January 29, 2009
Would you have your voice permanently altered to always sound sarcastic?
The inspiration for this dare came from an excellent skit from the best sketch comedy show of all time, The Kids In The Hall. Dave Foley plays an unfortunate fellow whose burden is to always sound like he’s being sarcastic. Always. “Oh, I’m really pleased to meet you,” he sniggers at a confused Kevin McDonald, who attempts to make small talk with him at a party. After enduring a few minutes of what seem like barbed remarks, the friendly McDonald departs in a huff. It’s then that we learn the tragic truth of the situation: Foley can’t help it. It’s just the way his voice is. As a result he’s always mistaken for a complete wanker, and hence, he’s always lonely. I wonder…Would having a million dollars make up for such a solitary, trying existence? Nope, I don’t think so. Never mind having great difficulty making friends, you’d be lucky if you could make it through a day without getting punched (if you lived in NYC, anyway). In fact, a day in which you got punched only once would probably considered a good one. And think of the difficulties you’d have just getting shit done if your voice was pitched at a constant, assholish sneer: “Yes, I’d like to order a pizza. No, of course I’m serious. Why would I lie to you? Hello? Hello?” Not to mention that you’d be SUCH an embarrassment to your friends in social situations (if they could manage to stick around and not take offense at your steady stream of things that sound like insults in the first place, that is). After careful consideration, I’m filing this one under too much damn hassle.
I was all ready to do that thing where I talk about how pitifully easy it is to say yes to this question, but then I read Lauren’s entry and actually stopped to consider how deceptively hard this dare is. I mean, I’ve had people think I’m being sarcastic when I’m not – a lot, actually – and it really is kind of a sad when you realize that your dry monotone and track record for le sneer can make your authentic “I really like your shirt” sound to a friend like a secret put down. I agree with Lauren that you would have an incredibly difficult time making new friends – or even making conversation – and can you even imagine intimate moments? Plus, you’re essentially signing on to never being able to say “I love you” and have it sound genuine ever again – not to your lover, your parents, your nana, your kids or your grandkids. Not even if they were dying in your arms. What an asshole.
And yes – this would guarantee you many, many ass whippings.
For the record, that’s a great, classic Kids in the Hall skit Lauren referenced above and it should be viewed as a cautionary tale for anyone even considering answering this question.
P.S. I might be open to negotiation if we start talking multiple millions on this one. Just sayin’.
I’d just like to echo what Kali said about how being mistaken for a sarcasm machine when you’re innocently speaking in your normal tone of voice is a total drag. I should know. People used to call me Daria.