Top Questions beget Top Answers
What is the Matrix?
“What is the Matrix?” It’s a phrase Neo asked Trinity in 1999’s blockbuster, The Matrix. Her reply? “The answer is out there, Neo. It’s looking for you. And it will find you, if you want it to.”
Today, people all around the world ask Google everything. I cannot claim to have ever asked Google, “What is the Matrix?” I can however claim to have asked, “Where’s my Refund?” And other important queries such as “Who was the second gunman on the grassy knoll?”, “Why do my children irritate me?”, “How can I make it look like an accident?” and “What is the average cost of a hitman?” I am joking. I did not Google that last one as it’s a sure giveaway that I did it, and would be easily discoverable by authorities. I asked Black-Eyed Brutus in person instead, and I’m only telling you, People Of The Internet, so as to keep it a secret.
According to Google, the 10 most asked questions in 2019 were:
- When are the NBA playoffs – 5,000,000 hits
- What is my IP address – 4,090,000
- Where’s My Refund – 3,350,000
- What is Love – 1,830,000
- How to Draw – 1,500,000
- Where am I – 1,220,000
- How many Weeks in a Year – 823,000
- When are the Early Signs of Pregnancy – 673,000
- Is Mercury in Retrograde – 550,000
- Who called me – 450,000
Honorable mentions, if you scroll down the list from the above link, you’ll find “Why My Poop Green?” (my personal favorite), “Who am I?”, “Where do babies come from?”, “How to unlock iPhone?”, “Does the moon rotate?”, “Is is a verb?”, and “Are koalas bears?” I see questions like these and realize that it’s finally time to start my own colony on Pluto, renaming it to “Only Smart People Allowed Here Planet.” The screening process will be arduous.
Even weirder, “When Will I Die?” is often asked, and the first result will take you to an actual “Death Clock” page. Apparently, after entering my responses there, I will be dying on Thursday, September 11th 2053. I’d like to apologize in advance for every swear word in between now and then. And in case something negative happens, it wasn't me.
But I’d like to explore some of these questions, because, well, I’m a voice talent. And it’s my job to ask people questions, but more often than not, to answer questions. So I’d like to take a moment and address a few on this list:
- Where’s My Refund - because everyone wants to know where their money is,
- What is Love - because someone out there is just a little lonely,
- Where am I - because methinks the questioner went on a drunken bender,
- When are the Early Signs of Pregnancy - because uh-oh! It looks like Juliet pulled a no-no with her clandestine Romeo,
- How to unlock iPhone - because uh-oh! This person apparently has toddlers, and,
- Who called me - because, stalking.
“Questions, Questions, Too Many Questions”. Aughra said that in The Dark Crystal, before throwing down a huge assortment of crystal shards, presumably because she was pissed. But then again, if you’ve watched The Dark Crystal, Aughra was pretty much always pissed. There are truly a lot of questions out there, not the least the ones I and others have posed thus far. Hopefully none of them will make Aughra pissed.
Granted, we’re nowhere near IRS tax return season, but still: the “Where’s my refund?” question is one of the most asked out there. So let’s tackle that and other questions. I've come up with some comfortingly drippy voiceover copy that we as voice talent can read in warm, saccharin fashion in order to reassure the masses who posit these queries.
Where’s My Refund?
I think this one should always be at the top of the list, because ultimately, we want to know where our money is, and why some guy named FICA is always getting it. So here’s the copy I would read:
You love your money. And you deserve to keep it. That’s why at Bank of Voice Talent, we’ll take your money and throw it into a big vault. Bank of Voice Talent: where your money, like you, is safe in a box.
What is Love?
There’s really no way to show you what love is except to give you a nice warm hug, tell you something affirming, and then affectionately sock you in the face for being such a whiner. Because, ultimately, I wouldn’t do you any justice at all if I didn’t show you tough love as well. So here’s the copy I would read:
We all need love. Love is what makes the world go ‘round. So this holiday season, take a moment to give a nice warm hug to your neighbor before you tenderly sucker-punch them in the chin for good measure. Because we all - need ALL levels of love.
Where Am I?
"Where am I? And name that Sheep! (Answer: Auckland, NZ)" by Dunechaser is licensed under CC BY-NC-SA 2.0
This is not a question you ever want to ask. Asking this question assumes that you either:
- attended a MAGA rally, were mentally incapacitated and have injected bleach
- were abducted by aliens and have only just been deposited back, half-naked, in the middle of some field, scratching your dazed head in wonderment, or
- are stoned
So here’s the copy I would read:
In these uncertain times, always know where you are. Friends don’t let friends attend MAGA rallies or be abducted by aliens. Good sound advice from your local chapter of Concerned Democrats Equipped With Alien Stun-Rays.
When are the Early Signs of Pregnancy?
Uh-oh. I think we all know what happened here. So here’s the copy I would read:
You know you love him. And you know he loves you. So this Christmas, why not give him the greatest gift of all: a good swift kick in the knee for knocking you up. A message from your local Karate Dojo.
How to Unlock iPhone?
Aside from various FBI agencies asking Google how to crack the phone of a mass-shooter, I’m confident that this one is much more frequently entered by desperate parents whose toddler has repeatedly entered the incorrect unlock code of their phone and has subsequently locked them out for 47 years. So here’s the copy I would read:
Our precious children. They are the future, and we love them so. It’s up to us to ensure that they receive the very best in love, care, attention, and the new improved Toddler Straightjacket XP5000 that auto-clothes and inhibits movement anytime your iPhone is near. It’s magical! With one press of a button on the XP5000 remote, your toddler will be snugly encased in the TS XP5000 so as to free your iPhone from overcurious tiny digits. Don’t get locked out of your iPhone – lock your child up instead!
Who Called Me?
"New York women like to make their phone calls from quiet spots" by Ed Yourdon is licensed under CC BY-NC-SA 2.0
It’s amazing that we’re still calling them Smartphones, because, let’s face it, no one likes to pick up the phone anymore unless we’re positive that it’s Ed McMahon calling. As for me, if I don’t know the number, I usually run to Google and type it in, hoping not to find a result that says “this number belongs to a Student Loan Debt Collection agency”, which is the Google result right after “this number is associated with a terrorist”, and right before “We know who you are and what you want. Just stay put so we can come do things to you.”
It’s scary how much of our personal information is out there. We never know who might be calling, or why, or when, except of course, crazy people, because they’re crazy, and, 3am. So here’s the reassuring copy I would read to calm their fears:
That call. You know the one. It’s the call from the unknown number, and you just don’t know if you should pick it up. We have the solution. Proudly introducing ReFry: The Reply that fries! With one press of a button in the ReFry app, an electric shock is sent back through the phone line to the dialer, and your problems are over. That reassuring cloud of smoke coming through the phone speaker will tell you that it worked! Purchase now for only $329.99, or simply click here to endorse your tax return check to us. Fry your replies – with ReFry!
Too Many Questions
In the end, I just want my refund. Google knows this, and I’m confident that each and every time this question is typed into Google, little Google-gremlins somewhere are laughing uproariously at my insecurity, guffawing at my inability to save money and thus depend on the IRS for handouts. Sigh.
I could switch it up and just Google “Why my poop green?” from now on instead, but I think they’ll be laughing even harder. So no further questions.
Is it Thursday, September 11th 2053 yet? Aw snap – that's a question, too, isn't it? GAH! So is that!
If you're in the United States, I hope you had a wonderful Thanksgiving, which is not a question.
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