I recently was in another person’s vehicle when they were listening to KRQ 93.7 in Tucson, Arizona. The station had a segment called War of the Roses. I first thought of the English dynastic wars fought between the houses of Lancaster and York for the throne of England. Then I thought of the 1981 movie starring Michael Douglas, Kathleen Turner, and Danny DeVito. A radio segment was new to me. More about my thoughts about the program but first a little about War of the Roses on radio. I checked it out on Wikipedia and found the following:
“The War of the Roses is the name of a radio broadcast radio skit, which is a registered service mark owned by the Capstar Radio Operating Company.
This bit is fake and acted out, either using a script or ad-libbed. This is done due to FCC rules that require broadcasters to notify people that they intend to tape them for broadcast.
The general format of the skit is that the host of a radio show calls man with an offer of free roses then asks the man where he would like to have them delivered. However, the girlfriend or significant other is in fact silently listening to the call the entire time, having previously been contacted by the host.
During the phone call, the host asks the suspect questions that will hopefully reveal the identity of the subject of their affair, and other questions that may help understand the nature of it. For example, the host will typically ask the suspect for one or two sentences to be used as an optional “personal message” to be included with the gift, before asking for the name of the desired recipient. Once the suspect gives up the name and reveals the secret relationship, the spouse or significant other is free to jump in and chastise the guilty party over the phone.
Often, suspects are confused and bewildered when confronted on the phone, because they are unaware that they’ve been taken in by a ruse, and often believe their significant other is really at home listening on an extension. Suspects who believe this continue with the prize dialogue with the radio station host and continue to embarrass themselves, unaware that the entire call is a prank.
Other suspects turn out to not be cheating at all, and end up sending the roses – and the embarrassment along with them – to their significant other who initiated the call.”
I was amazed that the people went along with and did not just hang up. Also that the man who just sent flowers to someone other than his wife minimized the new relationship by saying it was nothing and usually wanted to get back with his Wife and dump the girl friend. Only once so far did I hear a man dump his Wife for the girl friend. I would have been interested when they called for man and asked who she wanted to send tickets to the Super Bowl to. Not sure if the results would be different. I also wondered why the men behaved that way they did and if there was a correlation between a Wife who will call in and the nature of her relationship with her husband. Was a Wife who was calling in more “shrewish” and did her behavior drive the Husband away from her. I guess we will need more research to answer these questions.
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