Turn off that alarm!



I was looking through the doorways in the hospice to see who had the annoying alarm that could not be shut off. Door after door, no alarm.

Dan came to collect me for the board meeting and introduced me to Mike who would be joining us at the conference. Once he had finished the civilities, he signed off as if he were a CBC reporter from Ottawa. “This is Mike Signacec, coming to you from Ottawa, in Canada,” he intoned in that special CBC sign off intonation. It was very funny.

We all filed into the meeting, Fourteen of us sat around the boardroom table chatting lightly until the chairperson arrived to commence business. The leasing manager, Arnold, arrived and took the chair, connected with those on conference call, and took roll call of all that were in attendance. Then we began introductions.

Mike was only the second to the left of Arnold. He began to introduce himself in that same intonation of a newscast. “ I’m Mike Signacec, coming to you from Ottawa in Canada.

How’s the weather in Ottawa,” Arnold asked conversationally as if he had not caught that odd sounding introduction.

Mike replied. again using that CBC intonation, “Twelve degrees in Vancouver, showers on the coast in the morning, clearing in the afternoon; Minus 40 with wind chill factor in Whitehorse; Winnipeg minus 16. Snowfall warning in Atlantic provinces. It went on and on. Without hesitation, giving no time for the next participant to introduce themselves, he launched into a sports cast starting with the success of the Ottawa Senator’s hockey team results, and then wrapped up again with “This is Mike Signacec , coming to you from Ottawa., in Canada

I’d met him just previously, so I knew it was a joke and was trying my best not to burst out laughing but the others were not sure what had hit them. They were struggling to figure out how Mike placed in the meeting, who he was, whether the information he was broadcasting was real or made up. Some looked like they were holding in snickers; others looked at him as if he had dropped of the planet of Reason.

Very funny.

There was a hesitation and then the others began to introduce themselves in orderly fashion.

Arnold then announced the first order of business. There was a quick one-to-one conversation between Arnold and the financial wizard who had to report on some figures. There was a silent gap in the meeting where everyone fidgeted waiting for the financial wizard to find his place in his pile of papers.
It was a hesitation too long. Mike launched into an introduction of Grieg’s Holberg suite in the manner of the morning show Music and Company host, Tom Allen. The music came on rich and elegant, filling the gap. It stunned the meeting participants into absolute silence.

Very pleasant, I thought, as I woke up laughing and realized that the annoying alarm was mine and that I had just missed the morning news.

Now, wouldn’t a whole corporate meeting conducted in CBC newscast style make a fabulously funny sketch for television? Or an opera?


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