Wednesday, March 21, 2018

Ray Dale

Buy guitar now, tell wife later

Literary Junction
At the Big Horn County Library, most of the daily goings on are based around the checking out and returning of items such as books and videos. It’s fairly routine and there’s not a whole lot of excitement involved. Some weeks, though, the talk is about some other matter of interest involving one of us at the library. Such was the case this week.
On July 26, I received via Fed Ex my new Ibanez Prestige electric guitar. I had it delivered here because it would require a signature for delivery. Of course, I was excited. Who wouldn’t be? 
When I showed it to librarians Donelle Boyer and Angie LittleLight, they were appropriately impressed. Lots of “oohs” and “aahs.” Angie told me to play a song, so I kicked out a quick rock-and-roll version of “The Farmer in the Dell.”
They both then wanted to know what my wife thought of my new toy. 
“Well,” I said, “I haven’t told her yet.” They both burst into laughter. 
At about this same time, Rocky Hert, the head of maintenance at the Big Horn County Courthouse, came in. He was there to help maintenance man Darrell Gress with cleaning the windows on the outside of our building. He had noticed the hubbub in the room and stopped in to say hi. 
Now, Rocky is one of my best friends in the world and he’s also a singer himself. Needless to say, he was quite interested in the new guitar I was showing off. 
Donelle and Angie were still laughing to themselves and said to me with a smirk, “Tell him what Jill thinks of this.” When I told him she didn’t really know about it yet, he just closed his eyes and slowly lowered his head. Not in disgust or judgement, but in a way that kind of said, “We’ve all been there bro.” When he looked up, he said, “Well tell her this…”
As I said, Rocky is a good friend, and friends are always supposed to look out for each other. On a popular sitcom I sometimes watch, they call it the “Bro Code.” 
That aside, one thing I think should always be avoided is taking advice from one’s “bros” in how to deal with one’s spouse. It has taken me a half century to come to the realization that they are no better at it than I am. Still, I nodded and thanked Rocky for his counsel.
Later that night, I waited for what I thought would be the right moment and told Jill about my new toy. She said nothing. She just rolled her eyes. 
Knowing I was losing ground, I said, “You know, lots of famous musicians started their careers late in life. This guitar is an investment in our future.” 
This time, she rolled her eyes and let out a deep sigh. In a panic and in a last ditch effort to regain my dignity, I blurted out Rock’s advice to me: “Well, at least I didn’t spend the money on booze or drugs or chasing young women.”
She looked at me with a look of complete bewilderment and it appeared she was about to say something, but instead simply turned and walked away. The fact that she did not roll her eyes this time, though, I took as a victory. I grabbed my new guitar and played a guitar version of “Chopsticks” until well after midnight.
The next day, I decided I should make use of our well-stocked library and find a book that would help me along my new musical pathway. It didn’t take long to find just the right one. The book, by Jon Chappell and Mark Phillips, is aptly titled, Guitar for Dummies.