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Thursday, April 21, 2011

Voice-over Work

From the day Apple became part of our family, Mike and I have done this thing that I'm just starting to realize not all pet owners do.  When one of us asks Apple a question, the other will answer as Apple's voice-over.  Describing it now makes me realize how strange that actually makes us, but what's even stranger is that it wasn't something that came up gradually, it just automatically happened. 

Usually her voice-over is influenced by whatever animated shows we're watching at the moment.  The first voice that naturally came out as Apple's inner voice was South Park's Eric Cartman. Although there's a gender and species discrepancy, this is the voice and inner attitude that returns most often when we're talking for Apple.  Her voice-over has also had stints as Henchman 21 and Dermott Fictel from the Venture Bros. and Special Sister Mary from Lucy, Daughter of the Devil (voiced by Eugene Mirman.) Right now, we're having moments of Tina from Bob's Burgers squeak into the rotation (voiced by Dan Mintz.... we've never been able to get any actual girl voices into our girl dog's inner voice) especially when Apple is being awkward.

Apple's voiceover is 1% lovin', 99% attitude.  Yes.  She's a bitch.  Literally.  But also figuratively.  Some sample conversations we've had:

In her "NPR Cartman" voice

Scene: Apple sees me throwing out chicken bones and cleaning out the roasting pan and is suddenly interested in what I'm doing in the kitchen.
Apple:  Hey mom, what... what are you doing?
Me:  None of this is for you.
Apple:  No, that's coo.  I'm just.  I just love you so much.  And you know, chicken.
Me: You can't eat this.
Apple: But maaaaaaaaaawwwwm.
Me: Don't lick the trash can.
Apple:  I hate you.  So very. Very. Much.

In her "Angry Cartman" voice.

Scene:  Mike got out of bed for 3 minutes to run to the restroom.  Apple immediately moved to his spot and is snuggling up next to his pillow so he can't get back in bed.
Mike:  Apple, really?
Apple:  Suck it, dad.
Mike:  No, Apple, you need to move.
Apple: Whateva, I do what I want.  You're not the boss of me.
Mike pushes Apple out of his spot.
Apple: I just want to say: I love you guys, I do... except you Dad.  I hate you.

Scene: Mike and I are downstairs sitting on the couch watching TV.  Apple is upstairs.  Alone.  Not hanging out with us.
Me: "Apple!  Come down here and hang out with us!" 
Apple runs out of the bedroom and stares at us from the top of the stairs.
Me:  "Apple!  Come here!  Snuggle!!!"
Apple:  "I'm busy.  Damn hippies."
Apple turns around and runs back to the bedroom 

In her "Special Sister Mary" voice
(there's a video... if you can't see it, here's the link: )

Scene:  We're trying to put Apple's harness on so we can go outside.
Mike:  Apple, come here.
Apple:  Uhm.  No.
Mike:  Come here.
Apple:  Uhm. No thanks. You guys go without me.  I'm cool.
She runs back upstairs and puts herself in her crate.

Scene:  Apple is sitting on Mike's chest.  In bed.  At 1 AM.  STARING at his face.
Apple:  Uhm.  Dad?
Mike:  No.
Apple: Uhm.  Dad... I have to pee.
Mike:  No.  I just took you outside 15 minutes ago.  And all you did was bark at the air.
Apple:  Fine. I hope you enjoy the surprise turd I leave in your closet tonight.  Sleep tight.
Mike closes his eyes.
Apple slaps him.  With her paw.  She actually does that.
Apple: Take me outside or I will cut you.

So 4 years now we've been doing this... and we do it automatically.  It's gotten worse.  Recently, when other people ask Apple questions, we'll instinctively respond.  For example the following exchange happened at my birthday party when Apple met one of our friends for the first time:

Colin: Hi Apple! You sure are a cutie pie!
Apple looks at him and deftly avoids a gentle pat on the head scooting past him.  I provide the voice over without thinking twice.
Apple:  Yah buddy, I got shiz to do and crap on the floor to eat.  No time to chat.
Colin looks at me silently.  He blinks.  I explain that I'm insane.

We've also started doing this for babies.  Which makes things more troubling because Mike and I seem to assume that all babies have the same attitude as Apple and many parents don't agree with our foul mouth interpretations of their darling child's inner thoughts.  Most people put cute things into the mouths of speechless babes, but when we see babies, they're little smack talkers.

So far we have yet to meet anyone that does what we do.  People seem to imagine inner voices for their pets, but none of them actually have conversations with those inner voices.  So that either means that both Mike and I are insane, or insanely awesome.  Win win.