This story is by Victoria Emperador and was part of our 10th Anniversary Writing Contest. You can find all the writing contest stories here.
“Hey listeners, Maxine and Tony here – time to announce the winners of the Hot Spot contest where we asked you to put together a live weekly radio show for us to air here at WMIA. Sooooooo, we’ll start right after this commercial break.”
Zuli went to change the station when Berto waved her hand away.
“Leave it, I want to hear if we won.”
She rolled her eyes. “There’s no way.”
“You’re such a pessimist, prima.”
“There’s no way they would put our show on the air. A show where no question is too stupid or crazy or taboo? And we help answer?”
Berto shrugged as he sipped his Jupiña, his knee bouncing up and down.
“The world needs more honesty. Anyway, remember. Our dreams come true if we win. I get to quit my dead end job.” He starting singing. “I want to be a producerrrr….”
“And if I win, I get the cat I’ve always wanted, roomie.”
“Another sunny day here in Miami, thanks to everyone who submitted their ideas. We had a great time reading through your emails and listening to your voice messages, right, Tony?”
“We laughed and cried a whole lot here, Maxine, and it was really hard to select three. In no particular order…”
“Oh, we could’ve done a show on sodas from around the world!” Zuli held up her hands high, palms out and Berto did the same, a show of solidarity they started as kids.
“Our last submission was a bit of a stretch, Tony. Our producers, higher ups, etc. They were on the fence, you know? A show where you can call in and ask pretty much anything? I mean…”
Zuli and Berto looked at each other and leaned in towards the radio, Zuli patting her knees and Berto rubbing his palms together.
“I am pretty intrigued to see how these two handle this show. Our last spot here goes to Zuleika Perez and Roberto Castro of Westwood Lakes. That’s a neighborhood near Kendall and Westchester. On their show, you can call in with anything. No question or topic too stupid or weird and they will answer as best they can. They think people are afraid to talk about stuff and then are left in the dark. The world can be a better place with more honest conversation.”
Zuli and Berto threw themselves into a a hug ohmygoding, squealing and speaking gibberish.
“We’re going to be on the radio!”
Zuli’s phone rang. “Ohmygoshisthatthestation?”
Berto bounced up and down on the sofa. “Answer it, answer it!!”
She fanned her face with one hand and answered the call, heart pounding. “Hello? Yes, this is she. Uh-huh, uh-huh. He’s right here. Yes, yeah, we can be there. Now? Can we come now?”
Berto nodded. “We’ll be there. Now. I mean, we’re going there. Now. Bye.”
On the drive to the station, Zuli drummed her fingers on the steering wheel. “Ok, so do we or don’t we?”
“Let’s do it, prima.” Berto rubbed his hands together.
Zuli kept drumming as she used the turn signal.
“Cafecito, right? That’s the name you picked out for the cat you want. Zuli, picture it, we’ll be living our dreams. I’ll be a producer and you’ll come home to a cute bundle of fluffy, you know, whatever, the point is…”
Zuli rolled her eyes.
“Prima, with your voice and tact, ‘cause you know I ain’t got none…”
“…And my crazy ways, we will have an amazing show.”
“Um, hello everyone this is Zuli of the Ask Anything radio show on WMIA. My cousin Berto is here, too, he’s the producer.” Berto pumped his fists around in the sound booth.
“Zuli, we have our first call. It’s Jason.”
“Hi Jason, how can we help you?”
“Hi, I need to talk to the both of you about sex. My girlfriend is mad and I’m not sure what I did.”
“Wow, ok. Thanks for calling us and being brave, um, putting yourself out there. Can you tell us what happened?”
“We were, you know, having sex and I wanted to explore her Venus de Milo and she got mad.”
Berto snorted, thank Jesus for mute. “Wait, Jason, you wanted to explore her what?”
“You know, her Venus de Milo. It’s by her pubes.”
Zuli saw her cousin throw his head back, shoulders shaking. She cleared her throat. “So, Jason, did you tell her what it was you wanted to explore?”
“Yeah. Communicate, right? Make sure she was OK with that.” Zuli bit her lip. Was this a crank call?
“Jason, dear, dear caller. We ladies do not have a body part called the Venus de Milo.”
“You…don’t? Don’t you?!”
“There’s the mound of Venus….”
“Fuuuuu…” Zuli beeped the rest out. Berto was on the floor now, clutching his stomach and gasping for air.
“I’m an ignorant…I thought I was doing sexy talk and….well, what is the Venus de Milo anyway? It exists, right? RIGHT?!”
“Jason, yes, it exists. It’s a famous work of art at the Louvre Museum in Paris.”
“Did you look up?”
“No, I thought I had the right name. Ugh!!”
“Did you tell your girlfriend that?”
“We’re still cooling off from our fight, you know?” Berto was back into his chair, wiping the tears of laughter off his cheeks.
“I mean, I really like her. I want to make this work and…I tend to say the wrong thing. A lot. And…what do I do now?!” Desperation creeped in at the end of his sentence.
“Hey Jason, this is Berto. I also want to thank you for calling in, man. It’s hard for a guy to ask for help like you have today, so go easy on yourself, all right? You’re sounding pretty dejected.”
“Yeah, I feel really down.” Jason sniffed.
“You’re on the right path with a cool off period. I’ve said crazy shit when I’ve been upset, right, Zuli?”
“Geez, yes, that’s a whole other show.”
“Yeah, so cooling off is good, ‘cause you come back with a calm mind and can pick your words better, you know? You know better, you do better.”
“Jason, are you still there?”
Sniff, sniff. “Yeah, I’m here.”
“Jason, it’s Zuli. Why don’t you talk to your girlfriend, explain everything. I mean, you never know, you all may find this really funny sometime down the line.”
“Primo, can you believe we have had this show for a year?” Zuli sat on the sofa as Berto grabbed a can of Ironbeer from the fridge.
“Is it exactly a year? Wait, is it our anniversary?!”
They both held up their hands, palms out and then pointed to one another. “We’re going to celebrate! Let’s go to…”
Zuli’s phone beeped. “Hey, Tia Maira remembered its the anniversary of the show so she’s invited us over for dinner, complete with Inca Kola.”
“All right Miami, welcome to WMIA Ask Anything, we are your hosts, Zuli and Berto and let’s see who’s our first caller.”
“Hi, this is, uh, Jason. I called a year ago. Venus de Milo Jason?”
“Jason, my man, what is up, how’s everything?” Berto loved that call, hadn’t laughed like that in forever.
“Things are going really good. Happy anniversary to you both!”
“Thanks, Jason! Whatever happened to you and your girlfriend after you called us?”
“Figured it was fitting to give you an update on that today. So, we got together. And, so, I’m looking at her and her mouth is twitching. And she starts laughing. And then, I start laughing….”
Zuli and Berto did their thing.
“And we apologized to each other and I told her I was trying and she put her arms around me and we just held each other…”
“And some time later it, she gave me a gift. A picture book on the female anatomy.”
“Awww, that’s awesome!”
“Yeah, it was, it was awesome. So, I wanted to let you all know we just came back from a trip to Paris…”
“…where we went to the Louvre and saw the Venus de Milo. The real Venus de Milo.” Jason laughed. “It was a really great trip for us.”
“Primo, a toast to you.” Zuli held up a glass with Materva as Berto looked at the kaleidoscope of soda cans he loved clustered on the dining room table. “Thanks for helping me to see this crazy radio show was a good idea.”
“A toast to you, prima. Yeah, I am an amazing genius.” He moved his eyebrows up and down at her.
Zuli closed her eyes and rolled them. “I saw you roll your eyes, Zuli.”
“How did you know? My eyes are closed.”
“Yeah, Kola here told me,” Zuli’s new kitty slinked around the soda cans.
“That’s Cola with a ‘c.’”
“Hey, how did you…?”
“Because I am an amazing genius, too, our show is amazing, we are amazing, feliz aniversario!”