A Romantic Serenade
Our fearless leader, Jim, had a hot date with his girlfriend, at a nice Italian restaurant in Indianapolis. Danny and I thought
that it would be nice if they had some special entertainment during their candlelight dinner.
I borrowed a suitcoat from our guitarist, (who was about twice my size), and found some slacks that clashed with it nicely.
Danny also put together a gaudy outfit, and we met in the bus lounge to rehearse our song.
Now, I play just enough violin to make a melody recognizable, but not bearable. Danny, being a master of wind instruments,
has the ability to play a clarinet exactly like a grade-school beginner, even squeaking the important notes. We chose the
sentimental favorite from West Side Story, "Sunrise, Sunset". We practiced playing badly while looking very serious.
When we were satisfied that our instruments were just the right amount out-of-tune, and our performance was just awful
enough, we walked down the street to the back kitchen door of the restaurant. We explained that we were there to serenade
a couple who were celebrating their anniversary, and they got very excited, even pulling out a small cake for the couple.
As we strolled up to the table, all the faces in the restaurant brightened in anticipation. Five notes into the song, the smiles
began to fade, and by the third line, people were squirming, glancing at each other, and some were trying not to laugh. Jim
and Barbara sat stoically, as if there was nothing wrong. As we reached the chorus ("Sun-Rise, Sun-Set"...) we launched
into swaying side-to-side while playing.
Just when they thought they were out of the woods, we launched into verse two. For us, the second verse seemed to take an
hour to finish, and I'm sure it was even longer for everyone else.
We finished to a very small smattering of applause, and took huge, melodramatic bows. As we were leaving, the waiter was
presenting the cake, and we had to keep straight faces all the way to the back door.