have to go throughout the community in search of leeches who are listening remorselessly at everyone else’s expense. In the old days they’d have me go to Waldenbooks and coffee shops to rough-up freeloaders but the station’s appeal has grown and now I may be deployed to office parks and hair salons.
Still however, our largest group of listeners and broadcast bandits do so in their cars. Confronting people while driving is the hardest way to wrest payment from these criminals so we started to promote what’s known as the “driveway moment” in order to trap these felons. Pretty simple idea devised by “Morning Edition” host Steve Inskeep. He figured anyone who remains mindlessly sitting in his car upon reaching a destination would almost certainly be listening to NPR and given the high probability that this person is also stealing radio, this sort would become a sitting duck for our squad of justice hunters. We’ve been talking up driveway moments for years now and it has worked! Our capture to confession ratio has skyrocketed since we launched this operation, and it certainly seems to help that this is a moment of weakness for the listener. Often I’ll even get them to pledge for past years’ offenses!