Last Thursday, I had one of those experiences straight out of an anxiety nightmare. You know the kind, where where a bear is chasing you and you have to fumble with the handle of a gate in order to escape to safety, or where you make your Grand Ole Opry debut and discover you’ve walked out on stage naked (this isn’t a problem for the radio broadcast), and without your guitar strap. Or you’re back in high school and have to give a class presentation and realize you haven’t prepared at all (that might not have been a dream).
Well, in my dream, which turned out to be reality, my band and I had a full house at the Station Inn in Nashville for our album release, and I couldn’t sing a note, due to laryngitis. In the end, I croaked out a few, many guest celebrities joined us, we played some tunes, and everybody seemed to enjoy the evening, even the 50-minute Fork in the Road jam. In the actual nightmare it usually doesn’t go that well, but at least you wake up just before the unruly mob reaches the stage to beat you to death with tire irons.
My voice is better now, thanks to lots of liquids and a 48 hour vow of silence except the one time I blurted out, “Boys I believe Curley Lambert was the best mandolin player the Stanley Brothers ever had” to no one in particular.
The one thing I didn’t do was post about my condition on social media until after the fact. I’ve learned my lesson about this. Have you ever done it? Post something about feeling a cold coming on? I wrote a column here about it a few years ago. If you’re ever feeling lonely, or like your Facebook posts just aren’t getting the volume of response you crave, the way the ones about gun issues or presidential politics do, just try it sometime. You will be instantly inundated with well-meaning friends dispensing medical advice. I compiled a bunch of my favorite social media remedies before, but here are some more recent ones. These weren’t from my own post, but on the Facebook post of Lindy Lennox, lead singer of Lindy Lennox and Lonesome Squalor, who wrote: “I feel like I’m losing my voice. Guess I’ll have to visit the doctor LOL”
Lindy’s friends recommended the following:
- Eliminate all dairy, eggs, meat, fish, vegetables, fruit, bread, and nuts. Also, no caffeine, alcohol, or juice. Eat one Heath bar every hour, and drink nothing but Hibiscus Surprise tea. Rod Stewart swears by this.
- Three ounces of top shelf Scotch, neat, and eat a third of a pound of Genoa salami and a third of a pound of aged Gouda cheese, cubed. I don’t know if this works, but I really like it.
- Gargle salt water, hydrogen peroxide and raspberry Kool-aid while humming Matterhorn. Repeat this until people start complaining.
- Walk around for 24 hours wearing nothing but a kimono made of sage leaves and meat. Dogs everywhere will lunge at you, but that’s a good thing because it’s a stimulant to the immune system.
- Arrange turmeric powder in lines and snort it, cocaine-style (not that I know about that, but I’ve watched a lot of movies set in the 1980s). Then sing all of Footloose in the style of Lester Flatt.
- Connect jumper cables one at a time, going from the car that will be providing the boost to the dead battery, connecting the positive terminals first (using red clips) . . . (some people just like giving advice and don’t particularly care what the topic of the original post was).
There are no known home remedies for accidentally appearing naked on stage.