My secret girlfriend Ellen buys her wine by the case. I think that's pretty cool, because technically it will be six weeks until I am old enough to buy it myself. Not that I'd buy wine, I will be buying beer on my 21st birthday, not some stupid foreign wine that comes in a box packed full of straw and hay. Do they make wine in barns or something? I should Google it sometime.
Anyway, she buys it from this fancy wine 'shoppe' in her neighborhood, which is like a regular shop except smaller, spelled different and everything is more expensive than in regular shops. They don't sell anything in most shoppes that I've ever heard of, so it would be really boring for me to go there with Ellen if the shoppe weren't so close to the local Guitar MegaBucket. A Guitar MegaBucket is like the exact opposite of a 'shoppe' - plus it's full of guitars, so that makes it cool.
I play guitar in a band called The Sickening Thud, I know a little bit about guitars and wanted to take a look at some, so I told Ellen I would meet her at the GuitarMegaBucket after she got her wine. She yelled at me a little for that , but I know not to take it personal- she is just that way, yelling a lot when talking will do or when shutting up might be best. I think maybe she is getting crazy like old people get, I mean she's a lot older than me, which is why she is my secret girlfriend and not just a regular girlfriend like my regular girl Gloria. Ellen is like a shoppe and Gloria is more like a shop. But I'll talk about that later, maybe after I'm done with my guitar story.
There was an old bearded guy behind the counter at the guitar shop, he was talking to some normal-looking old dude:
...so I told him to follow along in E and he was fine, but when I said G or A or anything, really, he was lost, he had no idea what to do. It was like he just couldn't understand the symmetry of it at all. It was bizarre.
Did you try using barre chords to demonstrate how the position is really the same? I find that helps.
Yeah, but not with this one.
For a minute there, I thought they might be talking about guitar because letters E, G and A are like music notes on the guitar and a bar chord is this heavy cool thing that Chalice, the Sickening Thud's bassist, showed me how to play, except I can't quite press down hard enough on the strings to do it yet. It is called a 'bar chord' because you need to be able to play one if you want to get gigs in bars and me not being able to play one might explain why we haven't got many bar gigs yet, which would explain why we haven't been picked up by a record label.
When I turn twenty-one, I'll be able to go into the clubs and get chummy with the promoters and after that, the sky's the limit for the Thud.
But the dudes started talking about 'symmetry' - whatever that is-so I figured they must be keyboard players or something. The dude with the beard asked me if I needed help , so I asked to check out the 1959 Les Paul Custom re-issue, which at $9,000 was the most expensive guitar I saw on the wall. You wouldn't believe the attitude that Beard Dude gave me! I mean he was trying to sound all polite:
...no offense, but I think you'd be better off with an Epiphone...
An Epiphone! Did he think I was made out of money or something? Those can cost three or four hundred bucks! No way was I spending that kind of money! I just wanted to see what it felt like to play a fancy guitar and Mr. Beard had to go and be a total d!ck about it. Some people.
Anyway, the Beard set me up with an Epiphone (which I gotta say was not-so-bad, it was way better than my Hondo), plugged me into a miniature Vox amp and walked away. I was almost nailing some Tool riffs when Ellen walked in. She looked mad. I got nervous and flubbed my bar chord but she smiled a little and said I had great natural rhythm. Then she asked me if I wanted that guitar. I said sure, but if I'm dreaming I might as well dream about the 1959 Gibson over there.
But the next thing I knew, she was talking to Beard Guy and he was acting all nicey-nice all of a sudden. Ellen is a big-shot lawyer at the office I temp at. I have heard her use her lawyer-voice and she is one scary lady when she does. She used it on Beard Guy and you won't believe what she did next.
"Son", she told me," this gentleman has agreed to a reasonable price and if you want this guitar, I will buy it for you." She always calls me 'son' when we were out in public, which I think is weird because my name is Ben and I'm not her son.
"Uh, OK", was about all I could say and the next thing I knew we were driving away in her recently-repaired Jaguar with a case of wine and the world's best guitar in the backseat. If Ellen hadn't been so old and such a secret, I'd have been on Cloud Nine.
When we got back to her house she gave me a big kiss and asked me how I liked my new guitar and would I play a song for her?
I told her that I sure did like the guitar but I was worried because I didn't know how I was gonna explain it to Gloria. Gloria knew I didn't make enough money to buy something high-dollar like a Gibson guitar.
"You are worried about what that little slut thinks?", screamed Ellen, "I told you to dump her!"
"No you didn't", I said because it was true. "You said it was OK to see her as long as she didn't give me 'any little presents to give you'. I don't think you two would get along, so I don't think she would be giving you much in the way of pres.."
"SHUT UP! HERE IS WHAT YOU ARE GOING TO TELL HER!"
Ellen picked up the nine-thousand dollar guitar by the neck and swung it in a sweeping arc, crashing into the floor. Her house has nice carpeting and it took three swings before it broke, the neck breaking in two places and the strings whipping the headstock around like a crazy puppet.
I would have cried, but I was mad and maybe a little bit scared too, so I started yelling at Ellen.
I called her all the dirty words that she likes me to use when we do our private stuff and I figured that calling her all those things would calm her down and get her to do that special thing she does ...you know, what you see people on the internet do. Some people think that girls Gloria's age are really into that sort of thing, but really I think it is ladies like Ellen who invented it, if you get my meaning.
I sure was wrong about the calming down part.
Ellen hit me in the head with my broken guitar and threw me out of her house, making me walk all the way back to my folk's place. I know she'll stop being mad before long and will text me, but in the meantime maybe I'll learn my bar chord and work on my name-calling skills. It could even be a song.