The Gong Show

RogerandOutJournal log entry – I’d been planning to play. I had just finished fishing out all my music needed for Monday night’s rehearsal, but there was one song I knew I didn’t have, and so I called our music minister from church to find out if she had an actual copy of the song. She didn’t, but as we talked about the coming night, she felt inclined, perhaps to spare me the humiliation, to inform me that the music director at the parish, where the confirmation and rehearsal for confirmation would be, thought that the guitar might be played for the opening and closing songs … and only then.

“Only then? What? That’s all?” I had just spent the past forty-five minutes to an hour searching for all the music, and I told her that, but of course I’d edited it down to only a half hour, hoping to show my frustration and bank some sympathy without wishing at the same time to allude to my over abundant disorderliness. So what was I going to do … play three minutes of one song, sit there for an hour and a half, twiddling my thumbs and trying not to pick my nose, and then play another 3 minutes for the closing song? You’ve got to be kidding me. Now I know what a gong in the orchestra feels like. Well I told her if that was the case then I would not be there. I wasn’t going to lug my amp, stand, microphone, and guitar up those perilous spiral steps leading to the choir loft and risk my life for two songs. Nine songs were about as low as I would go on that.

But you know I should have anticipated this … really. The signs were there: the elderly couple in the first pew at my church who had constantly reminded me that the pope didn’t like the guitar, the lack of anything at the church, where the confirmation would be, to assist the guitar being heard without me having to transport my own P.A. system. Yes, it’s my fault, I should have read the new testament more carefully and not missed the books on the two silent apostles, Pudge, number 13, and Slim, number 14, the two slobs responsible for tugging the old pipe upright around from town to town, about the Sea of Galilee, in case Peter or Thomas felt like breaking into song or had too much to drink and couldn’t help it. You might have heard that Peter was a fisherman, but little is known about his night job of tickling the ivories at the local saloons or his days on the vaudeville circuit playing accompaniment for the square-dancing Siamese twins. It’s in there if your blind eyes look for it. The organ is the church instrument, without question, even any electric keyboard is acceptable, and why wouldn’t it be? Edison didn’t invent electricity, he stole it from the bible, where the water was turned into wine at the wedding and Peter played the Moog in between eight tracks. I should have learned the keyboard.

Look … even look at the body of a guitar. That must be it. It’s suggestive and alluring. It’s indecent for stained glass windows. I’d stand a better chance with a banjo. Only an instrument outfitted like a box is well-suited to play in a house of worship. “Oh (as I cry to heaven), I should have learned the keyboard”, but in my defense though, as a guitar player for the church, I did refrain from installing that wa-wa bar on my classical … and … I never did once bash my ax over the altar. Organs make a good funeral present. There, I said it. I said it and it’s done. Am I bitter? Let me lie to you and say, “No.”

Is there something wrong with me? I mean does anyone else out there pay for gas with a credit card, and then after the pump asks if you want a receipt and you say “no,” and after all the pumping is done and the cap is back on the tank of the car, do you still stand there and wait for the digital screen to say, “Thank you?”

I do … all the time.

I was filling out a birthday card for my niece, who’s young and because she’s young I thought it better that I print my words instead of writing them in script … even though I know she can’t read yet.

 Anyone else?

I just ate peanut butter and jam in a spinach wrap.

What am I missing?

While I’m at it, can I ask you to sign a petition to make “Alright” a word, so I don’t have to spend half my life correcting myself?

You see I have enough problems. Why don’t they just let me play my guitar? I swear it’s still a virgin. But might I pause, less I continue to digress?

Did I tell you that my son did well on his report card? No? Well he did. Yes he did, and like we do when he does, my wife and I took him out to a restaurant of his choice to celebrate. It so happened that it was Friday night when we did this and by chance the same night as the confirmation, which I might have played at. My wife and son and I enjoyed a wonderful time together, and I knew if I had spent that night somewhere else I wouldn’t have enjoyed it nearly as much.

Come to think … you know what? I am … I am very happy playing guitar … even when I can’t. Sitting here at Benson’s Restaurant, eating my Toll House pie, sharing this moment with my family, I’ve decided for the better, that whenever I feel like that gong in the orchestra … I’m going to think about that very gong as a wakeup call … because it’s probably ringing something better for me.

Note: I’m looking for a little gong to bang every time I receive an uninterested reply to one of my query letters regarding one of my stories (Messages are out there in our world, and all can be applied like a good credit card … or a bad one if you don’t get caught).


No that was just me. Haven’t the gong yet, but I just checked my email and got another decline. It’s actually true. Sadly I’m not lying. I just really … really wish that I’d finally…


“Oh … yes … now I feel better.”

Signing off,

Roger and out

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2 Responses to The Gong Show

  1. Thomas says:

    Funny…good job…..glad it worked out for the better. PS its okay if you only know how to print, there is nothing to be ashamed of.

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