Radio will love your face, he plied me. And I swallowed that compliment like a shot of aged Scotch. Still, with my right arm twisted ruthlessly behind my back, I halfheartedly agreed to give it a go.
As a result, I recently made my radio debut voicing a ninety second spot for a close associate, a wedding consultant extraordinaire. He wanted to hire a local celebrity to convey to brides the vast joy they will feel when he organizes and implements their weddings. All he could afford, however, was me.
After meticulously recording 29 re-takes, discovering that some people don't appreciate dramatic interpretation, and failing at diva-ishly commanding my pal to paint my toenails, put my name on the back of my chair and bring me a co-cola, I finally floated my delicate Southern accent over America's airwaves; all the while, concealing the deep fear in my gut that people might recognize my voice.
In return for my services, I find myself in the unusual circumstance of opening an umbrella against the hailstorm brewed by my little blurb, which goes something like this:
It's a new year and time to start planning your upcoming nuptials. Your special day is a once in a lifetime event[Blah, blah, blah] We provide top of the line service to set the perfect mood and take the headache out of planning, so you can enjoy your wedding. [Blah, blah, blah, blah, blah] Our staff will recommend reception sites, caterers, florists, [blah, blah, and blah, blah]. Make us the first stop on your journey to a lifetime of bliss.
I'll never understand how that last line, an innocent suggestion, created such contention. Nevertheless, now, after the initial airing of my fantasy vault to fame (or, more accurately, infamy), the public buzzes with debates over whether I engaged in false and misleading statements.
Anonymous crank calls come in like clockwork, with women at the end of the line telling me, "I enjoy hearing your lovely voice on the radio, but lifetime of bliss? Give me a break." Other callers amen this sentiment, saying, "You foul mouthed tart!"
One caller claims she doesn't understand what I mean by "once in a lifetime" or "bliss," or how those things have anything to do with weddings.
Discontent struck the men, as well, in due course. Sick of hearing their mates pooh-pooh me, and, thus, them, every time my ad rotates on the radio line-up, several husbands have slyly discovered that their wives failed to hire my friend. Consequently, these men now point fingers accusingly at me. They say happiness was never knowing that bliss could have been bought.
(There's something to be said for both customer service and maiming the messenger.)
With the weight of the wedded world upon my weedy shoulders, I asked my chum how much longer he plans to use that particular commercial. He proclaims the year is still young. I suspect, secretly, he feels a bit like the Wizard of Oz, handing out hearts to those who dare request them.
Therefore, the great and wonderful Oz abandoned me, singing If I only had a brain, to defend myself from the mama and paparazzi. So like any starlet stumbling in a bed of bad PR, I declare to one and all, "Darlings, I don't write the lines, I just make them memorable." (Which is only half true, if true at all, because my friend couldn't afford a writer either, so . . .)
But there I go, letting 15 minutes feel like forever, and getting a big radio head.