Betty Duffy

Saturday, August 23, 2008

Delusions of Grandeur

They come as I’m falling asleep, in a state of semi-consciousness, over which I have no rational control. They are a little disturbing, as I have heard that delusions of grandeur can be a precursor to mental illness, but in an attempt to humble myself, and possibly prevent the onslaught of insanity, I present them here for your entertainment (though, maybe this is just further evidence of mental slippage):

I’m on American Idol, and not only do I sing like Joni Mitchell, but I answer all the judge’s questions with such wit and nonchalance that I become America’s sweetheart for being such a woman of the people.
“So, Betty, tell us something interesting about yourself,” says Simon.
“Well, I’m a stay at home mom. I have four kids, and we don’t watch TV—at least not much.”
“So what are you doing here?”
“Well, I just thought it would be something fun to do, break the mould, live a little.”
Paula says, “Do you have what it takes to be the next American Idol?”
“That’s really in your hands, and not all that important to me. I don’t know you guys from Adam — Simon, Paula and black guy. On our TV at home you guys are all minuscule grainy specks. I don’t think I would have recognized you on the street. I sing in the shower. That is the sum total of my musical experience—except for playing the cello.”
“The cello???”
“Yes, the cello, a beautiful instrument, closest in range to the human voice. Perhaps I could incorporate it into my performance somehow. Anyway, I did have this idea for a Saturday Night Live skit where it’s an advertisement for people to put a microphone in their showers and amplify their singing out to their neighbors with speakers on the exterior of their houses. You know, because the shower makes your voice sound awesome, and you want people to appreciate that ‘shower effect.’ Unfortunately, it’s an effect that only your family can appreciate. But I know you want to hear my audition because there are so many people waiting outside.”
“No, really, this is interesting,” says Simon. “I really like you, and I think America is going to like you too.”
“Well, I’m interested in the life of the mind, you know. I’m actually a writer, so I couldn’t be taking this American Idol thing less seriously. And while I wouldn’t complain if my appearance on this show brought some attention to my work, that’s not why I’m here. It’s strictly for fun. You know I haven’t published anything so far because I’m really particular about my work and making sure it will stand the test of time, and multiple readings. I would not be content ‘just’ to get published. I want to have a respectable body of work. I want my writing to be the thing that makes my children proud of me—not my appearance, or even my victory on American Idol. I just want more than that for my kids, and, well, for the kids at home watching this show. (Addressing the camera) There’s more to life than being famous. Being famous will not make you happy.”
“So true,” says Simon. He looks at Paula and Randy. They all turn to me and say in unison, “You’re going to Hollywood!!!!”
“I haven’t even auditioned yet, but, if you insist.”

Suffice it to say, if this interview makes me a woman of the people--"the people" in my delusions are a very different sort.

1 comment:

Elizabeth said...

okay, get out of my head! i too suffer from delusions of grandeur though i want to rock out like blondie and be this innovative female rock star and write lyrics like jonie mitchell but play the electric guitar. however, as for you, i think this really is a do-able career, you are a writer, you can write songs, you played the cello so obviously you can read and write music. now, we just have to brand you...betty duffy, mama folks singer, but you have to stay pregnant and wear those fabulous vintage yellow high heels. i mean really how hard can this be? other people write songs about junk in the trunk, get a body by knife and create the most ridiculous clothing lines where t-shirts sell for $100. i think you are not deluded, i think you, like me, abhor and love pop culture in one breath. america needs a fresh voice betty, the voice of sanity and it is you!
p.s. sign me up for the shower speakers!