FOR THE HELL OF IT VOL. 5 NO. 3 NOV. 30, 2013
A MEETING OF BRITISH AUDIOBOOK NARRATORS.
INTERIOR: Bar – not too dimly lit. Friendly neighborhood place.
Camera moves along the bar as murmurs of conversation are heard. We see a tall man gesturing to the bartender with his glass for a refill. He is John Lee.
As the bartender turn to the tap with John Lee’s glass, the door opens and we Simon Vance stroll in. He looks around and is seen by the bartender.
Bartender: Well here he is! How ya doin Mr. Vance? Your friend is here – right here. (gestures toward John Lee)
John Lee: Ah Simon! How are you old chap?
Simon Vance: Ah John! Top flight m ‘boy! Top flight!
John Lee: Tony, a drink for my friend if you would be so kind.
Tony: Sure. What’ll it be Mr. V?
Simon Vance: A pint of your best would be appreciated.
Tony: Best what?
John Lee: Just give him a Guinness Tony.
The beer is poured and served. John Lee smiles at Tony.
John Lee: We’ve a few more of us about. Let’s have a bit of chat shall we?
Simon Vance: Yes let’s. All the best Tony — do keep the tab open won’t you?
Tony: Sure thing. Sure thing.
Simon and John get up and move deeper into the bar where they greet others at a booth.
They sit down and are greeted warmly by Simon Prebble and Katherine Kellgren.
Simon Prebble: Ah! Here they are! Hello lads!
Katherine Kellgren: Hallo Hallo! Greetings of the Day gents!
Simon Vance: Oh! Hallo! Nice to see you as well!
John Lee: Cheers all! Bloody marvelous day isn’t it?
Simon Prebble: Too right! It’s marvelous!
John Lee: (looks around) Can we be heard back here?
Katherine Kellgren: I think not. Should be alright.
Simon Vance: Thank God. Shall we?
John Lee: (loses British accent) Ab-so-fuckin- lutely.
Simon Vance: (loses British Accent) Holy shit. Ah! This feels better! Oh man!
Katherine Kellgren: (loses British accent) This gets so tiring! Jeez. I mean at least I get to speak American most of the time but you sorry bastards have to keep this Brit crap up 24/7.
Simon Prebble: (loses British accent) Oh baby! ‘still gotta drink this crap though – what I wouldn’t give for a Coors Light.
John Lee: Don’t push it Prebble. We still hafta keep em thinkin’ we’re from England.
Simon Vance: Yep. Without this cheery ho shit, we’d be the same as the rest of em.
Katherine Kellgren: Not completely the same. I mean, we’re still great actors with or with or without the BS accents. It is weird though isn’t it?
John Lee: What’s weird?
Katherine Kellgren: How much more work we get cause we speak with British accents. And the awards! What the hell is that all about?
Simon Vance: I know! I could freakin’ fart the whole time I’m in there — I mean just fart instead of narrate and as long as I fart British, I’m pretty much guaran- fuckin-teed an Earphone or an Audie nomination!
Katherine Kellgren: It’s incredible! Why do people love these snooty ass accents so much?
Simon Prebble: No idea. I can’t stand people from wherever the hell England is. I’m from south Jersey myself — New Freakin Jersey for Chrissake! Think they’d let me do Dickens if dey knew dat?. I’ve never even been to England!
Simon Vance: Me neither. Hell, I couldn’t find England on a frickin’ map if you spotted me Scotland and what’s it called — Welshland or whatever it is.
John Lee: Wales – I think. Hell I don’t know. Are they all part of England or what? I mean- it’s not still an Empire is it?
Simon Prebble: I think it is. Let’s see — There’s the Roman Empire, the British Empire and — ummm what…..
Katherine Kellgren: Ohh! Ohh! There’s Empire Carpet! Is that one of theirs?
John Lee: You guys think we could get away with ordering some kielbasa or some brats or do we hafta order some crap Brit food? All they got here is some fish and chips or some sheperds pie … whatever the hell that is. Who wants to eat some crap they feed to sheperds?
Simon Vance: No! No fish and chips. First off, what the hell is a “chip”? I want French Fries, I’ll ask for French Fries. I say “chips” – I want a bag of chips. Ya know?
John Lee: Yeah. Cape Cod or Utz or something.
Simon Vance: And what’s with the malt vinegar? Who the hell puts vinegar on fish? Gross!
Katherine Kellgren: The British do I guess.
John Lee: So we gotta do it.
Simon Prebble: Where didja get yours John
John Lee: My what?
Simon Prebble: Your accent? I got mine watching James Bond movies when I was sellin TVs at Sears.
Simon Vance: Which Bond?
Simon Prebble: Roger Moore. Great accent on that guy.
Katherine Kellgren: Shitty Bond though. All gadgety.
John Lee: Yeah. I got my accent from Terry Thomas.
Katherine Kellgren: Who?
John Lee: Terry Thomas – you’re too young. He was pretty funny. He had a gap in his front teeth but a great accent. Kinda like a British Robert Morse.
Katherine Kellgren: Who?
John Lee: Nevermind. You’re too young. Where’d you get yours Katie?
Katherine Kellgren: I was watching Dick Van Dyke in Mary Poppins when I was a little girl and it just stuck. I mean I can turn it on or off because people aren’t sure if I’m an American or if I’m British.
John Lee: I think it sucks that we have to do this to work. All these freakin foreigners come over here and take the lead roles in our TV shows and we do their accents and all we get are audio book gigs. I mean – the Mentalist guy is Australian. The big cop on that show is a Brit. I think the Hawaii Five -O guy is a Brit too. Why do they get to come here and get our jobs?
Simon Vance: It does suck. I moved to LA to get some acting work — but I haven’t dropped the accent. Don’t know if I will or not.
Simon Prebble: Get anything yet?
Simon Vance: I got a guest shot as a dead guy.
Katherine Kellgren: An American or a British dead guy?
Simon Vance: Just a dead guy.
John Lee: A dead guy without a country.
Simon Prebble: That sounds so sad. Oh well – let’s blow this pop stand! Time to do a little Sherlock!
John Lee: Yeah, duty calls.
Simon Vance: Awright. C’mon Katie. These Audies aren’t gonna win themselves….
They pay their bill and exit with a chorus of “tally hoes” and “pip pips”
FOR THE HELL OF IT – CHRISTMAS EXPLAINED
Many have wondered about the Christmas story – how what we do came to be what we do. Well, Christmas started as a pagan ritual in which children were sacrificed. It went on like that for quite some time until the children began to complain. Once you get a bunch of kids whining about something – like not wanting to be sacrificed – it’s really hard not to give in. They can be soooo annoying.
So pagans stopped sacrificing kids and after a while paganism lost its charm and fell out of favor – sending many pagans into early retirement and others off to college to start fraternities.
Fortunately, pre-Christian writings prophesied the birth of Christ and eventually He showed up and the Christmas holiday began in earnest.
The date of December 25 was selected because it sounds far catchier than December 24. Also, it marks the likely date of Christ’s birth if inception occurred March 25…an interesting thought given that Christ was born to the Virgin Mary and the whole idea of inception to birth is rather confusing. At any rate, there were already celebrations for various deities around December 25 so the whole thing worked out rather nicely for Pagan and post Pagan party planners.
In the earliest days of the Church many different dates were suggested for the birth of Christ and the eventual celebration of Christmas. In the 3rd century after Christ, December 25 won over the other contenders although one wonders why no one said to Jesus when he was alive – “So, Jesus, you got a birthday coming up soon? When exactly is that. Wait! Luke, write this down.” At any rate, we celebrate Christmas Day today and the origin of the word is Christ and Mass — a very Christian religious celebration of the birth of the savior.
All well and good but not necessarily festive — actually quite solemn. The problem with solemn is that festive is more fun and brings more people out and about and money begins to change hands so….
We have our Christmas.
The tradition of giving gifts started in pre-Christian Rome to celebrate the sun God who was named – George Hamilton. Yep George Hamilton… same guy we have. He’s actually that old.
The gift giving for Christians started as a way to recall and relive the gifts given to Christ by the wise men. Incidentally, the gifts given – gold, frankincense and myrrh – were symbolic as they were considered gifts worthy of a King. Nowadays, we would probably only be appreciative of the gold. Frankincense was a fragrant scent – today we would use it to disguise our bong smoking. Myrrh was a little weird to give a baby- it’s basically an embalming fluid for a King. So you have these wise men looking for Jesus and they find him and they hand his Mom and Dad some incense – “Thanks,” said Mary. “This should be good cause babies sometimes are stinky.” And some myrrh – “Oh how nice,” Mary may have said — “in case he dies in the next few minutes or so — we’ll be all set embalming wise.” And some gold. “Thanks for the gold!,” said Joseph. Although nobody brought up the fact that now that they had some gold, they could leave the manger and find a nice Holiday Inn.
Non-Christians carry on the tradition of gift giving because everyone likes to give and get gifts although no one likes wrapping them very much. And what’s with boxes anymore? How come when I buy a sweater for someone I don’t get a gift box? I gotta go to Duane Reade and buy a bunch of boxes when I’m buying a $100 J Crew sweater for some cousin or another? Really? What the hell?!!
..but I digress.
Saint Nicholas was a real guy by the way. He was the Bishop of Myra and was known to be very generous and kind and gave gifts to children every Christmas. How he became Father Christmas and Kris Kringle are the direct results of various sects bastardizing Dutch pronunciations – much as I do French pronunciations in my audio work. Fortunately, no one cares much about the Dutch or the French so everybody can bastardize them all day long if they want. Fortunately for the Dutch and the French, no one wants to.
So that’s the short story of Christmas. Christmas in a nutshell if you will…a chestnut shell.
Now, on to the rants
TIGER ATTACK AT STEVE IRWIN’S ZOO
Australia – The late Steve Irwin’s Australia Zoo was the scene of a horrific attack this week as tiger trainer David Styles, 30, was bitten on the neck by a huge Bengal tiger. Style was airlifted to the Royal Brisbane hospital where he was pronounced out of his gourd by area doctors.
“He was playing with the tiger,” said one surgeon. “Playing with it – like it was a big puddy cat. It’s a freaking tiger! These guys goof off with these animals, they are gonna get chewed up. I say again – it’s a freakin tiger!”
It’s not the first incident of an animal attack at the zoo and will likely not be the last…especially if these people insist on “playing” with animals known to eat people whenever they fancy.
The incident was witnessed by as many as 50 tourists – many of them children. Most of the children stayed on for the next show but were saddened when no tigers attacked anyone.
The zoo was founded by famed “Crocodile Hunter” Steve Irwin who rocketed to fame by getting ridiculously close to dangerous animals while little tiny shorts. In fact he was killed by a stingray while larking about. It is not known what became of the shorts .
NSA TO PUBLISH PORN SITE VISITS?
In its seemingly endless quest to repudiate every part of the Constitution, the Declaration of Independence, the Bill of Rights and the very essence of the founding fathers experiment in Democracy, the Federal Government (via the NSA) may be seeking to publish on line porn site visits by individuals who espouse “radical views”.
That such actions would directly violate our right to privacy and freedom of speech as well a UN Right To Privacy Resolution seems not to be a deterrent.
The operation seeks to “discredit radicals over web porn use” – the idea being that no one will take a radical’s views seriously once they know they’ve been trolling “Doggy Style Grannys.com.”
While no known radicals have responded, many Congressmen were seen to be flustered at the news.
“They’re gonna do what to who now?” asked Sen. Ted Cruz. “Anybody know how to clean a “cache?”
“Uh-oh” said Sen. Rand Paul. “I got me some cookies here…”