It's Friday night, and I am all dressed up, leaving Planet Earth for a whole 'nother world. Or as the culturally sophisticated call it, the symphony. Oh yes. Contrary to rumors, I am totally cultural. Oh wait, that's gutteral. Whatever. So I have an evening out, thanks to my good friend AM, who's garnered free tix. But first we stop at Ironworks for mouth-watering barbecue and a gallon of tea. That goes together, right? Symphony and BBQ? Plus, the guy behind the counter says I am BEEE-UUU-TEE-FUL. That alone is worth the price of heartburn. 'course, if he could see my unshaved legs (which he can't since I'm wearing black slacks), he might not be so drooly over me.
So we arrive and traipse into the architectural wonder that is the Long Center. I depend on AM to shuttle me through the vastly aging expanse of urbane hobnobbers, but it’s clear that she is as much in foreign territory as I am, and we spin around mumbling, What's with the sequinage? Is there a door around here we should go through? Where's the john?
Eventually, we make it to our seats in the parterre. Without the glasses I lost five years ago during Hurricane Frances, I squint to see the orchestra that occupies the entire stage. I make out only the hefty guy who rises out of the back on cue to clash cymbals. I want his job.
So the first number is the Funeral March. Really? Seems like that should be the big finish when the event is effectively six feet under, doesn't it? Anyway, 15 minutes and only ONE NUMBER LATER, I notice that AM is bobbing her head in time with the music (a Chopin-Stravinsky thing that threatens to stretch long into the night). I think, Man, she is really getting into this. I don’t want to stare at her, but I’m astonished that my whiskey-guzzling, Harley-riding, rock-n-roll buddy is bewitched by orchestral strains. So I peek out the corner of my eyes and, yup, she’s all immersing herself, even going so far as to close her eyes to absorb every strum of strings, toot of horns, and tinkle of piano keys. Or wait . . . her head drops and she catches herself and a minute later, her head drops again, and then . . . THEN? She snores! This performance is better than what I can’t see on stage! I elbow her a good one. She tips her head toward me, peering over her glasses as if to say, Help. Me.
Finally, people clap and everybody rises. I get excited until I realize it's only intermission. What a tease the symphony is! Everybody gets up and COMES BACK! I think surely AM will drag me out, but instead we eat dark canned chocolate that resembles goat turds and laugh at people and sit through the second half—which gets surprisingly energetic and loud—as if they KNOW someone somewhere is nodding off! How do they KNOW!?
Anyhoodles, I have suggestions for you, Symphony. You can jazz up your repertoire by making these easy-peasy changes:
Oh, when AM and I got back into her car? We cranked up some Stevie Ray. She’s my sweet little baby, She’s my pride and joy! She’s my sweet little baby, and I’m her little lover boy.
Aaaahhh, back on terra firma.