Cover image for See you on the radio
See you on the radio
Osgood, Charles.
Personal Author:
[Large print edition].
Publication Information:
Thorndike, Me. : Thorndike Press, 2000.

Physical Description:
269 pages ; 23 cm
General Note:
Originally published: New York : G.P. Putnam's Sons, 1999.
Format :


Call Number
Material Type
Home Location
Item Holds
PN4874.O78 A3 1999B Adult Large Print Large Print

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At least 12 million people listen to Charles Osgood every day on radio and millions more watch him on television on Sunday morning. All of them would agree that no one writes quite the way he does -- the offbeat stories that make listeners stop and pay attention; the commentaries in which he shares his sense of wonder, dismay, or amusement; the well-spun tales of irony, which often burst forth into wordplay or even poetry. See You on the Radio gathers the very best of his Osgood File work from the last eight years. It is a book of pure delight from one of broadcasting's funniest, most stylish writers.

Reviews 3

Booklist Review

Osgood is widely considered one of the best writers in the news business: a skill he demonstrates on CBS's Sunday morning news and arts program and, more briefly, in a daily radio feature, The Osgood File. See You on the Radio (the tag line of Osgood's radio reports) contains just over a hundred Osgood File items from the past eight years. The writer's fans will be pleased that the collection includes health tips (on laughter, cholesterol, artificial flavorings, sugar, and not licking golf balls, among other subjects) and roughly a dozen pieces that chronicle the "human perversity factor." Osgood takes on lab results and law and order, current affairs and crime and punishment, the hazards of modern living, the things folks do for and about money, and a range of inspirational stories. Some pieces end with one of Osgood's brief signature poems (Keats has nothing to worry about!); in fact, his preface closes with an epic, more than two pages long, justifying Osgood's contention "that radio is visual, much more so than TV." Light, but entertaining. --Mary Carroll

Publisher's Weekly Review

Osgood is known as a winning, whimsical humorist of the airwaves, and if these 100-odd commentaries (often culminating in verse) recorded for CBS Radio over the past eight years are any indication, that reputation is well deserved. The mini-essays touch on such topics as the "Lightning Strike Convention," attended by people struck by lightning whose lives have been changed in ways undetectable by science, the Wash Your Hands effort by Massachusetts doctors to get people to save lives and stop the spread of diseases by lathering up on a regular basis, and a 7-Eleven manager who was fired for catching a thief in his store, a violation of company policy. Osgood generally works from a small wire storyÄusually one that exhibits what he calls HPF, or Human Perversity FactorÄor a scientific/medical study that proves the glaringly obvious. Sometimes, though, he weighs in lightly but sensitively on current events, such as when he meditates on the difficulties involved in deciding what should be put into the history books, or when he laments the ways political correctness can distort the English language. Written as they are for the ear rather than the eye, some of these pieces are slight on the page, without Osgood's delivery to add flavor. But those that contain verse remain Osgood's best and most memorable work. Discussing angry drivers, for example, he posits: "There's a name unscientific for those who act this way./ I will not tell you what it is, but it starts with an A." You can almost see it on the radio. (Oct.) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved

Library Journal Review

These 60 short nuggets from eight years of Osgood's radio broadcasts include true stories, like the man cornered by alligators and a beauty contest that became a slugfest. Amusing oddities crop up, like a snoring lawsuit, the Lightening Strike Victims' Convention, and several bungled robberies and prison escapes. Osgood explains out-of-favor words like Indian-giver, welsh, and niggardly. He even dispenses health advice on aging and warns against licking golf balls, which may have picked up weed killer. Some facts are sad statistics: U.S. prison costs exceed those of public schooling; the leading cause of death among our children age ten to 19 is auto accidents--the second is gunfire. A fine reader, Osgood (The Osgood Files) projects expressively, without monotony, even during occasional descents into doggerel. This set is fine audio, which can merit the author's praise of radio as "theater of the mind." It is a worthy addition to popular collections of humor and human interest.--Gordon Blackwell, Eastchester, NY (c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

Table of Contents

Prefacep. xvii
I Hazards of Modern Living
Sleepwalking with the Alligatorsp. 3
The Great Suburban Oil Spillp. 5
The Truth Fairyp. 8
The Beauty Contest Fightp. 10
The Morning Afterp. 12
Bad Stuff in the Workplacep. 15
A Slap in the Facep. 17
Guns Don't Rob People. Rocks Rob Peoplep. 19
II HPF (The Human Perversity Factor)
Don't Rush Me!p. 23
Pleasing the Pollastersp. 26
Employee Moralep. 28
Politicians and Psychopathsp. 30
Communicating Through the Pressp. 32
The Human Perversity Factorp. 34
The Brain in Spainp. 36
The Lightning Strike Victims Conventionp. 38
The Game of Golf Ballp. 40
Boringp. 43
Slackersp. 45
The Dave Factorp. 47
III Law and Order
Lawyers' Rice Bowlp. 53
Mountains Out of Molehillsp. 55
The Right to Snorep. 57
Too Much Enthusiasmp. 59
The Sleeping Pedestrianp. 61
When I Was One and Sixtyp. 63
A Word of Warningp. 65
The Canine Kleptomaniacp. 67
Fugitive Welfare Rightsp. 69
Happy Dayp. 71
You Know What I Mean?p. 73
IV Lab Results
The End of Science?p. 77
Sysnyntenoctadecanoamidep. 79
Tickle Factorp. 82
Warmer Thursday, Cooler Saturdayp. 84
Good Snow-Bad Snowp. 87
Whatever Turns You Onp. 90
Project Woodpeckerp. 93
A New Kind of Penp. 95
Progress?p. 97
Armored Car Doorsp. 99
The National Pothole Systemp. 102
The Mouse That Roaredp. 104
Strange-Looking Objectsp. 107
V Osgood's Health Tips
Osgood Health Tip #1 Artificial Flavoringsp. 111
Discovering the Obviousp. 113
Miraculous Disease Prevention Procedure Discoveredp. 115
Osgood Health Tip #2 Cholesterolp. 117
Disorder of the Month--BDDp. 119
Osgood Health Tip #3 Laughterp. 122
Times, Days and Seasons to Avoidp. 125
A Real Stress Testp. 127
Osgood Health Tip #4 Sugarp. 129
Cutting Us Some Slackp. 132
Shoppingp. 134
Osgood Health Tip #5 Don't Lick Golf Ballsp. 136
VI Crime and Punishment
Smooth Operatorsp. 141
Canterbury Talep. 143
The Negotiatorp. 145
Always an Explanationp. 147
Two Men Shoot One Bulletp. 149
Bank Robbery 101p. 151
Catch No Thievesp. 153
The Writer's Cramp Punishmentp. 155
A Lesson Learnedp. 158
Stone Walls Do Not a Prison Makep. 160
Tools of Escapep. 162
The Hair Bargainp. 165
The Slammerp. 168
A Patient's Right to Be Ignoredp. 170
Bad Daysp. 173
VII Current Affairs
The Style Policep. 177
Schools vs. Prisonsp. 179
Save the Childrenp. 181
"True Facts"p. 183
When Is a Hate Crime Not a Hate Crime?p. 186
Niggardlyp. 188
The Swarthmore Solutionp. 190
Negative Campaigningp. 193
The Ecuadoran Transition Process: February 1997p. 195
Job Openingp. 197
In Harm's Wayp. 199
The Enemyp. 201
VIII Money Draws Flies
Freeloading Un-Americansp. 205
How the Company Could Con Edisonp. 207
Winning and Losingp. 209
Location, Location, Locationp. 212
Atlantic City ATM Machine Pays Offp. 214
The Price of Farcep. 216
Be Preparedp. 218
Guentherp. 221
Your Tax Dollars at Work: Rat Departmentp. 223
Defense Mergersp. 225
Modernizing the Modernization Programp. 227
IX Inspiration
Mama Bairp. 231
Tapsp. 233
Doing the Right Thingp. 235
Big Mama's Birthdayp. 238
Alvin Saltzman's Purple Heartp. 240
Will Wonders Never Ceasep. 242
The Fake Who Was the Real Thingp. 246
Secrets of Longevityp. 249