Banjo Pickers, Bluegrass and Gorilla Suits


Since the day he started here at the Cubicle Asylum, I've had a hard time learning to "read" Bossman. He doesn't often show positive emotion and on the rare occasion that you can get him to crack a smile, it seems forced. Often I've felt as though he laughs at my desperate attempts at humor in hopes that I'll just go away and leave him be.

Because of his usual lack of merriment, I was a little shocked yesterday when he confided that he'd always wanted a gorilla suit, to rent a spotlight and to play the banjo.

No.. really.

It started when I threatened offered to sing to him, which lead to his fleeing down the hallway at a pace not previously witnessed. Who knew he could move that fast?

When cornered, he admitted he had no desire at all to hear me sing, but if I could play the banjo, by gawd he'd be impressed. This lead to my admission to having taken banjo lessons as a child, which then lead to a small crowd forming to hear the story. No one could believe that the Ozzy lovin', Def Leppard stalkin' head banger once spent her Saturday afternoons a pickin' and a grinnin.'

They oooed and ahhhed when they learned that I once knew how to play "Cripple Creek" and "Dueling Banjos." I went on to add that I'd taken guitar lessons, piano lessons and that I'd been a trumpet toting band geek, second chair thankyouverymuch. The two years I'd spent in the middle school chorus didn't suprise them, but when they discovered that I'd sang in a church choir, even given a solo performance or two, there was some serious shock and awe.

Ya'll know they consider me to be the flaming heathern of Frog Pond Holler.

Nowadays I can barely play a radio. I still haven't figured out how to program the pre-set buttons on the one in Jolene. My phone doubles as an MP3 player, but I don't have any music on it.

But I still sing.

I can be heard a catterwallin' for miles and miles when I take Jolene (that's my truck, just to clarify for the newcomers) out for a drive across the mountain. There's such a sense of freedom to riding fast with the windows down, singing at the top of your lungs. It's usually rock that I'm torturing the hell out of, but occcasionally you'll hear me wailing along with Loretta Lynn or The Carter Family, because as much as I hate to admit it sometimes, those are the songs that are a part of me. Sort of like the relatives you don't spend much time with, but still hold dear.

Ya'll have a good one.

Later Taters.


14 comments:

Dianne said...

What a cool thing for you to learn about BossMan! And what a really cool thing for me to learn about you. I always did picture you singing out loud as Jolene took to the road :)

I played the French Horn in HS band.

Tori Lennox said...

I think I'd almost pay good money to see a singing, banjo-playing gorilla. *g*

I played the flute in middle school band. :)

Mahala said...

Wow ya'll, we could start like.. the Bloggers Brass and Woodwind Band! *grin*

tori, you have no idea how much time I spent trying to find a picture of a banjo playing gorilla this morning lol.

Jeni said...

Apparently a goodly number of us have some musical aptitude. I took piano lessons for about 3-4 years (didn't practice near enough to ever get all that good at it). I took violin lessons in school for 2-3 years along with learning to play the French horn and even was in the school marching band -junior/senior high students combined. But the band thing was a disaster because I really can't walk and play a musical instrument at the same time, much less try to walk in patterns and cadence while trying to play the horn. And I wasn't especially good at it either -playing it, that is. My senior year in high school I was organist and choir director at our church. Second worst organist those poor people have ever had to endure! I sang in the chorus in high school, choir at church, even sang solos on several occasions at church and school. Ah yes, I was quite the little musician. Of all of the above, the singing though was my best aptitude! My tastes in music run from rock through lots of country -usually country rock but I love Johnny Cash, Tammy Wynette, Loretta Lynn and Tom T. Hall! It's not unusual to see me tooling down the road with the radio or a cd blasting and I'm bopping around in the seat, singing away! It really gets bad when my daughters and I are together in vehicle and we start playing Johnny Cash stuff cause all three of us love that song of his - "One Piece at a Time" about the guy building his own car, ya know. And the three of us will be riding along and belting out a song!

Jeni said...

Oh, and before I forget, in many circles around here where I live, I'm considered to be a bit of a "heathen" too - mainly because I dearly love my nicotine and I've also been known to indulge in some liquid spirits as well! LOL -Have a great day!

Mahala said...

jeni: I love that song too, along with everything else Johnny Cash recorded. My personal fave: A Boy Named Sue.

poopie said...

From one heathern to another...ain't nothing in this world like a long drive singing at the top of your lungs.

Dianne said...

Holy Crackers! I forgot to claim that I'm a heathen too LOL

We could name the band "Heathen Honeys"

Bet we'd kill at state fairs.

bobbie said...

Can't say I ever really played an instrument, tho I did try a ukele for a little while. Always wanted to play the piano, and learned to pick out a tune or two, but we never had one in our house. But boy did I sing, long and loud (but not too good). I was the one who always wanted to hear Hank or Merle instead of rock. And I stood right up front by the stage when Johnny Cash came to a little bar near our place. Doh't be fooled by the picture. The hat was only because I was ending a bout with cancer, and the suit was for my daughter's wedding.
I love your blog, Mahala. Us heathens better stick together.

terri said...

4 years of piano lessons. Can't play a thing. I am however, extremely impressed with your musical background!

Bah said...

I can play the butt flute. It doesn't go over well at live shows, though.

Mahala said...

LOL! Ya'll are a mess :)

AC said...

When I'm in the car alone, I can sing like Joni Mitchell or Maura O'Connell, even Aretha. ... Yesssss, I am that good. However, in 8th grade Glee Club, the director asked me to pantomime during the Hallelujah Chorus.

Wha'??? Scarred for life and now NO ONE hears me sing but the open road. Luckily I have a 30 minute drive anytime I need to get into town.

I'm keeping my eye and ear out for Jolene, whom I believe I would recognize, as well has her driver.

Mahala said...

Hi bobbie! I love the old pictures on your blog :) It's great to meet you.

ac: I'm sure you would :)