When my folks retired, I was concerned how they would adjust to all the free time they would have. This is a scenario that many are concerned with, and rightfully so. Leisure time can lead to boredom and restlessness. So, “How about a couple of drinks.”
A twenty year study of the drinking habits of our senior citizens reveals some interesting factors. Aside from the fact that life gets lonely when your partner passes away and a drink or two pads the pain, it’s important to keep an eye on yourself, or your mother or father.
The study found that adults are more likely to engage in high-risk drinking if: Which, by the way, is defined as more than three drinks per day or more than fourteen per week. Good grief. More than 14 drinks in one sitting was a minimal goal of mine on any given day. I probably spilled more than three drinks a day. I’m not bragging, I’m just sayin’….
We have found certain factors influence seniors drinking habits. Having financial freedom was one factor. The study also found that men may be more susceptible to social factors than women, when it comes to heavy drinking. Having more money and friends who drink were more closely linked to men than women who were older heavy drinkers.
Go to http://mynameishoot.com, then click on Resources and Links where you’ll find the study. Without question, this would be a difficult area of conversation with mom or dad, but it’s important to keep on top of the dangers your folks or grandparents may be facing.
Alcoholism and Abuse. Is there a connection?
Take the 20 Question Quiz
Whether drinking alcohol has a cause-and-effect relationship with domestic abuse is uncertain, researchers claim, but the truth is violence is a part of many alcoholic homes.
Alcohol may not be a cause of domestic abuse, but it sure seems to be a catalyst. One of my wives was very violent. After broken ribs, sucker punches and aches and pains that came as a direct result of flying objects, I realized that I had better divorce her before I woke up dead!
I want to thank about.com/alcoholism for their look into this ugly side of alcoholism and abuse.
Domestic Abuse Screening Quiz
Is your relationship like most other couples, or has it developed into one that is truly abusive? This screening quiz can help you determine whether you might be involved in an abusive relationship. Answer: Yes or No.
Has your relationship developed into abuse?
Q: Has your partner ever told you that ‘it will never happen again’ but it has?
Q: Have you every lied to anyone about how you received cuts, bruises or scratches?
Q: Do you get anxious or nervous when you have to relay ‘bad news’ to your partner?
Q: Do you sometimes feel like you are ‘walking on eggshells’ to keep from making your partner angry or upset?
Q: Does your partner sometimes embarrass you or criticize you in front of others?
Q: Do you avoid disagreeing with your partner’s opinions or voicing your own opinions?
Q: Does your partner ever accuse you of lying about where you have been or who you were with?
Q: Has your partner’s behavior stopped you from inviting friends or family to your home?
Q: Does your partner ever accuse you of having affairs or otherwise act jealously without cause?
Q: Has your partner ever destroyed any of your belongings or household items?
Q: Does your partner regularly threaten to harm you physically or make threatening gestures?
Q: Has your partner ever threatened to take your children away if you ever try to leave?
Q: Do you sometimes change your plans or cancel outings to avoid your partner’s reaction?
Q: Does your partner blame your behavior or attitude for hitting you?
Q: Do you sometimes think that nothing you do is ever ‘good enough’ to please your partner?
Q: Has your partner ever stopped you from going out or doing something that you wanted to do?
Q: Does your partner always claim to be right even when the opposite is obvious?
Q: Has your partner ever threatened suicide to keep you from leaving?
Q: Have you ever been coerced into having sex with your partner?
Q: Has your partner ever threatened to kill you if you try to leave?
The higher your score the more likely you are in an abusive relationship. If your score is 25 percent or less, domestic abuse is unlikely. 25-50 percent, abuse is possible, and if you score more than 50 percent, it is very likely that your relationship has become abusive. Based on my relationship of my ex-wife, my score was 85%.
Study reveals domestic “predictors of death”
Research of domestic violence-related deaths has revealed that in 83 percent of the cases, the victim was either separated or about to terminate the relationship, giving scientific basis for the long-held belief that the most dangerous time for those involved in abusive relationships is when they try to leave.
Welcome to the screwy, dangerous, city of Tehran, Iran.
Click for audio by “Hoot” Persia Anyone Part IV The Radio Station
The story continues as Hoot and Michael are introduced to the staff and radio station. The audio portion of this offering is ten minutes in lenth. The broadcast studio was unique as well. We had a German control board, Italian cartridge machines and French turntables, all installed by Iranian engineers. It was functional, but getting each element on the air was tantamount to figuring out “Rubik’s Cube.”
For instance to use the turntable, I had to disable one of the cartridge machines temporarily so I could cue up the record. That meant I had to make sure nothing was playing in the cartridge machine I was disabling, where we usually played some kind of a recorded promotion, “Serving Tehran, Isfahan, Tabriz and the entire Persion Gulf, you’re listening to the National Iranian Radio and Television Network from Tehran on (Jingle) NNNNNNN – IIIIIII – RRRRR – TTTTTTTTTT…..”
If the cart machine was playing and I had to play the song, a lot of the time I just put the needle on the LP and let it cue to the song while I talked it up. All the while thanking my mentor, his majesty, “Emperor Bob Hudson.”
Ted Anthony, from San Francisco, was our morning man. He immersed himself into his show and the Iranian culture for about two years and fell in love with and married an Iranian woman.
She was an exotic beauty, who could blame him. When Tehran fell to the Ayatollah Khomeini, Ted was the last guy out and had to be air lifted off the roof of NIRT and taken directly to a plane waiting at Mehrabad Airport.
Ted would later resurface at WWWW radio station in Detroit. He told me later that the helicopter that came for him was almost shot out of the sky during his escape.
John Colson and Frank Carpenter were two of the personalities from Sheffield, England they hired two years before. Colson was a cool, but younger Englishman that would “follow directions” when told to. He was a blond haired blue eyed kid of about 24 or 25 years, about 5’ 9” and thin.
He was well dressed, but had teeth that looked like a picket fence, with a few of the slats kicked aside so someone could sneak into the yard. He immediately latched onto Michael and me because we were “Big Market Yanks” coming over to save the day.
Mashayekhi told us they made a mistake hiring small market Englishmen to be their radio Dj’s. No one could relate to them as they were so stiff. We had to be careful not to cross over the line, which in an Islamic society, is easy to do.
Frank, on the other hand, was as rigid as a corpse. We called him Ichabod, as in Ichabod Crane from the legend of Sleepy Hollow. He was tall and gangly with a large amount of hair on top of his head that he swiped aside covering half his face. His neck stuck up from his shoulders and looked like it was at least twice as long as it was meant to be, and when he spoke, his very large Adam’s apple bobbed up and down, and I couldn’t help but stare!
It was Frank’s job to show Michael the ropes at 5 O’clock, when the Rock & Roll show, began. I pitied him, because Michael was one of the innovators of the “Rock” format in America. Frank had been playing the “mellower” Rock previous to our arrival, but that was about to change.
My first day on the air went well. The people of Iran were not used to real personable human beings chatting with them on the air.
I remember some of the songs I played on my debut that day. “So Into You,” The Atlanta Rhythm Section, “I Like Dreamin,” Kenny Nolan, “You Make Me Feel Like Dancin,” Leo Sayer and tunes from Hall and Oates and other AC songs that the ladies liked in the late 70’s. I loved them too, so it all worked out.
I got a call that first day on the air from a cute sounding girl who said,
“I’m so excited about you being on the station, you sound so good.” Then she asked if I’d play something for her by Cliff Richards.
“I love your voice I hope you look as good as you sound!” I told her I didn’t think she’d be too disappointed if we did meet. Always keeping in mind the “sounds good, add 50 lbs rule.”
Her name was Sarah, her father worked for the Shah in an executive position and her two sisters were just back from the Sorbonne in Paris where they had gone to school.
I soon found out that this family was very close to the Shah and that Sarah and her sisters were the Debutantes of Tehran.
When Michael hit the airwaves, his first set was cool, wrapping up with Frampton’s “Oh Baby I Love Your Way,” So Cool that Iranians were practically running out of their houses, pouring into the streets in jubilation.
Michael was a musical genius, and his “Pipes,” which always maintained an extraordinary cool, blew everyone away. Frank practically pooped his pants! He thought Qu Mogadam, our program director, was going to come down there and behead someone!
Frank wanted Michael to lighten up on the music. Michael said not to worry about it and followed it with one mind blowing set after another. That night, people were waiting for Michael at the MarMar hotel. Two guys offered Michael some Hashish, which he declined, oh so reluctantly.
The desk clerk had a list of favorites he wanted Michael to play the next night. It was amazing, with that list of songs, by the way, was the clerks gift of some hashish for Michael that he did except.
As it was, the hash coming in from Afghanistan was plentiful and potent. Michael couldn’t wait ‘til the next day so he could go to the bizarre and buy a hash pipe.
I, on the other hand was about to get my gift as well. Michael and I had scored fast and furious with the Iranians and the people were ecstatic to have a radio station they could dig even though we were programming it for the English speaking faction working in Iran.
I told Michael and Stefano about Sarah and her sisters. They had described themselves thoroughly and I liked what I heard. I wasn’t sure if I’d have to “add 50 lbs” this time because they were young and hip. I asked them to meet us in the lobby of the MarMar and that we’d go out to dinner.
Michael and Stefano were excited, but nothing like when the girls walked into the lobby. They were pretty. Not beautiful, but pretty non-the-less.
Sarah was small and exotic. Beautiful oval eyes that looked like she was a model for Thailand travel posters, not Pakistani as she said they were. She was wearing a full skirt that seemed to go well with the skin tight pull over blouse she was wearing. Her skin looked tan, but it was a dark tan which made her green eyes stand out all the more. She fixated on me. I was reluctant because she appeared and later turned out to be only 18 years old.
Her sisters, both nice looking, were taller and lighter skinned and well cultured. Both were dressed in jeans and heels and had great happy looking faces. They all spoke English with a British accent. We got acquainted and apparently, each of us passed the “Okay test, you look good, so let’s go to dinner.”
Linda and Tamara were the older sister’s names. Odd, I thought, that all would have American names, but we were off in what I believed to be some kind of Russian car that we could all fit into.
Sarah tried to manipulate herself next to me, but had to sit next to Stefano instead. As it turned out, we went to a Mexican restaurant, being that we were in Tehran, Iran it was quite a surprise.
It was also strange because we went to a building, with only a few cars parked close by, the street was dark and there were no signs indicating there was a restaurant anywhere near.
We walked into the foyer and there was a small neon sign that said, “Mexican Food.” Then, there was a stairway going down to what appeared to be a dark basement. As we opened the door that didn’t appear it would lead anywhere, we found ourselves in a very busy, loud, restaurant. Unbelievable. Where did all these people come from? It was fun and festive. Just the right atmosphere for all of us to get acquainted. Sarah had finally muscled her way next to me and was very warm and friendly.
The restaurant was decorated very nicely with a Mexican motif and they were playing Mexican music through the sound system, but the enchiladas I ordered bore no resemblance to any enchilada I had ever tasted. Good though, I guess.
Michael and Stefano hit it off with the older sisters while I was swimming in Sarah’s exotic beauty and we all enjoyed the time. On the way back, the girls pointed out a park and said we should stop and play “hide and go seek.”
Wow! That was different. So we played hide and go seek. As soon as everyone took off, we realized it was a ruse that the girls had concocted so we could pair off and do a little innocent kissing.
Sarah and I found ourselves on a ledge behind a very large bush. I gently turned her beautiful little face to mine and kissed her softly. Her response caught me totally by surprise. She wouldn’t stop kissing. She wanted it deeper and deeper and then I noticed she was rubbing her body against mine in an erotic gyration that got my attention.
I carefully put my hands up and under her full dress. She wasn’t wearing any underwear. I was nervous though. We’re in Iran! If caught they would put me in jail for certain, but a hard-on knows no fear.
I pulled her dress up, turned and put her on the edge of the ledge and softly took her. I had one eye closed and the other looking for anyone who might catch us.
I almost fell to the ground my legs were so weak. We had to snap out of it quick, though, as we were joined in moments by the others who never again mentioned “hide and go seek.”
When we got back to the Marmar Hotel, I wanted to tell the guys what happened, but didn’t even though the two of them suspected I’d “gotten lucky.” Michael broke out his brand new “hash pipe,” loaded it up with the stuff the desk clerk gave him and off we went.
Michael, would soon be in a new dimension. Getting him too stoned was near impossible. It would be like trying to bring down a water buffalo with a 22 rifle. It just isn’t going to happen. You might stagger him, but…
That’s the last time I’ll buy software out of the trunk of a Chinese guy’s car. I should have known it would be crap when he refused to look me in the eye.
Persia Anyone Part III (click for audio version)
We sat down and ordered a couple of beers and the guy next to us laughed at almost everything we said. Finally I turned to him and said, “Brad Edwards” and held out my hand. Michael did the same and we met Stefano, a makeup artist of significant note in Europe.
Stefano was Italian and had done the make up for “Jesus Christ Superstar,” which at that time had just been a big hit in the U.S. He had an incredible sense of humor. He was there working on a film project for the Shah.
Stefano was from Rome and was a genuinely friendly person, thin but handsome a broad smile and full of energy. Stefano, Michael and myself “hung together” in Tehran for awhile.
The National Iranian Radio and Television network was in a very large communications complex, nestled on the side of a large hill in Tehran. The offices and studios were an odd collection of poorly constructed rooms. Doors for instance, did not have a system of conformity. There might be a door somewhere on the wall, but it did not have any relation to the door in the next room, either in size or structure.
I’d have to duck down to get through some doorways, and turn sideways to get through others. Some you could drive a truck through. The corridors going from floor to floor had no method either. There could be a few steps up where a room would be constructed, then moving on up the corridor, it might climb six or eight steps with another room at that level. Codes? What codes.
It was fun to navigate though. I got lost several times in the first week or so. It was a genuine adventure. I thought to myself, “no wonder so many people die when they have earthquakes!”
In part IV, Persia Anyone? Hoot (Brad Edwards) and Michael Hunter begin to feel the heat of the Iranians’. Read about their escape plan.
Persia Anyone? Part II Tehran (click to play audio)
We landed at Mehrabad airport late in the afternoon, early in March. Tehran was surprisingly pretty. With an altitude of over 4000 feet, it’s nestled at the base of the Alborz Mountains, about 150 miles south of the Caspian Sea resort of Chalus in the province of Mazandaran.
Chalus is a beautiful seaside resort, with lush forestry and plant growth that you won’t see in other locations in Iran. It’s where the locals went to get away. Tehran, on the other hand, was busy; a bustling metropolis.
Traffic is a continuous nightmare with what appears to be no designated lanes. Cars, trucks, bicycles and motor vehicles of every sort move in large unorganized clusters. Every now and then a traffic cop tries to reorganize the group a little, but rarely successfully.
Everyone honked their horns. Of all the busy cities I’ve visited in my lifetime, Tehran was the noisiest. The air was cool and the city was vibrant.
We were met at the airport by our “driver.” Everywhere we went in Tehran, we were accompanied by a “driver.” This guy’s job was to drive us to all official functions from the radio station, to work and back and to pick us up and take us to the airport. He doubled as NIRT’s spy. It was his job to snoop on our attitudes. That’s just the way it was. No one trusted anyone so, someone had to keep track. We found out about our “driver” shortly after we met some of the other staff.
The first night at the “Marmar” hotel, was nice. Our room was okay, but the shower was very small. You had to raise one arm at a time to lather up, something most Iranians didn’t worry about in the first place.
We had a typical, universal toilet, but outside the hotel, you had to poop in a little hole in the floor. It was disgusting, but, when in Rome.
Michael and I were quick to shower and head down to the International Bar at the hotel where a very interesting collection of human beings were gathered. Most of the guys were foreigners working for the Shah living at the Marmar, so at the bar there were men from all over the world. Englishmen, Scots, Germans, Canadians and Yankees, like me and Michael.
Tuesday - Persia Anyone? Part III – Trouble in Paradise! The Iranians’ clamp down on Hoot & Michael.
I”m sending the audio form and excerpt from “Drunk & Disorderly, Again – My name is Hoot, I’m an alcoholic.” Over the next coming days, I will take you through the exciting, dangerous and hilarious adventure that I experienced setting up a radio station in Tehran, Iran. Nothing like a couple of machine gun toting goons to get your heart beating in your eyes!!
Persia Anyone Part 1 (click for audio version)
Chapter 28 – Persia Anyone?
Michael and I worked out the details of our contract with the National Iranian Radio and Television Network (NIRT) with Kamron Mashayekhi over the phone.
We put everything in storage and headed to Washington D.C. where Kamron was the bureau chief for NIRT. Too late we’d find out he was also bureau chief for Savac, the dreaded, Iranian secret police.
We met at the airport. He had the papers written up just like we had agreed, with the exception of the housing allowance. We had been told that if we wanted a two bedroom home to rent, with air conditioning and a phone, we’d be looking at about four or five thousand a month.
Kamron had only allowed for a thousand apiece. He said it was out of his hands, so Michael said, “Sorry, we’ll have to go back to Los Angeles then, because it’s going to cost a lot more than that to live there.” “Yes, but you will be compensated very nicely, a lot more than anyone else is earning in Tehran, plus you will only be taxed at a rate of three percent,” Mashayekhi said.
Michael was ready to walk, and so was I. That’s what it took, Kamron finally grabbed the contracts, crossed out the old numbers, initialed them and that was that. Within an hour, we would be on a Pan Am flight to London, the first step on our journey to Tehran.
We spent a day and night in London before moving on. Michael and I had gotten shit faced on the plane and needed the rest. We both shared that we didn’t trust Masheyekhi and hoped that there was no basis for it.
I didn’t realize how far Iran was from home. There were so many people on board and with no smoking restrictions, there was an actual layer of smog that developed in the canopy of the 747. It was like being in Los Angeles on a smoggy day!
Welcome to Tehran Yanks!
Next, we arrive in Tehran and the oddities begin to build – excerpt from chapter 28 Drunk & Disorderly, Again – My name is Hoot, I’m an alcoholic.