Saturday, December 21, 2013

More information about sounds and the human body than you want to know





I couldn’t sleep the other night, so I went downstairs to read for a bit. Reading in bed wasn’t helping my eyes close, so I thought a change of setting would work. My tummy was upset so I popped open a 7 Up and snuggled under my cozy blanket on the couch with book in hand. I rarely drink soda, and if I do, 7 Up is the go-to choice. The effervescent bubbles quickly send tummy problems upward with unladylike belches that rattle the walls.



I took a sip and held it in my mouth for a second before swallowing. Suddenly I heard the toilet flushing. Who else was here? Was one of the cats practicing a new skill? I swallowed and cocked an ear, only to hear nothing. Weird, but maybe I was imagining something in my half-conscious state. I took a second swig and heard the toilet again. Hmmm… 


After a couple more mouthfuls, I came to the conclusion that when 7 Up is gently swirled in the mouth, it sounds like toilet water
gurgling into the mysterious dark depths of the underworld. I probably won’t pass this advertising revelation on to the 7 Up parent company, Dr Pepper Snapple Group, Inc., but I was soon tummy-happy and headed back to bed.


Many sound loving Americans are quite patriotic. Every kid knows how to make annoying squeaking sounds on school hallway floors with their sneakers. One enterprising and talented young man I once taught combined this creative talent with his obvious love of country. He rushed into my classroom one day.


“Ms. M- you gotta come here, quick,” he burst out.


Thinking there was an emergency; I grabbed my keys and class list and headed after him. 


He stood in the hall, foot poised, “Listen!” he commanded.

In a series of stutter steps, toe swirls, twists, heel wiggles, full circle turns, and stomps, the young man rendered a squealing, squeaking and hauntingly accurate performance of “The Star Spangled Banner.” 



Amidst the gathering crowd he finished and bowed to applause. He spent several hours afterward cleaning scuff marks off the linoleum.


In perhaps one of the more unusual public displays of patriotism, I recall a scene from a short entry at an underground film festival. Today this would have generated a million hits on Youtube, but back in the ancient times of audio-visual capture, primitive displays of performance art had different means of gaining an audience.


In the clip, the cinematographer was strolling down a beach amid buxom beauties and muscled jocks asking them if they had any particular talent he could record. After endless moons, flashes and wiggle/jiggle scenes, he centered on one average young man who said he had a talent the producer probably had never seen before. 

Up to the challenge, producer gave him the go ahead.


The kid dropped his bathing suit, lay on his back with knees tight to chest, and aimed his naked posterior at the camera.


 He then performed the flatulent version of “The Star Spangled Banner”, rendered with realistic close ups by the creative camera operator. Corporate material? I bet he owns a multi squillion dollar business today.