Okay, against my better judgement and nervous system, it’s time for another awkward and always kind of sickening edition of, “Can I Eat My Lunch In Here?” I just realized the other day that I’ve done this bit on the Peoria Journal Star, The Pekin Daily Times and WMBD/WYZZ/CI Proud TV, so there’s really only one other local media to conquer to go and eat my lunch in and that’s Peoria radio! I’ve always had a good relationship with WMBD radio in the past, back when I was doing POP magazine I used to spend the whole day at the old WMBD studios on University doing every radio show on the air throughout the morning, afternoon and evening! These days, WMBD radio is owned by Alpha Media, which is a corporate place and you might think it would be rough to pull off this kooky, “Can I Eat My Lunch In Here,” thingy in a tight-assed corporate place, but I’ve done the Greg and Dan Show many times and it’s still fun and loose, so I thought today we’d go there and see if I can eat my lunch there! Of course Greg and Dan are on in the mornings, so I thought I’d see if we can have some fun on the local afternoon show there, The Markley and Van Camp Show. I’ve known Jamie Markley since back in the days when he was on WWCT, so I’m guessing we should get the green light there. But first, we have to get lunch! And so it’s off we go to...
Khaki Jack’s! I’ve gotten lunch here for these “Can I Eat My Lunch In Here” episodes before, like when we went to The YMCA. We also went here when I first had lunch with Lindsey, Clay, Lauren and Taylor at Good Day Central Illinois which led to me being a recurring guest on that morning show. And now that I think about that post, I did kind of go off on Khaki Jack’s pizza packaging, if you scroll down you can read that right here. I hope that Khaki Jack’s owner, Tony and everyone there knows that I was just kind of kidding and going off on an MBIP rant and it was just kind of a goof...oh, I’m sure there’s no hard feelings, let’s go in and get our lunch and start this luncheon adventure!
There’s Leah, behind the counter, looking very pretty with our lunch. I got a large pizza and some chicken wings and Leah told me that Tony said to wait until I get to the luncheon destination to open the pizza up. I noticed that it’s in a box, so maybe he took my rant to heart and all is well! Time will tell, I hit the road to downtown and kept wondering what was under that pizza wrapping!
Alright, we’ve parked and we’re downtown! We’ll just walk down this block and there’s the building that houses Alpha Media, as you can see, in addition to WMBD, there’s a lot of radio stations under the corporate umbrella of Alpha Media. I always get a weird feeling approaching corporations and corporate type people, but I’m sure it’ll be fine here. After all, I’m just bringing some pizza and chicken wings and I’m going to offer to take some behind the scenes photos of The Markley And Van Camp Show, so what radio show is going to turn down free food and publicity? Not too many that I know of, so let’s take the elevator to the 12th floor and whoomp, here we are at Alpha Media Corporate Headquarters. It’s kind of stuffy up here, and I always get nervous before I do one of these things, but hopefully this will go smoothly!
Here’s the lovely and pretty receptionist for Alpha Media, Lacey! Lacey told me she knows the MBIP blog, so I explained the “Can I Eat My Lunch In Here?” premise and she took my card and said she’d go and talk to some people. I kind of had a bad feeling about this, when you’ve done this as long as I have and the receptionist has to talk to “people,” it’s never a good thing. But let’s think positive, even though I have a sinking feeling in my stomach. Plus I have to be at work in about 90 minutes, so the clock is ticking.
As I looked down at the end of the waiting area, I wondered if that was Greg’s Big Black Couch down there! And speaking of Greg, there’s a picture of him and Dan on the big screen here in the waiting area. I kind of wish I was doing their show, they always just wave me in and kind of let me do whatever I want to do. While I was waiting, I met Lucky The DJ from Peoria’s Energy 102.3 and he was really a nice guy. Then I looked out the window and kind of felt like jumping out of it, because now quite a few minutes have passed by, and I know from doing this, that’s never a good thing!
And my instincts were right, shortly after gazing out of the window, Lacey came back and apologized but said that she talked to the Program Director (never a good thing!) and was told that things like this need to be planned way in advance. I told her that that would take the fun out of the whole, “Can I Eat My Lunch In Here,” bit and she agreed with me, but gave me one of those, “I just work here,” looks and then at that moment, Mat Shaver, who produces the Markley and Van Camp Show came out and said he was sorry, but I couldn’t do the lunch thing on their show today. He told me what Lacey just said, that they need to plan something like this out in advance. I told him that it would just be me taking pictures and eating lunch and that planning it in advance would totally take the fun out of it and he shook his head and said, “Yeah, I know.” Well, I’ve had the fun sucked out of me before, but this was getting kind of brutal! I thanked Mat and Lacey and got out of that corporate waiting area before by Doc Marten shoes turned into brown wingtips! Well it's time to hit the road and improvise!
I was driving aimlessly around downtown, kind of bummed at how the fun just got sucked out of the thin air over at Alpha Media when I drove past this sign at Peoria Riverfront Museum! Was I hallucinating? I sure hope so, but that has nothing to do with anything, so let’s park and see if we can eat our lunch in there! I’m still dying to see what’s under this pizza box wrapping from Khaki Jack’s! Up the stairs we go and the doors, say, “Welcome,” on them, well we’ll find out if we’re welcome soon enough! If not, we’re screwed because I have to get to work soon!
I approached the front desk in the lobby and met Karl, who I explained the whole, “Can I Eat My Lunch In Here?” premise to and he laughed and said he’d make a phone call. I got a little nervous, but I also felt good, because I’ve always had a great time here. They’ve humored me in the past and let me put beer in an exhibit and gave me a great tour of the Awkward Family Photos exhibit, so we’ll see what happens today. I looked up at the 4th of July sign and remembered the fun we had there last year, Karl was still on the phone, but minutes after I snapped that last photo, Cathie Neumiller showed up and said we could definitely have lunch in their lunchroom! Yes! As Cathie led the way to the staff lunchroom, I wondered what was going on over at Alpha Media...
Oh, they’re still sucking the fun out of everything, well, have fun with that, Alpha Media, I’m going to go have my lunch!
Cathie led me through the offices here at the museum and took my picture with Taylor, Lottie and Heather who all work here. They all told me they enjoy the MBIP blog and it was great to meet all of them. And then we ran into some familiar faces from the Star Ship Enterprise! Live long and prosper! Okay, now this is fun! Oh...and speaking of fun...
Yep, it’s still being sucked out of the thin corporate air over here!
Cathie took me to the Staff Lunch Room and check it out, they put out a candelabra (Note: Ann Schmitt gets credit for this!) for lunch and even set the table! How cool is that? And in the midst of all of this, Cathie gave me an official PRM t-shirt and I met Jason, the IT Wizard for the museum! Good times!
Okay, now it’s time to finally unwrap the Khaki Jack’s Pizza Box! Check it out, they’ve labeled this the, “Official MBIP Pizza Box!” The small type says not to remove this wrapper or suffer a “Corporate” penalty...hmm...okay, I’ve got to remove it and when I did...Aaaaahhhhh! Okay, my lesson is learned here, don’t mess with Tony from Khaki Jack’s! He wins this pizza duel and I have to admit this was a lot of fun...wait, did I say the “f” word again? Oh my, that means we should check back and see what’s happening over at you know where...
Yep, just as I thought! Let’s get back to lunch at the museum!
I have to say, no one has ever set us up for a “Can I Eat My Lunch In Here?” episode like this! And the food from Khaki Jack’s is wonderful and delicious as always! The pizza is tasty and delightful as are the chicken wings, love the food there and if you’ve never had it, you need to stop in and try it soon! Sam, who’s the CEO of the museum came in and hung out with Cathie and I and we had a great lunch together! Funny how sometimes things start out horrible and turn out great and this was one of these days! This makes doing the blog and nervous posts like this worthwhile! Plus I found out that this lunchroom is 100% Velociraptor-free! I love that and one of these days I’m going to find out exactly what a Velociraptor is!
After lunch, Cathie gave me a quick preview of their current, “Be The Astronaut,” exhibit and it looks fabulous! And I do want to be the astronaut and in a few weeks I’m going to go through this exhibit and become that astronaut, so stay tuned for that! Thanks to Karl, Cathie, Ann (in spirit), Taylor, Lottie, Heather, Jason and Sam for a great lunch and hospitality at the Peoria Riverfront Museum! It was so much fun...oh, oh, I just said the “f” word again, I guess that now we have to go check one last time at you know where...
Yep, the fun is still sucked dry over here! It’s sitll brown wingtip country! We’ll see you all tomorrow!
7221 N. Allen Road
The Peoria Riverfront Museum
222 SW Washington Street