Bernard’s Voice

Neil called to tell me that Bernard was on the radio. Bernard? I laughed. Bernard has one of the deepest voices imaginable. Bernard’s voice rumbles. If you stand next to Bernard you won’t actually hear what he says, you’ll just experience it. Bernard on BBC Radio 4. I wondered what sort of microphone the producer will use. Bernard’s vocal chords vibrate his diaphragm and this, in turn sets off some sort of sympathetic resonance in his rib cage. Perhaps the rest of his skeleton, and even his skin collaborate to send shockwaves of his words towards the membrane in the microphone. It gets battered in step with the basement velocities of Bernard’s voice, and these become pulses of electrical energy that travel in step along the cable to the recording machine. Bernard won’t be speaking live, you understand. He has to sample some authentic, rustic cuisine and make a few considered comments. But as it’s going out on air at any minute I have to blutack the china to the dresser. When he eventually speaks furniture bounces across the tiles.  A slate falls off the roof. Across the country Bernard’s adjectives cause several nasty injuries. In Oslo, a professor of literature is killed when all six volumes of Karl Ove Knausgaard’s ‘My Struggle’ topple off a shelf and crash down on the professor’s head. Each one a blow more terrible than the last.

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