Pardon me, is that wild & crazy music I hear?

This week's gobbledygook might not register unless you are familiar with two things. One would be an instrument called a ukulele. The other is a little ditty called, “Put the Lime in the Coconut.” It isn't totally necessary for you to be an expert but it could help, when all is said and done. (Now that I ponder, this still might not make a lick of sense to you, even if you majored in ukulele with a minor in putting limes in coconuts. Just humor me, please.)

I can give you a basic ukulele description but I cannot really explain a song to you in print. I am exceptionally talented, as we all know, (?), but I can't sing in a newspaper. Actually, for that, you should be most grateful.

As for the ukulele, this would have been the instrument, resembling a very small guitar, on which Tiny Tim strummed like a madman as he sang, “Tiptoe Through the Tulips.” Are you thoroughly confused yet? OK, I shall explain Mr. Tim for readers under the age of 50, give or take.

Tiny Tim was an intriguing musician who belted out various songs, like the above-mentioned, while making use of his falsetto range. His crowning achievement, in my not-so-humble opinion, was when he married a gal named, “Miss Vicky,” on the Tonight Show with Johnny Carson. They later divorced, if memory serves. Also, I'm not sure if her name is spelled right and I don't want to take the time to check. Plus, I'm digressing, which we simply cannot tolerate. That is the best I can do in terms of trying to paint some kind of picture for you. Now, on with this silly saga.

Allow me to set the stage at this time. Picture a lovely Saturday in June with people congregated in Ice House Park, located for your convenience at the entrance of Conneaut Lake. Some activity was unfolding due to “Kiwanians” celebrating 100 years of Kiwanis International.

Suddenly, a massive disturbance in the atmosphere occurred. However, it was only your humble columnist entering, stage right.

Enough with trying to turn this into a screenplay. Here is what happened next, in regular language. (If regular is now defined as odd-isms spoken by Lisa Houserman.)

I tracked down my contact, or victim, depending on one's point of view, Margaret Staahl, of Conneaut Lake and Kiwanis Club fame. We had previously chatted about my attending the soiree. Sorry Mrs. Staahl but I'm forcing you into my bizarre world this week.

She was very kind during our little interview as she spoke of this and that kinda jazz in terms of Kiwanis. Boy, that was a thorough report, huh? Anyhow, I asked her several questions, in my very serious tone, of course. After that I exited, stage left, by the by, and skipped merrily along to my next assignment.

I did so whilst singing the praises of David Schaef because he's such a fabulous boss. (See, I forgot his birthday and I am really pouring it on thick to make up for my lack of memory. Do you think it's working?)

Life went on, as it tends to do. Eventually I perched at the computer to begin my little story about the Kiwanis gig. I always utilize a small tape machine, (which is digital but I still call it a tape machine since I'm 102 at heart), when I cover meetings and other events.

I clicked the play button and prepared to garner data via the voice of our dear Mrs. Staahl. As the play back began, I was swiftly made aware of a bit of background noise unfolding as the two of us chatted, in our neighborly manner.

It all began with the sound of the ukulele being delicately plunked as a man was singing, you guessed it, “Put the Lime in the Coconut.” This went on throughout the interview. At first, he was barely audible and then, as time went on, he became more and more animated in both voice escalation and ukulele performance.

Mind you, this was all happening as I innocently spoke with Mrs. S. with neither of us acknowledging the full-blown display of wild musicianship evolving in our midst. Then, as the interview neared the end, he built to some sort of amazing climactic crescendo whilst shouting things like, “WOO, WOO,” all the while.

I had absolutely no clue of this while I was conducting said interview because I guess I was totally focused on the task at hand. So, I began to roar with laughter right here at my computer desk, when I heard it. I couldn't believe my ears as Don Olah, the man in question, brought it home for all to enjoy while, at the same time, Mrs. Staahl casually expounded on fund-raising efforts and other Kiwanis related issues. I was nodding politely at that time, if memory serves.

This became a total source of entertainment for the rest of the week. Best Friend Karen happened to call and I told her about it. I played an excerpt for her over the phone. She then demanded that I leap into Edna, (van), and head to her house with the recorder in tow. I obeyed because I needed a work break anyway. When she heard it in person, so to speak, I thought she might actually wet her pants. Yes, I said it.

I then played it for my kid and I really thought he might have some sort of episode right on the living room couch from laughing so hard. Not only were locals taken in by this but, I managed to send the audio to a friend of mine who couldn't get over the fact that I got through that interview with, as he put it, “all that hilarity” going on in the background.

My kid had some friends over last night and they looked bored, as teens often do. No worries as I played them the tape. We couldn't curb our enthusiasm over the whole deal and I am surprised that the police didn't whip into the driveway.

Needless to say, but I will, of course, I have had “Put the Lime in the Coconut” stuck in my head on a constant loop since it came to light. My son is now humming and singing the tune as well on a regular basis.

I'm kind of surprised by my own behavior because I simply never gave a thought to the fact that a man was bellowing out a tune, with a ukulele, to boot, as I nonchalantly conducted an interview. It was an enchanting surprise when I hit that play button and has been a continuous source of sheer delight ever since.

In closing, I must thank Mr. Olah, (whose name I now have memorized due to listening to the tape over and over again), Margaret Staahl, (for just putting up with me in person and now in print), and anyone else associated with this extraordinarily lively scenario. Thank you to the max as this made my week!