Voices that annoy me

Anyone on NPR

NPR is pretty much the scariest thing ever. You almost never see it coming. You can know someone (or think you know someone), until you get in their car for the first time. Just after you close the door and the driver starts to back out, it hits you. They’re listening to NPR. You instinctively reach for the door handle, but it’s too late. You’re already on the move, and if you bailed out now, you’d just look weird.

No matter what they’re talking about on the air, it’s immediately something I have zero interest in, because I simply don’t like the way they speak. I’m not going to try to describe it, but I don’t like it.

I once had to take a shuttle from Telluride, Colorado to Grand Junction, because my flight out of Telluride was cancelled. It’s a journey of over three hours. When the driver opened up the door, there was some country music playing. I looked at my mom before I got in and we both kind of rolled our eyes at the music, but hey, it’s Colorado. If you don’t like cowboys, don’t visit. I’m glad we drove off before she could hear what I was really listening to, because no mother should have to see her son be subjected to what I would soon experience. I wasn’t in for three hours of country music. No, that music was the short intro to an NPR segment. A segment which I heard multiple times on my journey to the airport. Ever watch one of those 24 hour news channels and notice that they don’t really have 24 hours of content and instead run a loop of about 20-something minutes? NPR does that too.

And what is it with those musical intros? Often, they’re actually pretty good and unusual, and I incorrectly assume that my driver simply has good taste in music. Pretty cruel trick. And the other thing… how is it that these listeners always turn on their cars at the beginning of a segment, when the music is playing? You would think that such timing would be unlikely, considering the relative length of the intro compared to the spoken content. Is NPR an on-demand service using radio technology I’m not yet aware of? Are these people playing CDs of NPR just to mess with me? I don’t know, but I want it to stop.

The narrator from Desperate Housewives

If you ever want to see me go into a panic, hide my remote, turn my TV’s volume up, and change the channel to ABC when it’s showing an episode of Desperate Housewives.

Once I hear that voice my heart starts racing. I’ll sit up on my couch and take in a huge breath, like one does after waking from a nightmare. This always seems to happen when I’ve dozed off for a bit on a Sunday night, and of course I’ve left the remote somewhere inconvenient like in the kitchen or right in front of the TV itself. All I can think of is getting the TV turned off, muted, or on a different channel as soon as possible. I don’t mean to offend the actress; I just don’t like the sound of her character.

Macy Gray

I didn’t plan on including musicians when I started writing this post, but they popped into my head. I don’t know if she has other songs, but I remember when “I Try” became popular and it would play on the radio when I wasn’t in control. I didn’t like it.

John Mayer

This guy’s pretty popular so I’m sure there are some songs of his that I like, but I recently heard him sing “Free Fallin'” on the radio and it really bugged me. If you’re a big time musician doing a cover of a song, shouldn’t the idea be to make it as good as or better than the original? This guy took a rock song and sang it in a boring “just me and my guitar” way, probably wearing sandals and a hemp necklace.

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