“Your questions may not be earth shattering, but they bother you. My job? To relieve your stress.” This is the mantra of the “Why Guy,” WFAA News 8’s MIKE CASTELLUCCI, who lives on the M Streets and spends his days getting to the bottom of perplexing mysteries such as: Why do planes leave from “gates” when there’s nothing akin to a gate in sight?
How did you become the Why Guy?
It wasn’t my idea. When I was interviewing here, they said: ‘Hey what do you think about becoming the Why Guy? It’s short, people will remember it, and it rhymes.’ But since then, it really caught on. People seem to love to write in, and their questions run the gamut. A lot of these come from people who are driving every day to work the same way, and one I just got, they drive the High Five every day, and they were way up on a ramp and saw a manhole and asked where it goes. They come up with great ones — I can’t come up with this stuff.
So that’s how you find your material?
Ninety percent of it is people e-mailing or calling, but that’s just for the why questions. We do all kinds of other stories, too. Like in Saint Jo, Texas, about 30 miles west of Gainesville — so up there in the middle of nowhere — there’s these huge sculptures made of telephone poles standing in a pasture. People would drive by and wonder who did them; it was a huge mystery. So we found him. It’s this older guy and he’s retired and has cancer now, and this is what he does to take up his time. It’s nice to feature someone who’s never really gotten in the spotlight but deserves it.
What’s the craziest thing you’ve ever done?
The craziest thing I’ve ever done … it always involves going fast — one in the Blue Angel and one in a NASCAR. I puked in the Blue Angel, but we did go faster than the speed of sound. For the NASCAR one, I think somebody asked me why in NASCAR they only turn left. So I asked the guy why he didn’t turn right, and he said, ‘If we turn right, we hit the wall.’
What answer most surprised you?
Every answer surprises me. They really do. Somebody asked why are there locks on police lockers. You’d think that would be the safest place to have your stuff. So I asked, and they told me, ‘You know, we’re a fraternity, and we believe in each other,’ and it’s just another part of their trust. But the actual answer was that the job is so stressful that they prank each other a lot, so it’s not uncommon to find a human in there, or they filled one guy’s locker up with pink bath scrunchies. The chief doesn’t lock his, by the way.
Have you uncovered any mysteries about our neighborhood?
Yeah, and if they knew that I was a neighbor they would be upset with me. We did one on why do people keep their Christmas lights up in July. I probably went up to about four different houses in the M streets, and I’m telling you of all of the questions, that was the one that produced the most response. People were upset and saying, ‘I’m so embarrassed, I’m going to take them down today …’ After it aired, people — obviously offenders — wrote in saying, ‘You obviously don’t know, but I keep the Christmas lights up because they keep the termites away from the eaves of my house.’
Did you check into that one?
Yeah, I did, with a termite guy, and he said that’s crazy.
Do you ever get tired of questioning everything?
No. I look at everything with a question. I mean, even when I’m not working, I want to know why something’s the way it is.
To send questions: wfaa.com/whyguy
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