An entertaining letter arrives in the
Dear Mr. Key,
In late May of this year, I was pointed toward Hooting Yard (in the metaphorical sense of having the Hooting Yard podcast suggested to me as an enjoyable listening experience, as opposed to the more literal sense of being given directions to the physical location of Hooting Yard). After listening to a few shows, and being introduced to the works of Dobson, Blodgett, and Pebblehead, learning about Bonkers Maisie, Marigold Chew, fictional athlete Bobnit Tivol, Mrs. Gubbins, and diminutive adventuress Tiny Enid, and being exposed to some highly suspect, albeit scrupulously alphabetical, soup recipes, I felt a bit lost and resolved that perhaps if I listened to the complete archive of Hooting Yard shows, I might gain a more thorough understanding of the world of Hooting Yard, and possibly even learn how to spell “Bibblybibdib’s.”
I have now completed my task, and in the space of little more than two months, have listened to all 140 shows that I was able to find on the internet. Whether or not this effort has noticeably improved my understanding of Hooting Yard, its environs, and inhabitants is a matter open for debate. However, I have noticed an unusual side effect of absorbing so much Hooting Yard over so little a time: I find that my “internal voice,” when applied to odd bits of prose I come across in the course of the day, now sounds exactly like Frank Key.
For example, I was recently in
“THE UNKNOWN GERMAN
This grave marks the resting place of the Unknown German. This man came to
I read this, silently, to myself. But the voice I heard was plainly Frank Key’s. This doesn’t happen with newspaper articles, magazine stories, street signs, short stories, or novels. It occurs only when I read unusual bits of prose like that above. I would caution any other Hooting Yard listener contemplating ingesting a large amount of your shows in a short period of time. The effect, while not unpleasant, is unusual.
Thank you for the hours of entertainment you’ve provided.
Dr Jeffrey Chilton