I have become Larry N. Gitus.
There were certain plot devices that seemed to be especially rampant in sitcoms and movies of the 1980’s. Like quicksand. Good thing there was always conveniently a drooping branch or vine hanging off a nearby tree in which the sinking character was could grab onto, often thanks to the assistance of a timely passerby or a heroic Labrador Retriever.
Another one was amnesia. Began three minutes into the episode and lasted until three minutes from the end of it, when the character would get hit on the head and instantly remember who they were and gain their normal personality back.
The third exhausted plot device of the 1980’s that comes to mind is the one I’ve been suffering with for the past two days: laryngitis. Whenever the weather goes through an extreme change (it’s been cold and rainy for the past two months, then finally, this weekend, Nashville switched gears to a hot and sunny climate again) my body suffers some sort of random condition.
Like painful sinus pressure in my teeth. Or sensitive body aches. Or lack of appetite.
But this time, I lost my voice. Yesterday all I could do was whisper. No vocal tone whatsoever. As for today, my best moments have been the phantom groups of 15 minutes where I could talk, but sound like Brad Garrett (the Jewish actor who played the Italian character Robert Barone, Raymond’s older brother on Everybody Loves Raymond). I sound like a victim of scandal being interviewed on 20/20, having my voice disguised with a voice modulator. But that’s only when I’m lucky.
During my usual bike ride through the park during my lunch break, a guy ahead of me was walking while talking on his Blue Tooth, in the middle of the path. There was no way to warn him I was coming up behind him. So I just moved to the edge of one side to stay out of his way. But I still really scared him as I slowed down to ride past him. Too bad I didn’t have a bull horn.
Then I could have scared him even more.
Losing my voice has only happened to me one other time, and that was only for half a day. I’m hoping to be able to speak by the end of the week. It’s very frustrating as the event planner of my family (my dad is the mechanic/carpenter, my brother-in-law is the computer whiz) not being able to call everyone to make plans for Memorial Day.
Text messages and emails are a good thing, but still there’s nothing like being able to use words out loud.
But until I get my voice back, I least I can write. It would have been a horrible week not to, with the finale of LOST and the premiere of Ali Fedotowsky’s Bachelorette season in the same week.
Like a young child just learning to speak but who is frustrated because they can only get certain phrases out that make sense to other people, so am I. Not to mention the frustration I constantly try to manage amidst all the well-meaning people around me who think it’s funny that I sound like Donald Duck or a big dumb ape.
And the irony is, I’d laugh with them all as they tease me. If only I literally could.