Monday, July 13, 2009

Burning Ring of Truth

Regular readers may remember that I recently mocked my eldest son because he wanted to learn how to play the recorder. Chiefly, I judged the wind instrument to be a less-than-manly instrument much unsuited to rocking out. Because I wanted Gabriel to lose interest in the recorder quickly - I did what any smart parent would do in order to force his kid to drop something like a hot potato - or in this case, a hot cross bun.
I fully supported him.
I bought him a new recorder. I forced him to play for me. I forced him to play for other people. And once my son sensed my enthusiasm, he walked away from his plastic recorder like it was radioactive.
Mission accomplished. And yet, a month later, my nine year-old would have his revenge when I came across a Julia Nunes ukulele-version of Weezer's "Keep Fishin' on YouTube.
To begin with, Julia Nunes clearly rocked the song. I liked it even better than the original Weezer version. But I was also dumbstruck by how much her little ukulele rocked. And more than that, the tingy melodies reminded me of the mandolin my grandmother used to play before she passed away. And that's apparently the recipe that gets me hooked - two parts rocking and one part dearly-missed grandmother.
So I bought a soprano ukulele, the smallest you can get, about a week later and tried to hide my new obsession from everyone including my family. I retreated to the tiny, dark re-purposed closet that is my office, shut the door and started practicing ukulele chords, some of which require only one finger to play.
Occasionally, my wife would knock on the door.
"Uh, Richard? What's that noise?" she would ask.
I would look at my beautiful 20 inch uke and back toward the door. I considered shoving aside my masculinity and admitting my fondness for the tiny four-stringed powerhouse in my hands - maybe even busting out some Cashian "Ring of Fire" to make my wife understand. And then I said:
"I'm looking at pornography on the computer! Could I have some privacy, please!"
The best lies have the ring of truth.
Later, when I finally sat down and discussed my ukulele problem with Bridget, she did something I didn't expect her to do.
She fully supported me.
Clever, clever woman.

Editor's Note : For those of you who want to see Julia Nunes' great cover of Weezer's "Keep Fishin""