Bigmouth strikes again
October 12, 2009
I’ve a big mouth. I can’t help it. If I could I would. It’s always been with me and to some degree it’s part of my undoing. As a child of three or four, at nursery, the teacher would sit me on her knee and look down into my mouth to jokingly see where all that noise came from.
It’s never gone away. Occasionally I am allowed to forget. But there’s always something there to remind me.
In relationships things can be fine and dandy. Love can be in the air. It can be all around. Then one day, and I rarely see it coming, she will lean in to me, and carefully and gently go “sshhh.”
Here I am as the appropriately titled Launcelot Gobbo in a Salford Youth Theatre production of The Merchant of Venice.
Today, on the train, I did something I rarely do. I had a phone conversation with David Mercer, an old friend and a man partly responsible for putting us on TV all those years back in 1987. He’s to blame folks for ten years of Trev and Simon. Now he runs Total Eclipse TV.
I don’t like talking on phones on trains. I avoid it. I don’t like others talking on phones on trains. I scowl at them. But today, for maybe something like the third time in my life, I talked on a phone on a train. And I forget, I’m a big mouth. No matter how hard I try, when I think I am talking quietly I clearly am not.
Getting off the train at Charing Cross I sat on a bench to finish our conversation. A smart middle aged businessman approached me and I asked David to hang on a mo. The businessman told me off; he said that I obviously loved the sound of my own voice. I was embarrassed, mortified, shamed. I apologised. I tried to apologise more but he wasn’t having it. He’d made his point and moved on. He was off.
I am sorry. And to all those people I bothered who didn’t have the heart, nerve or whatever it takes to say something, I apologise. I just wish this man had scowled at me, said something on the train, instead of saving it up with a dig at the end of the journey. But it can take guts to say something and maybe his move was the best to make.
For what it’s worth, I do not love the sound of my own voice. I doubt I love any part of me. I know he didn’t mean it so, but I have been thinking about it so. I must have some kind of crazy ego about me, after all I’m typing this now and who knows who’ll read it, but no, my voice is the constant bane of my life.
Maybe it’s an illness, maybe I can be cured by a voice coach. But it is difficult for me to face up to it as such a problem. I choose to think I am quiet and unobtrusive, but every know and then my own voice yells at me through the reactions of others.
As I thought about this post; as I thought about the comments of the man; the voice I hear in my head is still mine. Try listening to your own voice and see if you can hear it as you would like to hear it; maybe sounding like Sinatra or Morgan Freeman. I’ve tried, but I can’t do it. It’s always me. And me doesn’t half go on.
Tonight it is choir. It’s our birthday. We are a year old. tonight I can sing loud and blend in.