Saturday, November 17, 2007

radio stars


It’s always just a matter of time until I find myself in front of a microphone again…this time it was not just a microphone but an entire insulated recording studio at Jiangsu Province Radio, where my friend Will and I spent some quality hours recording educational tapes and tests (just the latest in the series of odd part-time jobs that give texture to my life in Nanjing).
I wrote down a couple of my favorite dialogues. I feel I am really contributing to the world’s store of knowledge by lending my voice to these gems of wisdom. We had to do this straight, with no laughing, which is surprisingly difficult. Try it yourself at home.

A: What did you do this weekend?
B: I pulled up carrots. And you?
A: I was milking a cow.

A: What happened to Michael? He used to have the hairiest legs in town.
B: His coach shaved him.

A: If I don’t sleep soon, I will make your dog disappear from the world!
B: Are you saying you will kill my dog?
A: That’s possible.

There was also a lengthy dialogue involving a boy named Tommy Bush, and a monologue about how “Americans are all very wasteful. As a people, they destroy many things that others would save.” Another monologue described a typical meal in an American home, during which “the wife typically prepares the food while the husband enjoys cocktails. After the meal, the wife typically clears the dishes.” And finally, for the younger crowd of English learners, a series of bizarre one-liners, such as “I prefer puppets,” and “this monkey is for your sister.”
I don’t think they noticed that I was digging my own fingernails into my own flesh under the table to keep from laughing (which didn’t always work—we had to halt production a couple of times when I lost it and snorted hysterically into the microphone.) But we got it done, and had fun along the way. And Will even earned a new nickname: he will forever be Tommy Bush to me.
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Eric said...

That's freakin' hilarious! "This monkey is for your sister." I love it!

Miss you,

Lance Webel said...

Oh. My. China.

What hilarity! You're making me miss that beautiful country so much ... life back here in the states is downright boring in comparison. In China, I used to have the hairiest legs in town!

Kathy said...

Shannon, this is priceless.

B: Are you saying you will kill my dog?
A: That’s possible.

You can't write a better script than that!

Hoping you're doing well. I'm going to send you a request for Scrabulous on Facebook soon...

Amy said...

It's comforting to know that Chinese learning English will also become familiar with the stereotypes of 1950s America.

And I'm impressed with how spot-on those dialogues area. You know what I did this weekend? Well, I made dinner and cleared the dishes as the husband sipped his cocktail. Then I pulled up carrots, had my coach shave my legs, and gave a monkey to your sister. And don't forget all the waste - I wasted and wasted all weekend.

hawaiibren said...

looks like you've been having a blast in china! are you coming home this xmas???

iris misses you!