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The Noise Guy performs Friday in Yuma
Charlie Williams isn't a big drip, but he does earn a living sounding like one.
Instead of selling cars or working at a bank, Williams supports his wife and kids by making silly sounds.
Williams loves making dripping-water sounds and fart noises, but they're heard far beyond the privacy of his own living room.
Known to kids coast to coast as the Noise Guy, Williams takes his show of zany ZOOM-crash-BOOM-bang-SWOOSH comedy on the road. He performs 250 shows a year at schools and public libraries.
Williams plans to PLOP into Yuma on Friday for a show at the Yuma Main Library. The family-friendly show will get going at 3 p.m. Admission will be free. The Yuma Main Library is located at 2951 S. 21st Dr.
Library spokeswoman Sarah Wisdom said she predicts that Williams will be a big hit with Yuma's kids - and their parents.
"What growls like a tiger, chirps like a cricket, and flushes like a toilet?" Wisdom said. "It's the Noise Guy!"
For the past 20 years Williams has worked as a sound imitation expert, children's author, illustrator and comedian. Prior to becoming a stand-up comedian Williams did every job from washing dishes to working in a library, which he jokingly says must remain unnamed.
Williams has recorded eight albums and has published three childrens books: "No Services, No Exit 140 Miles," "Don't Feed the Vultures," and "Flush! An Ode to Toilets." He has also sold his silly sounds to numerous video games and nationally televised animated shows. For more information go to this Web site - NoiseGuy.com.
But why not hear it all from the noise makers himself? The Yuma Sun recently gave Williams a ring at his Washington state home and asked him a few questions. Here's what he had to say:
YUMA SUN: So just why do kids like hearing - and making - weird noises?
NOISE GUY: First, obviously it's something that adults don't normally do and it's taboo. All of those animal sounds and fart noises, you don't see adults doing them and they are quite offensive and and illegal in places like the library and school. So when an adult makes those sounds, it's just hilarious.
YUMA SUN: Is it in our nature to make weird noises?
NOISE GUY: This is going to sound insane, but I've done some research into the vocal capabilities of human beings. Our vocal chords are perfect for making noises. We are the best imitators! We can growl and grunt, we can imitate most of the noises animals can only do one or two of. It's like part of our language. Society just dictates what's okay and what's not.
YUMA SUN: Did it take a while to get used to telling people what you do for a living?
NOISE GUY: Oh, I have to constantly try to find new words to describe what I do. Mostly people say 'Oh, what? You make noises? IN LIBRARIES AND SCHOOLS?' So I tell them it's all about onomatopoeia , it's about sound and speech. But the number-one thing people say is 'And you make a living doing that?
YUMA SUN: What does your family think of your unique calling?
NOISE GUY: Oh, they think it's cool because they see how far I've come. Oh, I could tell you stories. In school I was in a lot of trouble. I had a lot of demerits and parent-teacher conferences with: 'He makes noises in class!' Now they root for me. I think everyone wants to see someone do well at something they're good at.
YUMA SUN: So what is your all-time favorite sound?
NOISE GUY: Water noises! It's great if it's water dripping or water bubbling.
YUMA SUN: Can you make the drip sound that self-checkouts make at grocery stores?
NOISE GUY: Sometimes I can do it and the clerk thinks it scanned and I can save a few bucks!
YUMA SUN: But what sound eludes you? What sound are you still trying to master?
NOISE GUY: I think traditionally the hardest sound to do is breaking glass because it's a layered sound. If I have a microphone I can do it pretty well, but obviously it's someone doing it. Others are really really good, but not that sound.
YUMA SUN: So are you mooing, booming and hissing as you drive to the grocery store?
NOISE GUY: Yeah, I always practice in the shower or when I'm driving. Or when I'm bored I'll start making noises, especially in traffic. I think people look at me in my car and obviously I'm not singing. It's 'Hey, what is that guy doing? His tongue is half-way out his mouth!'
YUMA SUN: What do your kids think of your career? Are they thrilled or ashamed?
NOISE GUY: They thought it was cool, especially when they were younger. Back then they thought it was cool and they were used to it. I have a public-address system in my car with a microphone near the steering wheel. I can pull up to school and do some funny honking sounds to get the kids to come over. I can't believe I'm not in custody for some of the things I've done driving around! I'll honk at people on bikes or people in the crosswalk. I don't mean for it to be loud or bothersome. But when people jump a couple feet in the air, I feel bad, but I'm laughing all the same.
YUMA SUN: So is your wife sick of all these silly sounds yet?
NOISE GUY: She says she doesn't hear my noises any more. She's more nervous when I'm quiet! We'll be walking through the store, with everyone looking, and she'll wonder why they're staring until she realizes 'Oh right. He's bubbling again.'
YUMA SUN: Kids get a real kick out of your shows, but do they learn anything?
NOISE GUY: My shows are fun, but I try to teach them. My background is in libraries. The whole thing can be based around onomatopoeia, sounds, storytelling and literature. I tell kids it's great to make noises, but only when it's okay, like when you're reading and okay with mom and dad. Just so parents don't rise up and wait for me by the car!
Darin Fenger can be reached at email@example.com or 539-6860.