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Miss American Pie

Meagan Sukys, local NPR personality and the woman who interviewed me yesterday on The Beat, has one of the most dulcet radio voices you are ever likely to hear. Sadly, I am no longer able to appreciate it.

I first met Megan about a year ago at a A Guide To Visitors show. At A Guide To Visitors, folks get up on stage and tell "party stories" -- y'know, those anecdotes that you find yourself recounting after a third beer at a table packed with friends. I told of how Darth Vader made me cry. It's a pretty good story, but I was in the first half of the show. Megan, meanwhile, was the last of the evening, a slot typically reserved for the best story of the night.

She told us of the time she participated in an honest-to-goodness pie-eating contest and became rather monomaniacal about victory. After a bit of build-up -- recounting how she had been bamboozled into participating, and outlining the pie-eating strategy that she had devised in preparation for the event -- she described the actual contest. And where a lesser storyteller would have said, "and so I ate the pies really fast and won, the end," Megan actually reenacted her performance right there on stage. "MMMRRAGHR MRARGHMMARGH MRAGH MMMMRAARGHHMR!" she bellowed, holding an illusory pie up to her face and twitching her head like she was in the midst of a seizure. "MRRAGHRRR MRAARGH MRARRAGHGH MMMMRHHMR RMM MRARRAGH MRARRAGH MRMM!"

It was one of the best stories I've ever heard. But it came at a price. Because now whenever I hear Megan Sukys on the radio -- or even when I'm sitting in a studio with her during a live broadcast, and she's across the table asking me questions -- I know that she's articulating words and sentences, but all I hear is "MRRAGH MRAARAGHMARGH MRAGHGH!!"

Posted on December 15, 2004 to Storytelling