I was subbing for Sophomore English today when the girl I call in my mind, 'Really Smart, Really Loud Girl' said,
"Don't take this personally or anything, but..." I always cringe when they start like this, because it's always personal and never good, "Don't take this personally or anything, but you have a very young voice, like it's very high and makes you sound young."
Not so bad!
"Yeah," I said, "when I call people on the phone, they always think I'm younger than I am." Class had just started and I was handing out papers.
"You should start smoking or something, get your voice all raspy," said another student.
"It works out when you're young," I went on about my voice, "like your age, but it gets old later when you want to be taken seriously."
As I went around the room, passing out papers, the students were all suddenly paying attention to me, some of them with their mouths open in shock and some laughing a little. Really Smart, Really Loud Girl said,
"Smoking works out when you're young, but gets old later...?"
"We should smoke now, when we're young?" inquired another corruptible young soul.
"You just said we should smoke while we're young?"
"OH, NO! OH, GOD, NO! DON'T QUOTE ME AS SAYING THAT! I meant having a young VOICE works out when you're young!"
Suddenly, a cigarette didn't sound so bad. At least I didn't let a dog in the school today.