Live and Dangerous
Well the impossible happened.
Someone thought it was a good idea to unleash this motor-mouth onto the masses and telecast me on a commercial radio station via the international space station. I think NASA has since removed their licence.
'Be it on your own head', I said. 'Once the genie is out of the bottle, it's out.' I said.
Mum, who shall now henceforth be known by her alias, Mother Mary (she is not religious or anything, that's just her name and she is my mum) knew it was only a matter of time. She reminded me of the days when I would sit in my bedroom with my friend Joanne from around the corner, and pretend to host our own radio show by recording ourselves onto my tape deck. Mum and Dad tried to explain that listening to me once was probably enough for anyone, let alone on a repetitive loop.
How sodding-well rude!
I would entertain myself for hours recording my own voice pretending to interview people and introducing songs, even if the playlist predominantly consisted of Duran Duran, Bananarama, Howard Jones, The Thompson Twins and Spandau Ballet (I did love my Brit pop) and of course INXS just for a bit of Aussie flavour. The question should have been, why wouldn't you want to listen?
I do recall when I was 10 years old, when this commitment to broadcasting brought me unstuck.
I was lying happily among the shag pile. My melodic tones spewing out verbal genius. Joanne had to go home because the street lights had come on and my family were due to go out for dinner. Off in the distance I thought I could hear Mother Mary calling for me to get ready, but of course I ignored it and spoke louder to drown her out (I could drown out a B52 if I needed to). I can't remember how many times she called out to me, but she clearly got jack of it and sent my younger brother Lee, to my room to relay the message.
Lee: 'Jaq. Mum said you have to get ready to go out.'
Me: 'And on tomorrow's program we will look at the importance of buying hotels in Monopoly.'
Lee: 'JAQ! Mum said to get ready!'
Me: 'And Joanne and I will debate, frozen Razz vs Sunnyboy?'
Lee: 'JAQ! MUM SAID YOU HAVE TO HAVE A.....
THUMP, BANG, WALLOP!
Lee: 'BAATTHHH. WAAAAAA! MUUM. JAQ JUST WHACKED ME!'
Note to self: Stop recording before you thump your little brother and your parents play it back, thus confiscating your tape recorder for the rest of the week.
But the shear power of my decibel-breaking voice was well noted well before this incident of sibling abuse.
My much-loved godfather, Uncle Tom, was astounded how my voice could carry across suburbs. He said I could talk under wet cement and would argue that I don't need any amplification whatsoever.
Uncle Tom was extremely clever and could make anything. He even built my very first desk that I got for my 10th birthday. It had puppy dogs on the drawer handles and was painted white. I loved that desk more than life itself, (shocker I know). I was the only kid I knew with a piece of custom-made furniture.....I felt very posh. Uncle Tom was, and still is Dad's very best friend.
Anyhoos to this day, Uncle Tom loves telling the story about the day I helped him look for a neighbour's cat.
Uncle Tom had an awesome garage where he would build such things as desks, lounge suites and small towns. It smelled of turps and decking oil and housed projects in various states of completion. My brother and I were amazed at how messy his garage was as opposed to ours. With an ex-army sergeant for a dad, our garage had a floor you could eat off. It was also important to note that no custom-made furniture ever came out of it either.
One day we were over at Uncle Tom's. I was about four or five years old. I would have been sporting bangs, chubby cheeks and swaddled in some red smocking number with white knee-high socks and Mary-Jane's. As usual Uncle Tom was tinkering around in his magical garage where things got made, and as usual I was convinced he would want me to watch and ask him a million and one questions while he was doing it.
I found him creeping around under benches, cars and tarps.
Me (with the voice of a 45 year old male prison guard): 'Whatcha doin' uncle Tom?'
Uncle Tom: 'I am looking for the neighbour's cat Jaq, he is hiding in here somewhere.'
Me: 'Can I help find the kitty?'
Uncle Tom: 'Sure you can. You just need to whisper quietly and say, here puss, puss. Can you do that?'
Me: 'Okay Uncle Tom.'
'HERE PUSS, PUSS, PUSS!!!!'
From all reports, the cat apparently sharted itself, leaping into the air allowing Uncle Tom to return the cat to its rightful owner. You are welcome by the way Uncle Tom.
So I can be a little vocal; but the idea of being telecast on live radio was very daunting. Regardless of what we love doing, nerves kick in and we doubt ourselves, 'who the hell is going to be interested in me?' we tend to think.
I think fears start to grow from the time of your 21st birthday which is ironic. At the same time you get the key, you gradually lock yourself away, taking less risks and shutting yourself off. Now the last thing I want to do is get deep, God forbid. I would prefer to discuss whisky or give you a recipe for protein balls (don't panic, see below as promised), but I am getting better at having a crack and putting myself out there. At 47 I figure if I was going to really stuff life up, I would have done it by now, so how bad could it get? I find the kiddos help you to be less fearful, as demonstrated by this deep and meaningful chat with Joan Rivers.
Me to Joan Rivers: 'OMG, they want me to co-host an hour of radio on Saturday morning.'
Joan Rivers (with a hint of enthusiasm): 'Really? That's great Mum.'
Me: 'I know, but I am packing it.'
Joan Rivers: 'Why?'
Me: 'Well because it is live radio on a commercial station and I have never done that before.'
Joan Rivers: 'But you talk, ALL THE TIME.'
Me: 'I know.'
Joan Rivers (looking somewhat impatient): 'So what's the problem?'
Me: 'Sure, good point. This was good. Thanks for the chat.'
Joan Rivers: 'Sure. Now can you close the door, I am studying.'
Ahhh, there's nothing quite like the way your family pumps up your tyres is there?
As expected, apart from a last minute nervous pee I survived my radio stint and really enjoyed it thanks to the lovely Richard Stockman on Classic Rock. I looked very profesh and everything with the headphones on and the whole palaver. I didn't even drop a sweary so I may get asked back!
Now in other completely unrelated news, here's the recipe for the peanut butter protein balls I was banging on about earlier. Smash two of these babies in your mouth about 2.30pm with a herbal tea and you will get through the rest of the day, or column as I have discovered.
PM-PB-PBs (afternoon peanut butter protein balls)
The stuff from the pantry
1 cup quinoa flakes
1/2 cup coconut
3/4 cup natural peanut butter
1/3 cup maple syrup (can sub honey if not vegan)
1/4 cup cacao powder
2 tbsp almond meal
1 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
1. In a food processor, combine peanut butter, syrup, cacao powder, almond meal, vanilla, and salt. Pulse until mixture comes together and is smooth.
2. Add quinoa flakes and coconut and pulse until well combined. Mixture will be fairly loose, but should come together when scooped and rolled into balls. (If your mixture is too dry, you can add a little more peanut butter or syrup, or a tablespoon of milk (plant based or dairy–whichever you use) at a time to help it come together.
3. Scoop mixture into balls and roll out to smooth. Place in an airtight container in the refrigerator and store up to 1 week. (You can also freeze these up to 1 month)