Voices Carry

For a kid who’s not even two, our Henners certainly has a voice. His habit of saying ‘mommyeeeee’ or ‘daddyeeeeee’ repeatedly, insistently, usually for no reason whatsoever, takes me back on a daily basis to the movie ‘Forget Paris’. Debra Winger’s dad lives with them, and one clip shows him fixating upon a Toyota advertisement, saying: ‘you asked for it, you got it…Toyota.’ Over and over, in this terrible nasal voice, that would have driven Mother Theresa insane.

We were sitting in church a few weeks ago when Jason turned to me, deep in thought. I was under the impression he was going to share some profound insight with me. Instead he said, ‘how does she make her voice sound like a recorder?’ In reference to one of the female singers’ harmonies. If his observation hadn’t been remarkably accurate, I would have been really annoyed with him. Is the man incapable of having a deep thought?

But it’s true, I suppose that a voice can make or break a person. Whenever we go on a roadtrip, we usually procure a book on tape from the library. Several trips ago, I got Anne Lamott’s ‘Plan B: Further Thoughts on Faith.’ Jason was so bothered by her voice that he couldn’t listen to the whole thing and I had to finish it alone. Apparently he’s okay with reading her books, he just doesn’t want to hear her reading them.

David Sedaris, on the other hand; the man could read a washing machine manual and we’d probably laugh. All he has to say is ‘I mean, really‘ and it’s funny: the mixture of paranoia, uptight voice, and odd expressions. Unlike Mr. Michael Ondaatje.

In an effort to force myself to read (aka expand my horizons beyond pathetic Facebook games), I signed up for the adult summer reading challenge at the library. A giant leap of faith considering the last book I read was at the beginning of April. And only because we were in the car for fifteen hours. This particular reading challenge consisted of listening to a book on tape (cd) or mp3. So I got Sedaris’ ‘When you are engulfed in flames‘ and Ondaatje’s ‘Running in the Family‘ or something like that. But after five minutes of listening to Mr. Ondaatje’s voice, I had to quit. The man may have a gift with words.

But I’d rather see them in written form.

3 thoughts on “Voices Carry

  1. You should record a podcast of your blog posts, or maybe ask the recorder lady to do it. seriously it was amazing, like her throat was made of cheap plastic. The deep thought look was probably the same one I had trying to play “Oh When the Saints” in 5th grade on my brown government issue recorder.

  2. Sedaris’ story about the “Stadium Pal” had both me and my Jason laughing so hard we were crying. Even when read by my own normal (?) voice.

  3. I have heard Herr Johnson’s renditions of voices (to discourage conversations with fellow passengers) and, of course, accents. The man clearly has an ear for both.


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