Man’s Voice Becomes Too Deep To Hear (a satire)

Man’s Voice Becomes Too Deep To Hear

6/6/2008

Kenneth Burchfiel

Buffalo, N.Y.: Scientists confirmed yesterday that Bills player Keith Ellison’s voice is outside the range of human hearing, an unprecedented development. Ellison had mixed feelings about the news.

“It’s cool, man,” the linebacker wrote on a used coffee filter. “But my mom is going to flip.”
Ellison’s voice has registered as low as 14 Hertz, a frequency shared by deep sea submarines and right whales. He first sensed a problem during a huddle in a 2007 game.

“I was like, ‘You’ve got to close the middle gap! Taylor keeps blasting through it!’ And the other players are like, ‘Man, speak up, speak up,'” Ellison wrote in a loopy script. “Shoot. Running out of space. Do you have any paper?”

Ellison’s voice has always been deeper than the norm. At the age of twelve, he was mistaken by a telemarketer for his grandfather; on his twentieth birthday, a neighbor mistook his greeting for a broken lawnmower.

“I thought, ‘Oh,’ [his voice] will steady out soon, but it never did,” Ellison’s mother said. “Keith, honey! Write on this!”

Scientists disagree as to how the linebacker’s voice ended up deeper than a pipe organ. His genetic history is not revealing, nor does he have any disease that would change his voice. Almost all agree that his case is unprecedented.

“Forget what the lab coats say,” Ellison inscribed on a ruffled pink napkin. “My mom would play these Louis Armstrong cassettes, and I learned to impersonate Louie when I was seven. I guess adolescence just knocked me a step over the edge.”

Although the linebacker is effectively mute, he sees his voice as an opportunity-not a hindrance. In fact, Ellison said, it might just be time to pursue his dream job.

“I never liked football much. The feel of the pigskin gives me the creeps,” he wrote on the reporter’s arm. “Always wanted to be a zookeeper, so I could talk to the elephants and the hippos and everything. And now that my voice is low enough, I can!”

Ellison could not be reached for comment in a follow-up phone interview.

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