Thursday, July 21, 2011

The Next Louis Armstrong

I received an email the other day announcing the formation of the ORSO or Oconee Regional Symphony Orchestra. Made up of volunteers and designed to bring cultural enhancement to our area, the announcement nearly sent me into a state of what’s known as delayed depression. This is where you forget something for at least 50 years and then, if you live long enough, somebody brings it up and you remember it and it wasn’t good. A lot of old relatives will do this at holidays just to see if anybody remembers bad stuff and it usually ends up with half the families going home early after the “fireworks”. Usually starts with the phrase, “remember when”.

Sometimes I go into it when I remember Mike Walker beating me to the streetlight in 60’ cause he hit puberty before I did but I didn’t know what puberty was and figured he was just faster. Plus he weighed more than me and that made it even worse. But I digress. I have no idea where the hock shop silver trumpet mom and dad purchased in 57’ is today and therefore cannot attend the auditions. This is probably a good thing because if I did to ORSO what I did to that fifth grade band and music director, they’d no doubt use me as a balloon vendor prior to the event instead of last chair trumpet. See, some of us are made to play musical instruments and others the drums. I wanted to be a drummer but got drummed out of that by Tommy Hoskins, the class favorite and since there was only one set of the things and lord knows that was enough, he got to play drums and I got last chair trumpet. Last chair trumpet was not near far enough away from the band director and in an effort to save his and the children’s hearing he placed me at the very back of the stage behind a curtain.

Said it would carry the notes so I would be able to hear them more clearly. Every once in a while he’d peek around the curtain with a look that said, “Are you still here?” I lasted a couple of months, and learned that really good music can often be found on a crystal radio. Well, the keys stuck on the darn thing. And no matter how much of that expensive oil you squirted down the plungers, they still stuck. So when I hit a bad note (which was every other) it hung on like a pair of symbols, reverberating (a word I learned in band) throughout the stage area, reminding everyone I was still behind the curtain.

Mom and dad had invested quite a bit of money in the silver trumpet, a whopping five dollars, hoping I would become another Louis Armstrong I suppose and Mom insisted I practice outside, even though Tennessee winters can be rough. She said the cool air would help carry the notes so I would be able to hear them more clearly. Dad thought I should be held back a grade to perfect that thing before moving on to sixth grade band. He always thought I was the best at anything I chose to do but dad was fallible and in this instance, dead wrong. In the end the oil can was as empty as the notes and even these two wonderful people, who thought they had created at the least the world’s greatest slide flute player, decided there was no way they were going to spend more money on a silver trumpet that, when played by me, always reminded them of a New Orleans funeral procession.

They steered me toward the choir. There I learned I couldn’t sing any better than I could play the trumpet and so gave up everything but the crystal radio. Today I have ITunes. Best of luck to ORSO! We could use some cultural enhancing around here and don’t worry, hopefully that silver trumpet is a chalice in somebody’s silver collection. But, if you’re in need of a drummer……..dreams never die.

Thursday, July 7, 2011

Info for Who?

If you’re like me you probably enjoy a good infomercial once in a while... yeah, right! My cable bill runs around $100.00 each month (basic) and lately I’ve found myself wondering why I need it. Paying for a commercial seems almost insane, maybe even masochistic. So, the other day I decided to see what I was paying to see and if in fact I wanted to continue footing the bill for being a patsy. Here’s what I found.

I could buy a professional pocket steam mop, sold by Mark with the dark glasses, I suppose to make me feel less intelligent since Mark knows everything there is to know about this contraption and I’m just the idiot paying to hear about it. He’s been rehearsing this gig for years and shows me just how dirty wherever he’s cleaning is because that thing is black when he finishes. He then suggests washing it in my washing machine. Yeah, right! If my house was that dirty…I’d move.

I could buy something for my joints. It may or may not work but it works for everyone on television so who am I to think it won’t work for me! It’s Arthri-D-Joint Health and it’s not made to treat any disease (uh, like arthritis do you suppose?) only to make your joints feel better. Yeah, right! The “scientist” who came up with this stuff is probably in re-hab.

Then there’s “Dr” Monita Poudyal who says “Supple” can heal everything from joint pain to weight problems. And of course it’s available in a bottle. The FDA won’t touch this stuff but again we find it was “discovered” by a couple of scientists. One has to wonder who these two scientists are and why they aren’t in re-hab with the Arthri guys. So I listen while these two robots discuss how wonderful this bottled fruit juice can be for me. Yeah right! Can you say “snake oil”?

Some five foot tall anorexic comes on and tells me I can lose weight by taking deep breaths when I walk 10,000 steps a day… then tries to sell me something for my flabby thighs. Maybe I should send her money for a Big Mac and fries. Yeah right! I’ll walk myself to McDonalds and save the money. She wouldn’t have eaten it anyway.

If you’re like me you’re probably tired of frying, burning, rolling and waiting for your hair to get right. The Topstyler will take care of that bedhead in four minutes or less if you can figure out where to place the clam shells. Ivey is the girl up front getting her awful pre-Topstyler hair done while eight pairs of breasts watch from behind…just to get your attention. I had no idea men watched these things until I noticed the girls in the rear. Well, to make a long story short, Ivey, who in no way resembles a scientist, actually learned how to use the Topstyler all by herself right there on the air! Yeah right! This girl uses her equipment like a blackjack dealer in Las Vegas. Methinks she’s done it before.

And if you want to go from looking like a cadaver to something slightly better in one day, get the Lifestyle Lift. Guaranteed to defy gravity and make Linda, who is seventy, look at least seventy after she uses it. If you want real change, not the kind the president’s been talking about, get the Lifestyle Lift and remember, it doesn’t work the same for everyone. Just say, “gobble gobble” and watch that sagging neck disappear! Yeah right! I’d be perfectly satisfied if my face was the only thing on this old body that was losing to gravity.

After making all these purchases you might need to seek some financial help from one Peter Popoff. He’s anointed and appointed and will sell you something in an envelope, sent by God himself, to get you the money you deserve. It’s called “miracle money” and it’s just for those dumb enough to continue to purchase cable television. He also has special water from who knows where but I’ve got some of that right here at the house. I call it rum and I know it comes from Puerto Rico. Peter also has a debt cancellation tool for those who just can’t resist being preyed upon by people like him. Yeah right! I think I’ll go back to radio.