I’ve always found that I can usually achieve a level of mediocrity in almost all things that I try; however, I’ve unfortunately been unable to find that one thing for which I might achieve a level of greatness. Music happens to be one of those pursuits that fits into the former category. I’ve learned a few chords to keep myself amused on an acoustic guitar, figured out enough notes on a bass guitar to play in a garage band as long as you don’t expect me to throw down any John Entwistle bass lines, and I can play Mary Had a Little Lamb on piano with two hands. I figured that limited level of competency precluded any hope of a career in the performing arts, but my mind has been changed.
I’m going to cash out my 401(k) and get me a pawn shop saxophone. Then I’m going to work real hard memorizing just two songs, which is all that is required to be a street musician. I know this because there is a street musician on the corner where I work (no, I don’t work on the street corner, but in a building located on the same corner), and this saxophone player seems to be making a living by repeatedly playing Tequila and Theme from The Simpsons. Repeatedly. Like over and over again. Every day. He has wisely chosen a high traffic, extremely transient area near the train station where passersby are clueless to his limited repertoire and out of earshot by the time Pee-Wee starts his big shoe dance again. However, his more permanent neighbors are ready to stuff the silly Trix rabbit down his sax before we throw ourselves out our windows or relocate our office to Montana.
I shouldn’t be so hard on him. At least he’s doing something to try and earn a buck rather than just thrusting a paper cup in my face. And he did just add If You’re Happy And You Know It Clap Your Hands, so he must be using his earnings for lessons. But he had better keep working at it, because as soon as I learn Theme from Sanford and Son and What You Need by INXS he is so going to have to find another corner.