Let me make this clear: I do not run the Diner. I don't own it, manage it, profit from its sales or control its menu. We don't know who owns the Diner. We don't know when it was built. I'm guessing it was constructed in the 40s and redesigned in the 50s; it has all the classic touches of the sleek dining cars, the neon and chrome of the 50s models, and the general beat-to-hell feeling of the genuine article. It's on Highway 23 - well, old highway 23, actually; it's been renamed - and the new freeway took away a lot of the traffic. Nevertheless it has a loyal clientele of people who enjoy its idiosyncrasies, its rare food and unusual beverages, and the sort of conversation that elapses over its long, boomerang-patterned formica counter.


I show up as often as I can, but we only broadcast once a week. Saturday afternoons. KSTP is kind enough to carry the Diner's idle chatter, and we're proud to supply them with a brand of irrelevance not found elsewhere on the dial. The ideal patron, I suppose, would be in their late 30s, with interests in American pop culture, classical / jazz / pop music, literature, and an abiding delight in learning small insignificant facts that make a nice click! when you fit them in your brain.


Every visit is different; no one can ever plan what happens. But it's safe to assume that the same things will happen, week in and week out: I will argue with the Chef; he will cheerfully fire off some guns; I'll spill coffee on myself, and the Diner patrons will once again prove they are some of the cleverest, smartest folk on the other side of the radio microphone.