Wednesday, October 27, 2010

listening fail

i'll be the first to admit that i don't speak very clearly or loudly, especially when caught off-guard. i'd like to blame it on my small mouth, but shouldn't, given that i am supposed to have a basic grasp of the physiology of voice production (didn't that sound impressive? i like pretending i know stuff).

in high school, i was forced to join an extemporaneous speaking contest because, apparently, no one else had an unholy fear of teachers. i only won it because the night before, i guessed the topic correctly and practiced an entire speech before sleeping. if i had guessed differently, i probably would've mumbled illogically until they took the microphone away.

this flaw often gave me problems way back when food delivery service was still low-tech and they didn't keep computerized customer records.

one time, i called to have pizza delivered (most likely thin-crust garlic and cheese from shakey's) (aaaand i just made myself hungry). after i gave my contact info to the lady on the other end of the line, she asked me to repeat my address – our street name in particular.

'topaz,' i said as clearly as i could, short of showering saliva all over the phone.

'what is it again?'

'TOPAZ,' i said, giving my vocal cords a workout.

'can you please spell it?'

'T ...'

'ok, T,' she repeated after me.

'O ...'

and it continued, that cycle of dictation and confirmation, until the final letter.

'you got it?' i asked. 'topaz! topaz!'

'ahhhhh ok,' she exclaimed, relieved that she finally recognized the word. 'KOOKAK, right?'

righty-o. because 'kookak' is how you pronounce t-o-p-a-z and, you know, there is really such a word.

i don't remember if the pizza was good (who am i kidding? it's always good) but i suspect that 'kookak' has been permanently etched into my memory, sufficiently displacing more important information, such as friends' birthdays and the tv schedule of ace of cakes.


ardel said...

sana sinabi mo, "and i'm rachel lobangco" haha!

speaking of shakey's pizza, yo and i were just talking about it over the phone--which pizza to have for the no-date-yet df pizza blowout. i like the garlic and cheese+mojos! manipis nga lang ang shakey's kaya kailangan times two. you know us, pg.

orange said...

no complaints from me, boss!