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FLASHBACK ARTICLE FROM NOVEMBER 2009
OK. That is not the exact title of my home-slice Billy’s early play, but the farcical connotation is apropos.
As a devotee of most, really all things funny, I selfishly relish in the truly humorous moments that my human capacities/limitations produce and I am nothing, if not consistently human. The volumes I could generate recounting my “Oops” would fill a library. A very poorly patronized one with an extremely narrow focus, but a library, nonetheless. Regarding the title of this article, the comedy was at my expense and the ears were those of the unscheduled audience.
When handing the microphone to a guest charged with making a toast or some other personal announcement, I always provide a brief refresher course on the best use of the device.
“Please hold the top of the mic close to your bottom lip”
“Please do not let the mic dangle directly in front of the speakers.”
“Project from your diaphragm and intentionally slow down your pace.”
“Don’t submerge it in water or throw it at an annoying relative that refuses to shut up”
“There is no need to say ‘Check 1-2, Check’. I already did that before ya’ll arrive.”
Thankfully, with the use of cordless units, I do not have to threaten to severe pain or death for performing the rock-star windmill maneuver.
Anyway, one would think/hope/expect that the frequent need to advise the inexperienced of such procedures would burn the importance and acknowledgment of the power of the mic into an experienced performer’s primary memory bank. One would hope.
Well, as it relates to me and headset mics, you’d be wrong. So nah-nah nah nah-nah.
At a very well-attended public event with hundreds of revelers, I let my overzealous need to share every joke I ever hear, with every person, I ever know and meet, distract me from my duties. After making a scheduled announcement I mixed, perfectly I might add, into the next dance joint and proceeded to turn my back to the crowd and share my most recent jokquisition with a friend that was in my “booth.”
In South Louisiana, two Cajun characters, Boudreaux and Thibodeaux, appear regularly in these gems. Mind you, most Boudreaux jokes I hear are adult in nature and not appropriate for broadcast. Luckily, for me, I was impressing my podnah (good friend) with the following PG-13 rated offering and not a bluer anecdote.
Boudreaux was making his daily trip down the Bayou in his pirogue to work the water as he always did.
Thibodeaux was on his pier and saw his podnah, Boudreaux, passing by and noticed his boat was filled with Nutri-Sweet. He call him over and asked why he had all dem pink packets of sweetener wit him.
Boudreaux said confidently, “I’m gone trap me some Nutria, wanna come.”
“You don’t use Nutri-sweet to catch no nutria,” barked Thibodeaux.
“You do what you do, and I’ll do what I do,” said Boudreaux and off he went, alone.
Later that day, to Thib’s amazement, Boudreaux returned with a boatload of Nutria and a smile wide as the bayou.
The next morning Bou was making his daily trek down da bayou with a huge pile of crab cakes.
“What chu gone do wit dat, Boudreaux,” laughed Thibodeaux.
“Ima catch every crab what live in da bayou, dat’s what I’m gone did. You wanna come.”
Sensing Thib was too busy rolling on da ground, laughing, Boudreaux paddled off chanting, “You do what you do, and I’ll do what I do.” Within a few hours, Bou returned with more hampers of crabs than Thibodeaux had seen whole crew catch in a week.
Thibodeaux was getting very curious and made sure he was up early to catch the next day’s action.
The following morning he saw Boudreaux heading out with a boatload of Pussywillows and yelled “Hold up, Ima get my boots and join ya.”
That’s a funny joke, right? Imagine how funny it was when I turned around and was bombarded with applause and laughter from the crowd who had heard the joke over the music because I failed to turn off the headset mic. They heard every word.
As you can appreciate, I was also bombarded with requests for Two Live Crew’s “We want some Pussywillow” and “Pussywillow Control” by Prince. Apparently, I wasn’t the only wyzass in attendance.
I learned two things that I would like to share. First, only use a headset mic if absolutely necessary, especially if you are prone to suffer from ridiculously short term memory.
Most importantly, and through pure luck and circumstance, I learned to pay close attention to the type, genre of language I use. Despite my immature appreciation for the more adult words in the English vocabulary, I strive to never avail myself of them at an event, regardless of the circumstance. You never know who is listening.
Rocky can be reached at email@example.com