Tuesday, May 10, 2005

Fired By Banjo Boy

A few weeks ago, my wife and I were invited to a concert that featured a plethora of musical artists from the genre of music best described as "Southern Gospel." Please Note: NOT the type of music I would normally listen to, so don't categorize me just yet! However, we thought the interaction of others that were attending would be fun, so we said sure.

There was a catch to the whole deal - we were going to help staff one of the many product tables and help with the sale of merchandise during the breaks of the event. Again, no problem.

We were assigned to a small table for a bluegrass band that we were unfamiliar with, but soon found we were the minority. Everybody seemed to be devoted fans of this popular bluegrass family, and most seemed suprised if they sensed we hadn't heard of them. Of course, some thought we were "with" the band, and asked us all sorts of questions about things we couldn't answer. No problem - we knew that a couple of the members would come out during the intermission and be there to answer questions, sign autographs, etc. We enjoyed the pre-concert sales time, sold our share of CD's and stuff, and nestled in to our free seats to experience what can only be described as the "mecca" of Gospel music (not to mention we were in an arena with more Republicans than you could shake a stick at...another topic altogether!)

I'll admit, I didn't mind most of what took place - only one or so of the acts would make my "can't tolerate that ever again in my life" list (please note: I'm being very good and not naming any of these nice, talented, passionate folks). A lot of it was good; some was very good.

Particularly "cool" was the bluegrass band. Being a card-carrying member of the O Brother Where Art Thou fan club and an actual owner of the soundtrack, I found this group to be very good, and very talented - regardless of style, you've got to respect talent.

As the intermission neared, the wife and I made our way back to the concourse to sell more CD's and videos and such. That's when rejection began to set in. Banjo Boy, as he's affectionately referred to in our home, which is only fitting since he was the banjo player in the group, was sitting at the table selling stuff left and right. We thought "Cool, we can sell stuff, and Banjo Boy can stand around and talk to people, sign autographs, tell banjo war stories, whatever." Did I mention rejection? Seems Banjo Boy could do all of the aforementioned things AND sell stuff at the same time. By himself. With no help from strangers he had never met.

We weren't needed. Banjo Boy had fired us. Ouch.

So here we were, at a concert we weren't completely interested in, with lots of time in the intermission to just walk around and look at product from artists that we weren't interested in, with our sole purpose of attending in the first place having been ripped out from under us. By a banjo player! We laughed. We're still laughing.

Was the whole night a waste? No. Life is so, so busy. Even arranging some elaborate child care for the evening was hard. But my wife and I got to spend about 6-8 hours together just out. We laughed (even at the expense of a little bitty bit of southern gospel music), met a few interesting folks, learned a little about bluegrass music, and just had some fun together. Hard to complain about that (though a free CD from Banjo Boy would have gone a long way to heal our wounds from getting fired!)

1 comment:

  1. For more laughs, you should visit the National Quartet Convention sometime. We affectionately refer to it as the "Jesus Flea Market."


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