As my faithful readers know, when I was younger, I made audio tapes. Some of them were semi-scripted, like The Willie Do-It Show or Invasion of the Polka-Dot People, and others were just ad lib. Players along with me were my sister Nicole, and my friends Keith, Billy, and Michael.
One of the very first tapes I made was the Richard Book of World Records, which I recorded with Greg Buckley as we walked to Bobby Underwood’s house on a cold December day.
Most of the tapes were made on compact cassette, but some were originally cut on my grandfather Batten’s reel-to-reel recorder, which was a two-speed machine, allowing us to record at one speed and play back at another. When we recorded at slow speed, then played them back at high speed, it made us sound like chipmunks, which of course was hysterically funny to us as kids. In fact, it’s still funny to this day.
Possibly the funniest of the bunch was a little piece of ad lib Michael and I cooked up on a hot summer day in 1979 as we waited for Charlie the air conditioner guy to arrive and make the house cooler. It was a game of hide-and-seek. Part of the reason it was so funny is that we were too grown up to be playing hide-and-seek with closet doors and couch cushions, but were doing it anyway. Another thing that made it funny is that we timed the hiding, with progressively shorter times.
To this very day, listening to that tape makes me laugh.