I love microphones. I love them so, so much. It is a love buried so deep within that I can’t remember a time in which they didn’t hold an overwhelming fascination for me. That and the buttons on pay phones, but that’s another story.
What is it that makes me love them so? That super satisfying “puh” sound they make when you say a word with a “p” in it? The shiny, tidy little silver squares marching across the top? The smooth heavy weight of them in your hand? The sizzle when you turn them on?
Nah, I’m pretty sure it’s the attention. When you have a microphone in your hand, you’re super loud and everybody pays attention to you. Oh yes, I’m quite the little attention hussy. Me, me, me!!!
As a result of this dismal lack of sound transmission capability, I was forced to turn to the beater thing.
I know the beater thing sounds like some kind of torture device, but in actual fact, it was a wire whisk. A wire whisk that in my hands became a magical silver tribute to the microphone that should have been there. Though not nearly as satisfying as a real microphone, it made a fair substitute and definitely added something to the melodious “Yeah-yeaaaaah-oh-yeaaaaaaaaaahyeaaaaaahyeaaaaah”s that I regularly belted out to embellish the songs on the Kenny Rogers Christmas Album. I really can’t explain why I listened to the Kenny Rogers Christmas Album all the time, but I did. On my Mom’s flat silver tape deck on the floor of the kitchen. Maybe it was the only tape we had? I really hope so, because the idea that I was truly enjoying the Kenny Rogers Christmas Album really bothers me.
Anyway, now that I’ve explained my deep love and affection for all things attention and microphone, I’m sure you will understand my irrational behavior when I was actually given the opportunity to be around a real one as a child.
It was around Christmas time when I was three years old, or so the story goes…
I was in the church Christmas pageant, along with the rest of my Sunday school class. The beautiful, beautiful microphone was eye level, and practically sang “Hallelujah” every time I looked at it. Having appointed myself the star of the show, it was only natural for me to assume that I, and only I, belonged in front of that microphone. So naturally, as was my right as the star of the show, I grabbed it out of its stand at a tasteful and appropriate time during the first song.
Unfortunately, there are some people in this world that like to tear you down. “Haters,” I believe, is what the kids are calling them these days. This night was no exception. A certain “hater,” and I won’t name names, dared to remove the microphone from my happy little hands. Not only that, but she then raised it up and out of the reach of my flailing chubby arms. Honestly, what an outrage!!! The star of the show, albeit self-appointed, not having unfettered access to the microphone? Unheard of!!!
Well, no self respecting diva would stand for that. And I, my friends, even at such a tender age, was a self respecting diva. I began jumping, trying to reach the microphone. It was too far away. No! Nooooooo!!! I needed help. I couldn’t do this on my own. “Mom! Mom!!!! I can’t reach the beater thing!!! I can’t reach the beater thing!!!!!!!!!!!” I screamed in desperation, knowing that help would soon arrive to save it from the little black half-circle prison commonly known as a mic stand. But no help came. My own Mother, rather than rushing to my aid, just sat there in her chair and looked embarrassed… My own Mother. Unbelievable. Realizing that I was on my own, I continued jumping, desperate to reach it. It was no use. My sparkling silver friend was impossibly far away.
Would I admit defeat and fall back in line with the other children? No, a star never admits defeat. A star holds her head up high, and when she notices her father arriving late to her show, takes the opportunity to welcome him in a fashion becoming the father of said star.
When I spotted him, I stopped my jumping, waved, and happily called out, “Allen! Allen!!!” (a star is also far too cool to refer to her father as “Dad”) before I ran down to greet him as everyone waited for me to return to the stage. Oh, don’t worry, the show did go on. Eventually. And I’m sure it was amazing… Or at least, I can reasonably assume that it was.
Yes, the microphone. Forbidden, but irresistible. I would feel badly about “ruining” the Christmas pageant, but really… When one spends hours of her childhood pretending that a wire whisk is a microphone then a real one is placed in front of her, what would you expect? For her to just sit by and “share” the thing with the other kids? I think not. My poor Mom… You can still hear the embarrassment in her voice when she tells the story. I’m sorry Mom, but fame has a price, and in this case it was the complete an utter humiliation of the person that gave birth to me.
I wish I could say that I’ve grown out of my little obsession, really I do… But I’m starting a podcast and attempting stand up comedy, so…
I can’t help it! There is just something about the sound of my own voice that makes me happy (as anyone who has met me knows), and the light that winks at me off the beautiful curves of a microphone, well, it will never cease to be magical.
I hope you all have an unbelievably wonderful week, and may the mic stands of your life always be within reach.