Doug Tracht, who's The Greaseman to listeners of his weekday morning radio show, has cultivated a certain image. On the air on DC-101, he makes up funny, off-color, occasionally lurid stories. He expresses peevishness at bran muffins, sailboats and Jane Fonda. He extols body building.
You wonder if the way he talks is for real. You wonder how much of what he talks about he actually experiences in his time off the air. He says people would be shocked if they knew.
Tracht, a 32-year-old bachelor, describes his best weekend ever as one "when this beautiful woman kidnapped me, took me to this home and didn't let me out for three days.
"She had a stack of video discs I had never seen, food I had never eaten and gave me feelings I'd never experienced. I'm not making this up! It really happened.
"It was just wonderful. We borrowed someone's house. These people were out of town and needed someone to look after the dogs. This will give away who this is -- all her other boyfriends will know! 'God, she took me there in '62!' "
To The Greaseman, the most romantic spot in town is his bedroom, but, he says, "Any place can be romantic. When you're discovering the new joys, the Sears, Roebuck hardware department can be the most romantic, as you pick up a percolator and kiss by the microwave. I don't have to be standing hand-in-hand under the monuments. Just discovering new romance can be anywhere, that's the joy of it."
One thing about Tracht's free time can be verified by looking at him: He does pump iron.
Weekend afternoons he heads for the gym for a couple of hours of "iron pumpery," followed by a quiet steam and a relaxing whirlpool.
"I like weight-lifting," he says. "The only thing you have to conquer is your own fear of pain." His voice subtly changes to the sonorous tones of Grease Manelli, his air- time persona: "The iron never changes. The iron is never moody -- the iron."
Tracht works out daily: "You have to do it until it hurts and then do it three more times. Experience the hurt. If it's not painful, it's not profitable.
"You must go beyond pain -- to molecular dislocation."
The Greaseman says you need to work out at a gym. You can hook up with a partner with the same strength and same hours, and get a better workout than you get on your own. And it's just a nice way to meet people. You become too introverted with your own home gym and your own home- projection room.
"Since I am struggling for gross overdevelopment," he says, "I have to eat a lot of meat." While on the air, he eats tuna from the can or cooks steaks in the station's microwave.
After five days of protein, he likes to get a big, white pizza at Pines of Rome: "On the weekends I don't look at a can of tunafish."
Lifting is a good cure for depression, he says; he's recovered from broken romances with it.
Another way he has of recovering is talking it out on the air. He explains this by saying, "I have to stay reasonable. Other disc jockeys are like zombies after a breakup.
"After a brutal breakup, I'd come home, and she'd say, 'Is there nothing sacred?' I would say, 'No, now get out of my face!' "
Also, unlike a lot of other deejays, he has no record collection. "I bought 'Please Mr. Postman' in '62 and 'Duke of Earl,' " he says. "I don't listen to that much music at home. I listen to the quiet." And unless he's covering a concert for the station, he avoids them: Crowds make him claustrophobic.
"I just like music that makes me feel good. I don't know what it is or who it's by. Here I am a boss jock, and I forget the names of the groups a lot of times. I do a lot of phone calls while I'm on the air, so I don't hear the records play.
"I don't have an ear. Hit songs I can never pick out. If I like a song, it's the kiss of death."
A typical weekend in the Life of Grease:
"There will definitely be a new restaurant I haven't been to before. There's no rush. Don't hurry me with the menu, please. I want to enjoy that dry martini, maybe I'll have two.
"I have a boat big enough to camp on . . . When weather permits, you will find my twin diesels throbbing, sometimes a couple of skis glistening.
"I also like spending long moments in the arms of someone special. You don't have to spend money, you don't have to spend megabucks to enjoy the warmth of another human being -- getting donut crumbs all over each other and not caring."
On the weekend, when he makes "a donut run," he goes to Sutton Place Gourmet, not far from the Grease Palace in Northwest Washington. "Actually, it's croissants," he says. "But if people thought I was eating them -- My God.""