Thursday, 25 February 2010

The heady heights of celebrity

"Do you want marmite or jam?" I yell to my children glued to CBBC, while I attempt to make breakfast, a packed lunch, sign homework books and find a clean school jumper. I hear my phone ring and ignore it. I get the toast out just as my phone bleeps that a message is waiting. Weird for me to be getting a call at 7.30 in the morning, so I listen.

It's BBC Radio Berkshire and could I give them a call about swimming with whales.

Did I just enter a parallel universe? Have I had even more cups of coffee than normal? Huh?

So I call back.

"Hi Melissa, thanks, I knew YOU'D call back," says the lady who interviewed me several months back on my sailing trip across the Atlantic. "You swam with whales right?"

"Um, no."

"Oh, well did you see the story in today's paper about the lady in Florida who was killed by a Killer Whale?"

"No." Funnily that didn't make my top ten must reads this morning.

"Oh right, well didn't you see whales?"

"Yes, from the deck of a boat, at a distance."

"Great, we'll call you back in 15 minutes to talk about it."

Um. Looking at now dead telephone. In 15 minutes I will need to be in a shower, getting two children dressed, forcing not eaten toast down their throats and generally charging around in the well-known lunatic-mother dance that happens across the country at around this time.

So instructing my children to turn off the egg boiler once it buzzes and asking them to please keep quiet while I attempt to discuss whales, I go find a quiet space.

They call. I have to listen to someone rattling on about RBS and the bonuses they receive, meanwhile, counting down the seconds I have till one of my children charges in saying something like: "I NEED A POO!"

Then my moment arrives.

"We've got Melissa Talago of Newbury on the line. And Melissa, I believe you've swum with whales."

"Um, no. Definitely not."

"Oh right," says presenter sounding bemused. "So uh, what's your whale story then?"

(I don't have a sodding whale story, you called me and I haven't even gotten out of my pyjamas yet)

"Well I sailed across the Atlantic last year and saw some whales."

"Oh wow, so what were they like?"

"Well, big and whaley." (I mean what the F?)

Then diving into PR mode, I regale a lovely tale about a pod of whales swimming alongside our boat and how a whale hit one of the boats (not mine) on one of the racing legs (not the one I did) which did no damage to boat or whale but made a loud bang. Not a story that's likely to be regaled at many dinner parties really. However, during the telling, I did mention that it was lovely to listen to the sound of the whales as they swam alongside us.

"Oh right, so what did they sound like?"

"Well, they made blowing sounds."

Silence. Awkward. I fill it.

"Like this..."And there on live radio, I did a whale impersonation. What a proud moment.

And the interview ended quite rapidly after that.

Heady heights of stardom await I feel.

20 comments:

Jenny said...

That was hilarious! Thanks for the laugh!

TheAlice said...

I needed this laugh this morning - thank you! :)

Welsh Girl said...

That's just fabulous. I wish I lived in Berkshire so I could have heard it live!!!

Home Office Mum said...

Jenny, Alice - glad to be of service. Welsh - I just listened to it back online. I won't share the link. I sounded less daft than I felt, but there it is nonetheless, me making whale blow sounds live on air. sigh.

Heather said...

that'll be you getting calls for celebrity big brother soon then!

Coding Mamma (Tasha) said...

That was hilarious. Thank you!

nappy valley girl said...

So funny!
I once did a radio interview with a London radio station. It was the most embarrassing thing of my life. I thought I was going to be speaking about Marks & Spencers' results and they opened by asking me what I thought about naked women in ads (M&S had just done those ads with a naked woman running down a hill). I was completely flummoxed as not expecting this at all, and didn't know WHAT to say.
I think sometimes these producers are so desperate to get people on they don't think about the relevance of the person at all.....

Lara said...

So funny - could just see you doing it :) Great end to a long day

Nicola said...

Ha ha! Just read the whale story this morning...and can't believe you were interviewed! Who was on next...a person who has visited Seaworld during the past 10 or so years that the whale in question has lived there and was unnerved by what they perceived to be the evil and somewhat peckish glint in the whale's eye?

Home Office Mum said...

heather - I hope not.

Tasha - hey, how are you?

Nappy valley - you're right. What's annoying is that I could give them a long list of spokespeople (my clients) to talk about real issues yet they want me to talk about whales

Lara - glad it helped your day

Nicola - exactly. What about all those people who've read Moby Dick? Don't they qualify?

muummmmeeeeee...... said...

So funny - wish I'd been listening to Radio Berkshire this morning rather than Chris Evans!

Home Office Mum said...

mummmmeeeeee - why have I not seen your blog before? Your tag line describes my life. Thanks for stopping by

Metropolitan Mum said...

Haha. Must turn the radio on more often in the morning. :)

monzegirl said...

Hilarious! And apologies from someone who often makes those kinds of calls to people - but hopefully when they want to talk about something they have definitely experienced!

Brit in Bosnia / Fraught Mummy said...

Brilliant. At least no one interrupted the whale impression with poo coming out of bottom impressions.

Thanks for making me giggle.

the cat herder said...

Very funny! I could imagine the scene in all the domestic glory of breakfast with kids! I'm amazed you managed to make it through the interview without having to through chocolate at them! I've found that it is possible to silently hiss commands whilst also carrying on a work related call: amazing what the body can do!

angelsandurchinsblog said...

Please, please can you do a Vlog equivalent and let us all hear the whale impression?

JulieB said...

I have tears streaming down my face - so funny.

Iota said...

Oh, so not lonely echoey warbling music like on the cds they play when you're at the acupuncturist, then?

This was hilarious.

mothersalwaysright said...

I have just laughed out loud - loving the image of you doing a whale impersonation live on air. Bloomin' journalists. You'd never catch me ringing someone at 7am for an interview. *whistles innocently*