Why You Should Listen to the Voices in Your Head

June 23rd, 2011

This is Part 4 in a five-part series on the origin of Dan of the Day.
Part 1: X-Men Origins: Dan of the Day
Part 2: Email: The Silent Productivity Killer
Part 3: How Chuck Norris Inspired Me to Spam the World with Random Funny Thoughts
Part 4: Why You Should Listen to the Voices in Your Head
Part 5: Two New Things You Can’t Live Without

In the movie The Gods Must be Crazy, one stranger asks another stranger, “Does the noise in my head bother you?” The second stranger responds, “No,” but you have to think that may only be the case because she can’t actually hear the noise in the other person’s head.

And what about the woman with the noise in her head? Is she merely asking to be polite, and content with her inner dialogue? Or is the noise bothering her enough that she figures it may soon begin to bother others?

Here’s my advice to anyone in this situation: Let the voices out. Not only will it release some of the tension that is building within your brain, it will provide the rest of us with a good deal of entertainment.

I have a very interesting friend who I believe hears a number of voices. For the sake of this story, let’s just call him Eric, because that’s actually his name. Eric has owned two Geo Trackers at the same time while living by himself. I can only assume that this was an ill-fated attempt to allow two of his personalities to drive two different places simultaneously.

He Eric on a Hippity Hop once quit his job, out of the blue, and moved to Germany, where he proceeded to study the German language and train for a marathon. During the next year, he only visited the U.S. once, and that was in order to set a world record for the fastest time traveling a mile on a hippity hop (also known as space hopper, kangaroo ball, or hop ball). He returned to the States permanently some time later after he was offered a high-paying engineering position based on his ability to cook waffles. You can’t tell me people who aren’t hearing voices behave this way.

Eric and I were once co-workers, and his outbursts became so erratic and obscene that another one of our co-workers, a former sailor, mind you, would often wear ear plugs AND hunting earmuffs to block the sound.

So one day I’m walking down the hall at work, and Eric is walking the other way, and he says to me, “I want an army of motorcycles, mechanics and ants. Then I’ll take over the world.” He then continued on his way, without a single word of explanation.

Now in this situation most people would become alarmed and possibly even contact their human resources department and/or government intelligence agencies. But being the compassionate, caring person I am, I decided instead to exploit him.

You see, I had a little voice in my head telling me what to do. I returned to my desk, typed out his exact words, and emailed them to a large distribution list. I entitled the email, “Dan of the Day – 4.22.2009.” Since many of the people I worked with had a warped sense of humor similar to mine, this email was generally well-received. Soon I was under pressure for an encore.

But despite my best efforts, I could illicit no comparable quote from Eric the next day. He just stared at his computer monitor and occasionally muttered words that wouldn’t have made it past the company email filters. (At the time he was programming in C++, after all, so he can hardly be blamed.)

It was going to be up to just me and the voices in my head. We pooled our thoughts and wrote the next Dan of the Day, 4.23.2009. And we just kept going, day after day, until after a few weeks the voices told me to make Dan of the Day into a website. I obliged, because by then I had learned that it’s perfectly okay for the noise in my head to bother other people.

Tomorrow’s edition: Two New Things You Can’t Live Without

Part 1: X-Men Origins: Dan of the Day
Part 2: Email: The Silent Productivity Killer
Part 3: How Chuck Norris Inspired Me to Spam the World with Random Funny Thoughts
Part 4: Why You Should Listen to the Voices in Your Head
Part 5: Two New Things You Can’t Live Without