Let the music play

Something weirder than usual has been happening to me as of late and I don't quite know what to make of it. Take note that I did use the words “than” and “usual” in that statement for reasons that should be abundantly clear.

It appears that I have become a front man, of sorts, when it comes to music serving as a backdrop during otherwise regular activities.

Now, if you are thoroughly confused, I have accomplished something. I will explain it to you in detail right up until that very familiar point where you reach for a sedative.

Several times in the past month or two, I have found myself in situations that would not generally be associated with musical accompaniment. However, in my case, there it was filling the atmosphere and serving as a stage prop to everyday life.

A few weeks ago I penned a piece about casually interviewing Mrs. Staahl of Kiwanis Club fame. As I was doing so, I was completely oblivious to the fact that a live performance of “Put the Lime in the Coconut” was taking place 50 feet from us. If you recall, that particular version included wild and crazy ukulele plunking. I had not even given it a thought until I hit the playback feature of my now infamous recording device later that week, and realized the hilarity of it all.

Something similar unfolded the other night during an uplifting gathering of familial fun at my Mother's house, which is located next door, much to her chagrin and much to our delight.

You see, my dear brother, Blaine G. Houserman, (Brother B), and his son, Joshua A. Houserman, (Neph), were making a guest appearance in the greater Conneaut Lake region. It was their last night in town so most of the clan enjoyed dinner in an eatery. I, on the other hand, was unable to attend said soiree because I had to trek northward in order to land in the midst of yet another controversy at a council meeting. (At this point, you are supposed to whip out violins in keeping with the theme, in order to show that you feel totally sorry for me.)

Upon my return from said meeting, I schlepped next door for a birthday celebration in honor of Neph. Two of my son's friends were on hand to lend a sort of, well, interesting motif to the evening. One was his lady companion, who shall be called GOC (girlfriend of child), and the other was JFM (John from work). I should also mention that my son will henceforth be known as The Child.

As the rest of us were herded into the dining room for after dinner refreshment (by an ice cream scoop wielding woman named Mother), GOC and JFW did not follow suit. Instead, they plopped down on the piano bench and began to perform various renditions of show tunes for all to enjoy.

Mind you, the dining room and the living room, in which the piano is located, are almost one big room, separated only by two steps. I'm just setting the stage for your reading pain—I mean pleasure. So, GOC and JFW were not located in some far off part of the home. (Also, did I use the word “room” enough in that last section? I'm just not feeling very creative today due to typing out the report about the meeting that was mentioned earlier in this stupid saga. I think I worked on that *&$#@ thing for so long that my hourly wage dropped to 5 or 10 cents. I am just going to continue to digress, in parenthesis, in order to meet the requirements set forth by a Lisa Houserman from the past. OK, I'm done with that now.)

Before I continue to blather on incessantly, I must back up a touch. The reason why we were relegated to the formal setting was because Mother was appalled due to the other table brimming with Brother B's implements of work. “We have to do this in the dining room. There's just NO ROOM here,” she said as she swept her dainty paw through the air space above the table of disarray. (She did so while displaying her trademark look—something between a violent hyena after a fresh kill and a disapproving Jewish mother.)

The trip back in time has been completed. I now return you to your regularly scheduled portion of this column...

GOC and JFW began with a ditty that goes a little something like this: “Heart and soul, I fell in love with you heart and soul....blah, blah, blah, blah, ding, do, ding, dong, something, so and so, love me too....” Does it ring a bell?

As that was happening, a boisterous dispute broke out when I began to lecture my brother about the proper manner in which borrowed camping equipment should be handled. After which, he accused me of acting like Pumpkin, (sister Jill), which was actually a compliment because she is the oldest and is frequently in charge. Mother joined in and said that she had asked several times throughout the day for the tent, which was erected in her yard, to be moved due to the lawn mowing service that was scheduled to arrive the next morning. All the while, The Child thought it might be a great time to lecture Neph about setting aside the text messaging marathon for another time, since we were celebrating HIS birthday, after all.

As all of this was occurring, the dueling pianists never ceased in their ivory pounding fury. It was akin to the band on the Titanic pressing on as the ship disappeared into the icy waters of the North Atlantic. I mean, they just kept on joyfully performing without a care in the world. They refused to let a little family fistfight hinder their absolute LOVE for all things harmony, melody and any other word of a musical nature.

At one point, Blaine uttered some sort of cuss word which was not Mother approved. Collective pearls were clutched, gasps were uttered and firm lectures followed. All of the above mentioned insanity did not seem to dissuade those in charge of the entertainment portion of the evening. “HEART and SOUL....” played on a continuous loop. It really was poetry in motion because they managed to keep perfect time and pitch accordingly with our escalating voices and obscene Italian hand gestures.

Unlike the Lime in the Coconut controversy of 2015, (it really wasn't controversial but I'm trying to jazz this up), I was aware of my surroundings throughout. I just didn't seem to give a diddly squat because I was too busy being a referee and/or acting as a willing participant in the sheer madness, disguised as a birthday party!

I must end this now and without even attempting to segue gently, yet effectively, into a closing statement. The reason for my sudden departure is I'm now hearing the sound of Taps playing in my brain and I shall take this as a sign.

Let the music play. THE END.