Saturday, February 18, 2006

The Missing Link gives me a birthday surprise

So, yesterday I arrive at The Missing Link in Bryanston to do a voiceover for one of their presentation projects. (Have I mentioned that these are the dudes you go to if you want an effective, butt-kicking presentation?) As I arrive, I casually mention that it's my birthday. The place erupts in 'Happy birthday Roy' chorussings, and handshakes all round.

I go down the corridor and into the voice booth. I do my stuff, under the able engineering of Bernie, the sound engineer, composer, scriptwriter they have working for them.

I spot a spelling error in the script. An error that would lead to me mispronouncing something. The word is 'cacophony'. I tell them, 'This should be cacaphony, not cacophony.'

Bernie says, 'Are you sure?' He's got a smoke-honed voice, a voice slicked back with the lubrication of experience. 'I've always spelled it "cacophony",' he says.

'I'm positive,' I say. And I do my thang, saying the word my way.

I hang around in the studio waiting for the second voice to complete his piece. I'm hanging around in case I'm needed for something else. And while I'm hanging around, I decide to just check my own pompous assertion. I log onto on my palmtop.

And yeah... you guessed it. I was wrong and Bernie was right.

I wait for a gap in the recording to say, 'Uh, guys... I have to eat several tons of humble pie. The word is "cacophony".'

'No problem,' says Bernie. An old pro. 'Just go back in and do a pick up.'

I go back in, finish up, and wander back to the main part of the Missing Link offices.

When I get there, Andre, the master cappuccinist, reaches for something under his desk, and rises holding a chocolate cake with candles on it. I blow the candles out. They light themselves again. I blow them out. They relight. And again. And again. Andre's pissing himself laughing. So's everyone in the office.

And then Andre hands me a present.

'I don't really know if it's your kind of thing, but I really hope you like it.' Andre explains, 'I phoned Rich...! from the shop to ask if he agreed with the choice, and he said, "You kidding? This is Roy Blumenthal we're talking about," so I hope you like it.'

He hands over a wrapped oblong. Too big for a book. Too big for a cd. Too light for gadgetry. What the hell could it BE???

I open the card first. Various people have written really cool things in it. D'ave has written the coolest. He says, 'Hey Big nose! Happy B-day. You kinda rock.' Heheheh! Rich...! wishes me a superrad year. Andre wishes me awesome days of my life. Sam wishes me happy happy. Thanks dudes!

And I ask Andre if I can open the present.

'Of course,' he says, cutting the chocolate cake, whose candles had to be snuffed by plucking them out and chucking them in water.

I open the present. And it's speech-defying. This awesome company, this most extremely awesome in the entire universe company, have given me the collected movies of Monty Python on DVD! Four movies! Two of them being among my favourite movies! (The Meaning of Life and The Life of Brian, if you must know.)

Yeow. Thanks guys! Brought a tear to my eye, man.

And the cake was pretty moving too.

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