Piano Lessons, Kim Kardashian and Earl the Trucker

barry currin, stories of a world gone mad, beaverdamusa.comI started taking piano lessons about 8 years before Kim Kardashian was even born.

My teacher’s name was Miss Holland. I have no idea what her first name was. Her studio was in her home – an old house in the middle of town. It was always hot, and doilies covered every surface.

She was a gray-haired lady with a voice raspy from age, and she smelled like cough drops.

She would stick a gold star on the page in my songbook each time I learned to play a song well enough. Playing it in the correct time signature would earn me a red check mark. Being able to count the beat was mandatory for Miss Holland. She always complimented me on how well I could do it.

Taking piano was fine in the winter when not much else was going on in my life. Although practicing got monotonous, it was an acceptable activity on days when I couldn’t play outside.

But, on those sunny days in the summer when the doorbell would ring and the kids were getting up a neighborhood baseball game, I wanted to be a shortstop instead of a pianist.

If I was practicing, I could put them off for 30 minutes then join the game. But if I was on my way to a lesson, I had to come up with an excuse why I couldn’t play.

This became more problematic as time went on. I even fibbed a time or two to avoid the possibility of them making fun of me for taking piano lessons.

It wasn’t seen as being very masculine back in the day.

So, what does all this have to do with Kim Kardashian?

The other day we passed a trailer truck on the interstate that caught my eye. Emblazoned on the trailer was a larger-than-life picture of Kim K herself – typically wrapped in feathers and not much more — next to a photo of a perfume bottle. Written in huge letters was “Kim Kardashian, the Voluptuous Fragrance.”

When the internet makes you famous for no reason whatsoever, I guess you naturally assume people want to smell like you. Who knows? But, that’s not my point.

I immediately felt empathetic for the truck driver, because I’ll bet Kim Kardashian is to him the same as piano lessons were to me.

The only difference is, I could save face by making up an excuse as to why I couldn’t play ball. The poor guy driving the truck with Kim Kardashian’s picture on it has no escape.

The ribbing he gets on the CB radio from the other drivers must be merciless.

Can you just imagine the treatment this guy gets when he pulls into the truck stop?

“Hey, Earl, do you smell as pretty as you look?”

“Hey, Earl, I missed ‘The View’ yesterday. What did the girls chat about?”

“Hey, Earl, you got your ears on, or are you trying to get in touch with your feelings?”

Poor Earl. While the other truckers are hauling cars, or beer, or trailers full of other manly stuff, he is driving around what must be 500,000 bottles of Kim Kardashian’s perfume.

My biggest regret regarding piano lessons is not sticking with them. My second biggest regret is not being confident enough to own up to it at the time.

So, Earl, I say stand tall. Own up to it. You go out there and be the best truck driver you can be, even if your load consists of Kim Kardashian’s perfume.

At the same time, however, keep that resume up to date — just in case something more appealing crops up.

The Mysteries of Bonnaroo 2014 Lost & Found

dam thoughts, barry currin, beaverdamusa.comBonnaroo 2014 certainly went out like a lamb. I heard no mention of mass arrests, assaults or anything like that. None of the 90,000 attendees overdosed and died. As always, it rained because it simply has to.

It obviously was a slow-news festival when one of the most noteworthy tidbits was Kim Kardashian showing up for Kanye’s set wearing a see-through top (just when we thought she could get any more transparent.)

BonnarooMTV.com even had to resort to running a story about the lost-and-found tent, which I’m sure is an interesting place. Any time you have that many semi-comatose people sloshing in the mud for a week, you’re going to have a bustling lost-and-found tent. The story told how many items remained at the tent as of Sunday night. Here are the numbers along with some observations.

  • 173 key rings. This begs Question No. 1: Wouldn’t you think there were also 173 cars left in the parking lot? Yes, I know these keys belonged to the 173 people who did not drive to the festival and also lacked the common sense to leave their keys in their bud’s vehicle. The photo MTV ran with the story showed the pile of misplaced keys. One ring had a Budweiser bottle opener, which looks like a questionable accessory. Another had a  Bi-Lo Bonus card attached. Imagine the surprise of the guy who went to Bi-Lo to cure the munchies and realized he couldn’t get his BOGO Doritos because he didn’t have his bonus card.
  • 93 phones. The article specified 41 iPhones and 52 other types, which makes for a 44 percent iPhone Bonnaroo market share. According to research I found while googling, iPhones make up for 25 percent of the market share nationwide. Does that mean that Bonnarooers have a higher propensity to carry iPhones? Or does it mean people with iPhones are more careless than other people? Visible in the picture, by the way, is a good old-fashioned flip phone making me wonder if Back to the Future II is in production.
  • 94 wallets. Do you know what this tells us? It tells us that people value their phones more than they do their wallets. The article mentions one of the wallets was pulled from a Porta Potty and covered in you-know-what. I wonder who found it, cleaned off the Bonnaroopoo and returned it?
  • 77 bags. Fifteen of which were purses. That undoubtedly made for a fun ride home for 15 carloads of revelers. Also among the lost bags was one briefcase. “Yeah, I’ll hit the Which Stage as soon as I finish these general journal entries. Hey! Where’s my briefcase?”
  • 32 sunglasses. My God, only 32 pair? I can lose a pair of sunglasses between the house and the mailbox. How did 88,968 people make it through a muddy, chemical-enhanced, multi-day music festival with their sunglasses? And how on earth did six-fold the number of people lose their keys? “Hi, Mom, we’re having to take a Megabus home because Skinny Pete lost the keys, but we have totally awesome retinas.”
  • 2 condoms. I’ll bet it was easy to spot those two guys during their frantic search. If we have two extra Babyroos in 9 months, this might be why. I just hope the condoms didn’t belong to Kanye.

Just like the dirty wallet, who picks up a condom off the ground and takes it to the lost-and-found tent? Was it the guy who had the briefcase? The laptop? The flip phone? I’m thinking the same guy lost all three. Either way it’s a mystery. Not to sound capitalistic when talking about such a bohemian subject as Bonnaroo, but I think someone could make a killing by inventing Clue: Bonnaroo Edition. At least it would give people something to do on the Megabus ride home.

Did you lose something at Bonnaroo? Here is the link to the article.

Photo by Gabisauke (Own work) [CC-BY-SA-3.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0)], via Wikimedia Commons

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