Monday, April 11, 2011

Piano Leeches

Pianist, Dick DurhamThere you are, maestro.  Slide that piano bench!  Get ready to wow your lucky public audience.  Playing your personal symphony before the stage of the world.  You can be in a lobby, a cafeteria, jail cell, ANYwhere were an audience and piano have the fortune to coexist.  Your greased fingers dash and bounce across the sweet vanilla ivories and those music notes take flight and bounce off the walls and everything in the room.  The moment is yours, kid.  Slam those notes!  Send your sweet tears from your eyes into your musical work!

Jamming, jamming, and jamming some more you realize that there's some weird skinny kid who has been breathing down your neck.  He probably has been there pretending to listen and thoroughly enjoy your art for a good thirty minutes.  Some piano playing rookies probably would believe this to be their first admirer, ready to take bullets for them and tattoo your name on their arm.  Some may foolishly believe that they have been lured into your Muse-like piano songs which hypnotize them into music listening buffoons who forget where they are.

Make no mistake.

Not even Patrick Stewart can play
the piano in peace!
The experienced piano player can tell you this sinister pimply faced teenager is up to no good.  He'll ask if he can have a turn and play just a quick scale to warm up his hands.  Then you realize it's been 30 minutes of scales and crappy songs since he stole the lime light.  These, my friends, are what I call piano leeches!  They lie in the wait when somebody else is playing a piano ready to pounce and steal that piano away!

How can you know differentiate these servants of sin from your regular fan club?

1) Flattery.  They'll come over by the piano at the end of a song or while you're playing something chill and hit you up with countless compliments.  "You rock!"  "You changed my life!"  "I named my first son after you!"  And they won't let up until they get what they want.  They'll butter you up, tell you you're pretty, and as soon as you turn your back BAM they'll stick a musical knife in it!  Don't let their evil words get to your head, or your piano time will be done before you know it.

2) Mentioning songs they know on the piano.  For some reason, they assume that you will find their mediocre musical achievements amusing.  I don't care if you know how to play the Mario Brothers on the piano, some of us left the peanut gallery and scholastic diapers years ago.  Don't let their tricky songs spark any interest in you, and especially don't mention that you ever want to hear that song.

3) Pecking on keys on either extremity.  Now you know they're getting desperate and sweating bullets.  The game is yours, that is if you can hold out for the last couple of minutes.  There you are playing your Rachmaninoff masterpiece when the piano leech thoughtlessly walks up and plays Mario Brothers at the same time.  This is a tasteless blow, but be sure to deny them their intrusive action with sternness, yet tactfully.

4) Violence.  When they slam the piano lid on your fingers and break them, game over.  No more Mr. Nice Guy.  The piano leech sees in his bird brain you being wheeled away to the hospital while he laughs and steals your piano time.  Broken fingers or not, you need to teach this kid a lesson and save him from making the same mistake twice.  Punch!  Kick!  Bite!

PianoWell, consider yourself informed next time you have Cletus come over asking if you can play the Mario Brothers as well as you played Beethoven's Fifth.