March 21st, 2014
A sudden burst of laughter. “What’s so funny?” I ask. “Terri Gross.” Renee says, then continues, “No, she’s not funny. What’s funny is she looks exactly like she sounds.” I quickly agree. “Little boy haircut, sweet grin, and ever so slightly protruding chin (that last one might just be the light — and what’s the chin got to do with how a woman sounds, anyway?) ” Okay, this I have to investigate. I swirl my lifted finger and Renee turns her computer around to show me. Damn, she’s right.
Now, is this phenomenon simply planting something in my brain but I can’t find a way to plausibly deny it? What we could do to test it is to find ten thousand people who’ve never heard of Terri Gross, then build a town for them to live in, Grossgone, where they will never come in contact with Terri Gross. Next we come up with 500 Terri Gross shows simply by taking advantage of the best talents in voice re-creation. Over the next couple years we play these shows for the Gross-deprived — all the while making sure none of Grossgone’s villagers ever see Terri’s picture. After having played all these shows we post her picture on the town’s twenty best billboard sites.
Will we hear choruses of surprised laughter as I did this afternoon? I hope so. I don’t like to have my nutty experiments suck the big asparagus spear.