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The KZAP Cat

April 2024

The KZAP Cat

When Did This Happen?


I try not to be Out of It.  But since I’m never really In It, the effort is what the French call « un coup de l’épée dans l’eau ». hitting water with a sword.  A completely wasted effort.


Decades ago, when I first arrived in California, in 1979, I soon found out that life without wheels is not life.  It’s a frustrating attempt to take the bus, RT, Regional Transit, that just went on strike.  But I didn’t know about the strike because of my aversion to reading newspapers, most of all when I was a Journalism Student or working in the industry!

Desperate for a vehicle, I purchased a used blue Pinto.  A choice that, in itself, smacked of desperation.  This baby had a KZAP sticker on the hatchback window/door.  The cat was a bit faded and had seen better days, but so had this automobile, as well as the hippie-dippie-trippies of the Love Generation.


Suddenly, I became a lot more accepted by the Sacramento snobs who consider outsiders, especially those from The Northeast, to be pariahs.


This morning, I was preparing the components to make fish soup.  This time, I’m using salmon and halibut.


I mentioned to Dear Husband that I need to bake the fish.  I’m not one of those cooks who makes fish soup with raw fish boiled in the broth.  The resulting oil-slick is disgusting!  There are more than enough of those Omega-3s in the fish flesh after baking it to doneness.

Dear Hubby asked if I want a separate baking dish for each species of fish.


“Yes,” I emphatically stated.


And I recalled the hilarious re-enactment, on a radio station of the early-mid 1990s, of Elvis, The King, ordering a meal (or late-night snack) at McDonalds.  It was a phone-in order to a Tupelo, Mississippi franchise.  This Elvis Audio occurred on his birthday — 8 January.


The King wanted a Big Mac, french fries, the Filet-of-Fish sandwich, an apple pie, and a milkshake.


The Elvis impersonator instructed the Fry-Chef not to fry the apple pie in the same oil as the Filet-of-Fish sandwich.


Fry-Chef informed The King that the apple pie is no longer fried.  It’s baked.

Elvis asked:  “When did this happen??”


“Quite a while ago, sir.”


“Well, The King has been out of circulation for some time now.”


I feel that way almost every day.  When did this happen?  is a frequent question that I ask.


For others, it’s “How long has this been going on?”


My awareness of things in the public square does not ever rise to that level.  This awareness is a double-edged sword.


On the one hand, I’m blissfully ignorant of certain realities that will eventually change anyway; the practical side of me does not spend time tending to matters that will work themselves out, or get solved/resolved/obliterated by someone else, without any of my help.  On the other hand, whenever I find out about a situation that still ongoing, but ought to have disappeared or been cleared up, I experience a Whisky-Tango-Foxtrot emotion.

The Whisky-Tango-Foxtrot moment came in early 1992 to the fans of KZAP because the rock station had gone country.  It abruptly, as in overnight, changed formats.  There’d been no warning.  Some school-moms with whom I was associating were bummed-out, freaked-out, horrified beyond rock-star measure!


Yes, 98.5 had assumed room temperature.

For the historic record, on 20 January 1992, KZAP, at midnight, flipped its wig from Classic Rock to Fresh Country!


Even worse, the call letters were KNCI — which has also moved, at least once, and is New Country aka Nash-vegas.


I do recall those call letters, and that station on the car radio, and the ghastly muzak-intro that the DJs had to endure.  The Guy and The Gal were snarky-funny.  Uncle Dave and his partner, Lisa, were cutting loose with the jibes about Management:


Who do we suck up to next?

The neighbor of Uncle Dave was selling his house in South Sacramento.  Dave helped with the sale:  They did a really good job of patching up the bullet holes from the last drive-by shooting.


I was about to sell my first house, and paid close attention to how a next-door neighbor can sabotage the sale!


All bad things come to an end (or so we hope) because KZAP is now an internet radio station.  This Internet Radio Station trumpets 50 years of Rock, Blues, and More!

I haven’t a clue about those 50 years of sonic blasts.  I never listened to vintage KZAP.  Those 50 years might be an historic reference or a threat for the future.


I do know that the music died with the arrival of rock, acid rock, soft rock, hard rock, punk rock, rock-rock, rap rock, classic rock, new rock.  The worst, for me, was ’70s rock which I equated to noise.


The entire genre is a kettle of fish.  Enough to make The King roll over in his grave, or wherever he is today!


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