In January this woman from the BBC reached out to me and asked if we could talk about something I wrote on Stranger in 2014 about the song Feed the Birds from Mary Poppins. I immediately assumed I was in trouble because everything sounds scary when it's said in a British accent. I've been trained to believe this by watching nearly two decades of reality TV shows.
We spoke over the phone and she said a lot of things like "lovely" and "golly gumdrops" and "would you like a spot of tea" and "Big Ben." You know. Things all British people say in all conversations.
Fortunately I was able to understand her because I had watched every episode of Downton Abbey at least twice.
At the end of the conversation she said that she wanted to interview me for a radio "programme" they were putting together about Feed the Birds in which they would be interviewing Richard Sherman, the man who wrote the song as well as many other popular Disney songs from that era, and the actress who played Jane Banks (the daughter) in Mary Poppins.
BBC woman told me that she was going to arrange to have me go to a radio station in Salt Lake City to record the interview and she asked me to tell her "what part of the city" I lived in. And I was like, "lady, Salt Lake City is so small that someone across town just coughed and now everyone contracted Tuberculosis and got pregnant."
Well, I didn't say that. Instead I pretended that I live in a city as large as London and said something like, "well I'm in the central part, right where all the action happens."
She scheduled a time for me to go to a radio station across town (five minutes away). I walked in, threw my coat at someone who I don't think even worked there, and demanded to be shown to my trailer. They said they don't do that there and instead stuffed me into a tiny recording room already occupied by a man with halitosis. And NOT the good kind.
I was connected to the BBC woman in London and she asked me a few questions to get started. And then I talked for one full hour. I said every single word in the entire English language. I tried desperately not to break into a bad British accent. Especially since I'm already sensitive about the topic since those photos of me when I was a British lesbian Presbyterian from the 90s surfaced recently.
It was strange to revisit some experiences I've written about on Stranger (and which the old-timers will recognize). And even stranger to hear the recording later.
The segment finally came out this week. And it's . . . well golly gumdrops, it's just lovely. You can hear my part starting at 15:30 at this link. But I suggest you listen to the whole thing.
~It Just Gets Stranger
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