At the age of 36, when most tenor singers begin to go downhill, the BBQthDirector has found a way to get an edge. Since I just made mention of the legendary Barry Bonds, why not go there again? It is interesting to note that something drastic happened to Mr. Personality when he hit 36 as well. At an age when every other big league slugger declines, he found a way to have an epic explosion of production. In his late thirties he was making Hank Aaron and Babe Ruth look … normal. His edge? Good nutrition and a miracle clear cream.
I eat my share of veggies, but the only clear cream I have access to is ultra moisturizing lotion. And it’s actually not clear. It’s white. So what’s an old-timer to do? The Fundamentalist world of singing and preaching is rife with cut-throat competitiveness. I must find a way to keep up. The end will justify the means….
I’m taking steroids.
No kidding. I’ve noticed a steady decline in my vocal quality and stamina since the early fall. I chalked it up to coaching football. I did a whole lot more screaming and yelling this year. That’s a re-building year for ya. Anywhizzle, I figured my voice would recover soon after the season ended. But it never did. About three weeks ago, it really took a turn for the worse. On a Sunday evening, my song leading was such a struggle that one of our Asst. Pastors asked me during the opening prayer if I needed him to take over. I limped my way through the rest of that service, trying to maintain some kind of vocal control and accuracy while also struggling to hit a D flat.
I figured it was time to go to the doctor. The specialist our family doctor referred me to initially seemed skeptical, even suspicious. He said my voice sounded fine to him but that he’d go ahead and take a look. “Taking a look” was a little more complicated than the popsicle stick and say “Aaaaaaahhhhh!” treatment. He sent a little scope down to take a look at my precious vocal chords … through my nostril. It gave me a greater appreciation of the childhood saying, “Up your nose with a rubber hose!” Still, stuff ought not be going that direction through your nasal passages. It was quite uncomfortable, reminiscent of my experience at an Al Qaeda terrorist training camp that was disguised as a dentist’s office.
The good news: no polyps, nodules or cysts. The below average news: chronic laryngitis. The bummer news: it’s very likely to be a permanent condition that’s likely to get worse. The culprit: my kidney condition, which causes me to puke quite a bit more often than normal humans (too much info?). Those acids have been taking its toll. The corticosteroid medication I’ve been prescribed is supposed to help ease the inflammation in my larynx (maybe help build up the biceps, too?). I just started so we’ll see if it makes a difference this Sunday. I’ll be singing, “God Wants to Hear You Sing”. I’m not trying to be sarcastic, it just happens to be one of the few mellow songs in my repertoire. It is humorously ironic, though.
Then there’s the issue of side effects. This could be really fun, especially in my line of work. The one that really stands out (and that I actually look forward to) is the possibility to experience, “inappropriate happiness”. Now isn’t that much better than dizziness, drowsiness and upset stomach? I can live with inappropriate happiness. But it could be rather awkward for teens relying on me to be a compassionate mentor.
Teen: “My dad just lost his job.” Juiced BBQthDirector: “Woo-hoo, let’s party!”
Teen: “I’m gonna start working on Sunday mornings.” Juiced BBQthDirector: “Corporate greed, holla at ya boy!”
Teen: “My dog just died.” Juiced BBQthDirector: “Yeah, yeah, throw it on the grill!”
Yeah, this could be fun.