Hello. My name is Michael and I’m a dork.
My friend Patrick has a great voice. Smooth, deep, like it was made for radio – maybe as the late night DJ for one of those booty-soul stations. It’s a voice I can imitate, sort of, for short periods of time.
Occasionally I start to think my voice would be good for radio, but then I hear a recording, typically a voice mail greeting. I’m immediately reminded where it belongs: reading farm reports on some AM station that nobody listens to, 300 miles from anything.
A former girlfriend has this outstanding, not quite husky, but great to listen to voice. When she gets a cold she complains that it sounds like Lauren Bacall – as if that’s a bad thing. It’s a voice you’d like to hear reading naughty bed-time stories. H. O. T. HOT.
When I have a cold, I can do a great impersonation of James Brown, but just of the opening “Yeeoowww!” from “I Feel Good.” That’s it. That’s all I’ve got; that and the farm reports.
While he doesn’t have all that low a voice, my friend Hjalmer is fairly soft spoken. When he does speak up, his voice takes on a certain authoritative quality. This is best exemplified by his voice mail recording. “This is the voice mailbox of Hjalmer Duenow. He would be…(long pause)…oh so grateful if you would leave a detailed message…” It reminds me a bit of the MoviePhone guy.
Like most people, I’ve been known to sing in the car. When I’m alone. With the windows rolled up. And the radio fairly loud. But once in a while, instead of singing, I’ll play with voices; practicing the low baritone of guys like Johnny Cash, Junior Brown, or Tom Brokaw.
So a couple weeks ago, driving someplace or another, I called Hjalmer and got his voice mail. Just for fun, I left a message in kind, imitating MoviePhone guy’s (and Hjalmer’s) presentation style.
And then I forgot to hang up.
A couple miles later, in the middle of a strange, extended riff that was a cross between MoviePhone and voice mail menus, I realized I was still connected to his voice mail. I croaked something, quickly hung up, then sent a text message imploring him to ignore my voice mail.
To Hjalmer’s credit, he has been kind enough not to mention the incident.
However, much like getting caught singing in the car, (or forgetting you’re in public when you launch into an extended air-guitar solo to the soundtrack that’s running in your head – not that I’ve ever done such a thing), it’s still mortifying. Quite possibly the most embarrassing thing I’ve done in quite a while.
Hello. My name is Michael. I’m 42 years old and I’m a monumental dork.