Sunday, March 28, 2010
On Saturday evening, like all environmentally conscious people, we celebrated Earth Hour with our lights completely turned off. Even the Hopalong Cassidy night-light was unplugged. My lovely wife and I embrace the environment (and I secretly figured this would be a good chance for the environment to embrace me back). So at 8:30 pm the lights went out, but not before I lit a scented candle, fluffed up the bean bag chairs, and strategically placed my ukulele on the coffee table. Working from a template borrowed from the womanizers of old movies, the room was set for some Earth Hour romance.
After a few quiet moments in the dark, I grabbed the uke and began playing Moon River. I'd been practicing all week, playing along with Andy Williams' Fireside Hits album. This was not some jazzed-up hootenanny version designed to get a person all jiggly with a tambourine. It was a tasteful, delicate rendition, faithful to the original. Two minutes into the song, just when I think the charm is working, she says, "Hey Maynard, (in reference to Maynard G. Krebs, the beatnik on the Dobie Gillis show) are you going to plunk on that for the whole hour, because I'd like to take a nap." The mortification was akin to the embarrassment great musicians must feel when someone in the audience decides to start a book-club discussion during the performance. I can only hope something like this doesn't happen to the great guitar-playing Esteban (as seen on late night TV infomercials).
The rejection was downright pitiful. I stopped playing and was tip-toeing, dejectedly, out of the darkened room (while trying to think of a different song that might save the evening) when I tripped over a corner of the coffee table and fell flat on the floor. The table is alright, but my best paisley shirt is torn and the ukulele is in pieces, unrepairable pieces.
I don't know who to blame for this, but I may have a case against the group that started this dangerous lights-out deal. This is what I get for being a do-gooder. Next year, I'm keeping a flashlight handy, even if they say it's cheating.
If more children are born nine months after Earth Hour, they can count me out of that equation.
One more thing: The ukulele was a Don Ho signature model. It came with a string of pukka shells, and I don't think Don is available to sign another one.
Posted by Dale Wickum at 3:19 PM