The book I’m currently reading is a very lightweight detective novel. I just finished the lovely Wide Sargasso Sea by Jean Rhys, a badly underappreciated novelist — all of us at book club agreed about that. If you haven’t read her work, you should. But my current book is Chocolate-Dipped Death, one of the new group of mysteries in which the sleuth has a distinctive job and there are recipes in the back.
Anyway, in this book there is the following line: “I’ve got a town full of musicians… every last one of ’em looking for trouble.”
This is not intentionally funny, any more than protestanterror.org was, but I find it pretty darned funny. Still, it kind of makes me think of choir practice last night.
I should say that yesterday was a very full day. I had menial tasks to do for The Empress in the morning, then after book club I spent a few hours on my link management campaign. This undertaking, it is widely agreed in the articles about it online, is tedious and time-consuming, but should still be given a couple of hours a day. There were customers and all, including cross ones and sad ones and even a couple of encouraging ones. Then, at 4:00, I began packing the books.
I had a plan. I had gotten everything ready so that the books could be packed expeditiously, and so that the boxes would then be handy to load on the truck and could be easily and tidily unpacked and put away at the other store. Someone else was in charge of the boxes, and there were fewer than half as many as I needed.
So when the buyer for the shelves arrived at 5:30, the shelves were not unloaded. I was putting together office supply boxes and stacking books on the empty toy shelves. The Man was moving the books about randomly and messing up my plans. The shelves were gone by 6:00, and I left a welter of books and general mess, which will be my greeting this morning.
The trade show is at 5:30, and I haven’t decided whether to dress for it and leave the packing for tomorrow, or to dress for physical labor and carry my trade show costume to change into in the bathroom later…
In any case, I left work in a hurry and came home, made dinner, and zipped over to choir practice.
Where everyone was complaining.
Choirs do this. I might have been in a mood to notice it particularly last night, but there was also another factor. The director asked the altos to move down a chair, and the end alto refused. Directors move their choristers around at will, normally, but this singer didn’t want to be that near the piano. Naturally, I hopped up and moved down to the disputed chair.
This put me in front of the basses.
There used to be a TV program called “The Muppet Show,” and it had in it two old guys who heckled the other characters. Think of them as basses in the choir. They sat directly behind me, and they complained nonstop through the entire rehearsal.
The song was too high, too low, too fast (“We can’t fit the words in!”), too slow (“It’s dragging!”). They didn’t want to rehearse any piece that they had sung in the past 25 years (“We know this one!”). They heckled choir members who asked for notes (“We don’t want to hear our notes. Just K does.”). They argued about the trumpet part.
If someone were able to show these nice men, perhaps through the use of secret camera, that they spend 50 minutes out of each 90-minute rehearsal causing trouble, I am sure that they would be surprised. They are not difficult out of malice. I think that they are difficult out of sheer habit.
Maybe I am, too, in some situation or sense that I don’t know about. Hmmmm…..