"...She's just sort of a bigoted woman." - Gordon Brown (London, April 28, 2010)
Spurred by the parasitic instincts of the paparazzi, it can be argued that the sea of cameras and recording devices that constantly surround those in the public spotlight are a scourge, a current-day phenomenon that diminishes us all. And that may very well be true. Gordon Brown would probably agree, all because of a tiny Radio Shack microphone that he failed to remove after a kiss 'n fondle appearance among his constituents just before last month's elections.
On the other hand, those British voters who got a little schadenfreude tickle from the whole thing might well argue that they now know something about Mr. Brown that they otherwise might never have known, and they didn't like what they discovered. Let's assume that is the prevailing sentiment; the election results certainly bear it out. Wouldn't it have been nice, then, if some of history's more quotable individuals had been microphone-enhanced at key times? The inevitable eavesdropping opportunities might have revealed some attitude-altering insight into some of history's more notable figures:
- "I've been a fan of yours for years, Mr. Simpson. What would it take to get you to autograph a football for me?" - Judge Ito (Los Angeles, 1995)
- "Of course I can do a mural, I do tons of them. But on the ceiling? Nobody told me you wanted it on the [frickin'] ceiling! Do I look like a spider?" - Michelangelo (Sistine Chapel, 1508)
- "I know this is awfully short notice, but we're going to need a lot more cake."- Marie Antoinette (Paris, 1789)
- "Honey, this fertilizer is full of ammonium nitrate. Where's the chicken manure I asked you to buy?" - Mrs. Faisal Shahzad (New York, April 2010)
- "I'm very happy doing odd jobs around the cathedral, please don't think I'm ungrateful. But those bell ropes? Every day? I'm a hunchback, for Pete's sake." - Quasimodo (Notre Dame, 1831)
- "No, Timmy's fine. He didn't fall down a mine shaft. I'm trying to tell you that he's been in the bathroom a long time, he's probably sitting on my water bowl, and I'm thirsty." - Lassie (Nevada, 1956)
- "Does this moustache make me look psychotic?"- Adolf Hitler (Berlin, 1932)
- "Hey, I'm just messing with you, Buzz. Your air hose is fine." - Neil Armstrong to Buzz Aldren (moon, July 20, 1969)
- "Well, of course you still can't walk. I'm just an evangelist." - Oral Roberts
I'm sure you have your own contributions, and I hope you'll share them. This is your chance to be a cheap microphone! Seize the moment! Use Comments or email me, firstname.lastname@example.org!