Crank(y) Call

So, my daughter pointed out to me as I recorded this audio that it will be interpreted as racist or discriminatory or anti-something.

My answer to that is that this is nonfiction.

This is a phone conversation I had sometime back in 1997 or ’98. I wrote the dialogue as true to my memory as possible. The greatest difference is that the caller was female, which I couldn’t re-create in Audacity (also, my phone number was different then, but I don’t remember it).

I was a young Marine at the time. I later learned that the person who wrote the check was another Marine who also lived on Quantico but belonged to another unit. He picked my number at random, then started bouncing checks all over the local area, writing my phone number on the checks. When the police did contact me, we straightened everything out and I encouraged them to prosecute him to the fullest extent because, well, screw that guy.

So, in answer to my daughter’s accusation, how is one supposed to portray an event if one of the parties uses broken English? Am I supposed to change what they actually said? Am I supposed to omit information or not talk about it because one party was of a different ethnicity? I’m sorry, but the first option does not represent reality and the second is censorship. If anyone is offended by this post, I re-created this phone call to the best of my ability to be a true and accurate representation of an actual event. That’s not racist.

To create this audio file, I started by writing the full conversation out in MS Word. I recorded it with an audio recorder and imported it into Audacity. I copied each section of the ‘caller’s’ voice and pasted each into place on a second track, generating silence over them in the first track. I also generated a tone to ‘bleep’ out my phone number.

Highlighting the entire second track, I adjusted the pitch and tone of the voice, increasing the speed slightly and raising the pitch.  I downloaded sound effects for a ringtone and dial tone, placing them at the beginning and end.

Then, I exported the audio as an mp3.

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