Tim Istock: No referral needed

Published 12:00 am Thursday, January 19, 2023

By Tim Istock

So here’s the gist of a radio commercial I heard recently while driving around in my car. (Actual names have been changed so that I won’t have to come out of retirement to pay off a defamation lawsuit)

“ . . . so remember, 20,000 Leagues Under The Sea, your one stop destination for all of your aquatic pet needs. All this week, check out their huge overstock inventory of aquariums on sale starting at just $21.99. Each unit is made in China and carries a full 2-hour guarantee against leakage — restrictions apply. That’s 20,000 Leagues Under The Sea, conveniently located next to the Sushi Palace on 5th and Main. And while you’re there, tell em’ Glenn Stokes sent you.”

OK, so what I want to know is this, does anyone ever really stroll into a business of any kind and say, so and so radio or television personality sent me, particularly if making such a statement is not connected in any way to receiving some kind of discount or special deal?

Speaking for myself, I can categorically tell you that I don’t, mostly because I know exactly what would happen if I ever did.

Clerk: Hi, welcome to 20,000 Leagues Under The Sea. Can I help you find something?

Me: Uh . . not yet, thank you, I’m just kinda browsing around at the moment. Uh . . . Glenn Stokes sent me.

Clerk: Come again?

Me: Glenn Stokes . . . you know, WNUT radio, afternoons from three to six?

Clerk: Hmm. . Can’t say that name rings a bell. Besides, I don’t listen to that station, I usually tune to WPOT Rock 94, but hang on a second while I check with our stock person. Hey Bill . . . Bill? Do you know anyone named Glenn Spokes?

Me: That’s Stokes . . Glenn Stokes . .

Clerk: Huh? Oh, yeah, OK. Hey Bill? Listen, that’s Glenn Stopes . . yeah, with a T . . you know anything about a Glenn Stopes sending . . . what did you say your name was?

Me: No, no, no . . it’s STOKES . . S. T. O. K. E. S . . and he didn’t specifically send me here, he was just doing a radio ad and . . well, it’s simply an expression that’s meant to . . . listen, just forget it. I’m sorry I said anything.

Other customer in the store: Hmmm . . I think I may have heard him once . . deep voice . . very laid back? If I recall, he appeared to have a serious interest in heavy metals and mentioned dropping some acid on more than one occasion, so I figured he must have been into chemistry as a hobby in his spare time. He seemed like such a nice young man, although I can’t say I was overly thrilled with his choice of music … too much, how do you say it … head knocking stuff, for me personally …”

Me: I think you must have him confused with somebody else, WNUT is talk radio only, and I believe the expression you’re referring to is ‘head banging’, which, by the way, is about what I’m preparing to do on that wall right behind you.

Second customer: Excuse me, but I couldn’t help but overhear some of your conversation as well, and if it’s not being too nosy, I’m also kind of curious as to why this Glen Stoves sent you here?

Clerk: Hey, you too, huh? Join the crowd … that makes three of us. Listen, Mr. … what did you say your name was again?

Me: I didn’t.

Clerk: Got it. Do you want me to call the store manager Mr. Idinent? It’s possible she may be familiar with this Mr. Stones. I’ve only been here a month and a half and …

Me: No … everyone … that’s OK … it’s not important. Really. I’m good. Just a little ‘failure to communicate’ thing, that’s all. Forget I ever mentioned it, OK? Whew! Now that we have that settled, can you please just direct me to the aquariums you have on sale?

Clerk: Aquariums on sale?