Monday, March 22, 2004

Your Dad Is A Voiceover Artist Day!

For 26 years now his voice has been all over the radio and TV. It's what's put food in your mouth and it's what's put you through college and it's what's given your parents the life of comfort and stability they've enjoyed all these years together. What right do you have to complain?

Yes, it was difficult in high school, parking with a girl and turning on the radio hoping for a Stevie Nicks rock block to get her in the mood. And just when the windows start to fog the car would fill up with the sound of your Dad extolling the virtues of a denture cream. So you made some mix tapes and the problem was solved. It's not like he hit you with a belt.

Yes, when he and your Mom split up for a while and he went to live at his brother's, you were six years old and sleepless most nights. You'd stay up watching weird TV waiting for that voice that would normally be reading you a bedtime story to pipe through the television speaker with the shout, "Attention Homeowners!" Sounds like a nice little slice of comfort for a boy going through a tough time. But you remember it the way you remember a recurring nightmare, the way you look at the bottom on top reality of dream and wonder how on Earth your mind, conscious or not, was ever able to make sense of such a thing. But it instilled you with a hostility towards debt consolidators that has kept your credit card balances low.

And yes, during early twenties when you hated your father and everything he stood for, you looked to the doctors and lawyers who served as father in the homes of your friends and you marveled that you could have been sprung from the loins of a man whose only value to the world was that his voicebox could produce a sound that human beings perceived to be inoffensive, nearly pleasing. But when he sang at your sister's wedding, when he sang to your mother, you regretted such thoughts. He sang to your mother in a voice that had a quiver behind every note, and a hum where there might've been silence.

Your father is a voiceover artist. He has a talent that has paid him well. That has paid him enough to provide his family with more than they needed. Your father is the American dream: He's a good man with a means.

Happy Your Dad Is A Voiceover Artist Day!