Knew there was a catch

Just got back from Fry’s Electronics . . . hubby wanted to look at stuff, and when he seemed really dejected about not getting to buy whatever-it-was, I told him to go ahead and charge it. I shouldn’t have, but I said, “If it’ll make you happy.” He hasn’t seemed happy lately with the performance of his computer on those silly games. But that’s not the thing I wanted to write about.

Fry’s has a Steinway concert grand in a roped-off area by the music CDs. I usually go back there to hear a really good player, a grad student at SMU, on Saturdays and Sundays. But today they didn’t even have the PianoDisc on. A sign on top of the piano proclaimed that they were looking for a pianist to perform (paid) on Friday nights, Saturday afternoons, and Sundays. I asked the local manager about it. “Why isn’t my friend here who was so good?”

“Oh . . . which one?”

I described him.

“Yeah, that was the guy we liked out of all of them. Well . . . they quit paying him. They were paying cash off the books, and the manager kept saying he’d have to arrange to get it, and after the second time the guy didn’t get paid, he left.” They all guffawed.

I knew it sounded too good to be true. “Well, that’s too bad.” I was still interested in getting to play an in-tune new Steinway grand, however, so I said, “Who would I talk to about the job?”

“The manager, I suppose. He comes in at 9 AM and you’d have to call early, before he sneaks away.” They laughed again.

I know what you’re thinking. The shift is probably about five HOURS on Friday night and six or seven HOURS on Saturday and Sunday. What in the HECK would I play? Everything I know, TWICE. And sight-read a bunch of those jazz arrangements/transcriptions that I bought a couple of years ago. (I got four Steve Allen books on eBay, and then several Oscar Peterson transcriptions, and then two versions of all I could find from Vince Guaraldi, the “Charlie Brown Christmas” guy. The biggest hit with the crowd, whenever I play in front of people, is Guaraldi’s “Linus and Lucy” and “Christmas Time is Here” and “Skating” and so forth from the TV shows. Followed closely by the Fuer Elise, a medley from “The Fantasticks,” and “Memory” from Cats. [Sorry, Dennis.] The general public doesn’t really go for obscure classical stuff, which would work in my favor here.)

But I get SO nervous when I play and people are watching. People aren’t really paying attention at a big store like that, though. And it might help me get over stage fright. However . . . the guy was warning me that they don’t PAY. Wonder what they’re gonna say the gig pays? Not too much to begin with, I suspect. Still . . . it’d keep me out of the bars on weekends. So it’s under consideration.

I mean, it wouldn’t hurt to call the manager tomorrow morning. . . .

Seriously, guys, an IN TUNE NEW STEINWAY CONCERT GRAND . . . *swoon* OMG

But I’m being an idiot. If I could just play my own by-ear arrangements of Neil Young/John Denver/Randy Newman/Beatles/Monkees songs, it’d be different. But I would run out of show tunes and I’d have to play the “easy” Beethoven sonata and the Schubert Moments Musical, and I’d be sure to screw up, and then where would we be? (If anyone in the crowd even noticed that there WAS a wrong note, you’d eat your hat. But I would know.)

This just wasn’t the weekend to stop sniffing glue


Author: shalanna

Shalanna: rhymes with "Madonna" and "I wanna," and is not a soundalike with "Hosanna" or "Sha-Na-Na." Aging hippie with long hair, husband, elderly mother, and yappy Pomeranian. I've been writing since I could hold a crayon. I started with fiction, which Mama said was "lying." “Don’t tell stories,” she would admonish, in Southern vernacular. “That's all in your imagination!” When grownups said this, they were not approving. So, shamed, I stopped telling stories for a few years--rather, I stopped letting anyone read them. I'm married to a fellow computer nerd who doesn't really like hearing about writing, but who reads sf/fantasy and understands the creative drive. I'm actually a nonconformist/hippie still wearing bluejeans and drop earrings and the Alice-in-Wonderland hair with headbands and sandals. Favorite flavor is chocolate/orange, favorite color is either Dreamsicle orange (cantaloupe) or bubble-gum pink, favorite musical is either Bye Bye Birdie, Rocky Horror, or The Producers . . . wait, I also love The Music Man. Is this getting way too specific and irrelevant yet? Obvious why I don't sell a ton of flash fiction, isn't it? To define oneself, I always say, it is good to make a list. How about a booklist? Harper Lee, To Kill a Mockingbird Frank and Ernestine Gilbreth, Cheaper by the Dozen C.S.Lewis, The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe (all the Narnia books) J.R.R.Tolkien,The Hobbit/LORD OF THE RINGS trilogy Gail Godwin, The Odd Woman F. Scott Fitzgerald, The Great Gatsby J. D. Salinger, Catcher in the Rye (before dismissing it, actually read it) George Orwell, 1984 Kurt Vonnegut, Cat's Cradle Donna Tartt, The Secret History Mark Twain, The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn James Allen, As A Man Thinketh Mark Winegardner, Elvis Presley Boulevard James Thurber, My Life and Hard Times The Wizard of Oz, L. Frank Baum Winnie-the-Pooh/House at Pooh Corner, A. A. Milne Peter Pan, J. M. Barrie The KJV and NIV Bible (each translation has its glories)

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