The Day the Earth Stood Still

For the past couple weeks, I’ve been conducting customer research interviews which I’m recording and then transcribing for further analysis. I’m amazed at all the important findings I’ve discovered throughout this process, like industry trends, market needs, competitive intelligence, and oh my effing god, when were any of you going to tell me that I laugh like a goddamn horse?
I mean seriously – was this all some big joke to you? “Hey kids! Let’s just hang out with Jenny and never tell that she sounds like uh huck uh huck uh huck and by the way she’s had spinach in her front teeth for the past 24 years.”
There’s no way I would’ve done that to you. No way would I have let you reach the ripe age of 37 – LONG past the point where you could actually take steps to correct this behavior – without pulling you aside and gently calling your attention to the beastly braying that escapes from your gullet whenever you are amused. I just wouldn’t have done that to you.
I didn’t even recognize it as my own voice when I first heard it. What the-? Was that the customer? My account manager? A foghorn from a passing ship? I had to rewind the tape about five times before I finally realized that it was me.
And it doesn’t even sound like a genuine laugh. It sounds like an interpretation of a human laugh done by an alien who is trying not to be discovered. But we’re on to you, Klaatu! For we shall recognize you by your baboonish guffaw!
Guess I learned a little more than I bargained for with this study. I learned that my only true friend is a Sony M-200 microcassette recorder with zoom mic and Voice Activated Recording.

14 Responses to “The Day the Earth Stood Still”

  1. shari Says:

    Dude, what? The alcohol consumed prevents me from remembering anything about your laugh, except that my abs hurt the following day, so maybe I was the only one laughing. Wait. I laugh like a horse?? Sheesh! You coulda said something.

  2. brandon Says:

    you have the BEST laugh, and i still remember that night we all went out to that weird bar with the rabbit paintings and looked at goatse and my god if we had a tape of that laughter i am sure it would cure herpes.

  3. Dave2 Says:

    How can you be worried about your laugh (which is perfectly lovely, by the way) when you’re still using a microcassette recorder? It’s all digital now! Everything is digital! Which is kind of a bummer, because you can’t use the excuse “my recorder ate the cassette” any more. Well, YOU still can…

  4. jenny Says:

    shari: you have the pure and gentle laugh of a butterfly riding a unicorn over a rainbow.
    brandon: then how do you explain that i GOT herpes that night? but OMG – that really was the best night ever! looking at goatse on a palm pilot is truly the only way to fly. (and thanks…)
    dave2: but, but… it had ZOOM MIC! why am i always a decade behind the times?! but fortunately, my laugh wasn’t digitized, or i might have been tempted to post it here for kicks.

  5. Don Says:

    Uh huck uh huck uh huck you said zoom mic uh huck uh huck.

  6. shari Says:

    Yeah, well, unicorns are a kind of horse y’know. ;)
    Also, I believe that there is disagreement about your laughter, wherein you aver it’s objectionable, and everyone else maintains that it’s perfect. Which… >i>obviously requires another in-person meeting so we can all clearly re-evaluate the sound of your laughter, just to be safe. The decision of the Committee will be final and binding.

  7. Tracy Lynn Says:

    Yeah, well, it turns out that I’m a cackler. That’s right, I CACKLE.

  8. Mad William Says:

    I have to agree with Dave2, except that, now, it’s all ball bearings.

  9. Cheryl Says:

    I like to pretend that all recording devices manipulate sound and that I don’t really talk like a five-year-old with a cold.

  10. derfina Says:

    I HATE my laugh, and I have to listen to it all day, every day from my African Grey!

  11. jenny Says:

    don: heh. heh heh. zoom.
    shari: gladly! when are you coming to chicago? well wait – we’re supposed to get about 10″ of snow tomorrow, so you might want to hold off a bit.
    tracy lynn: interesting. i wouldn’t have pegged you as a cackler. but maybe we should both just embrace our animal laughs!
    mad william: eventually, the pendulum will swing my way, and we’ll all be back to rotary dial phones and mimeograph machines.
    cheryl: like that lily tomlin character? wait – can you say, “and that’s the truth, pbbbblttt!” for me? :)
    derfina: no way – you have a parrot that mimics your laugh? okay, you totally win!

  12. churlita Says:

    I hate having to hear the sound of my own voice. Plus, I do that nervous laughter thing and it makes me sound like such an idiot. Maybe I should just record my voice, so you could listen to it and feel better about yourself.

  13. vahid Says:

    What’s all this? Jenny, I ADORE your laugh. You know what makes me happy? When I think about how hard you laughed when you were about to introduce Dustin and I to our GIRRRRLLLFRIEEEEEND. Or last December when you laughed so hard over our game of Old Maid that you started crying and tried to salt the rim of your glass with your tears. Or laughing over “Dumpster Milk” just two months ago.
    I could go on and on here. Keep laughing, mmkay?

  14. jenny Says:

    churlita: i guess most of us don’t like to hear our own voices. i do the explosive laugh that kind of terrifies people if they’re not ready for it.
    vahid: awww, thanks! and omg – i totally forgot about old maid! that was the best – especially because we all got free drinks that night due to unsanitary ice. maybe i’ll just make a pact not to record my laugh and have to listen to it over and over and over again while i transcribe interviews…

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