An Award-Winning Disclaimer

A charming little Magpie whispered this disclaimer into my ear, and I'm happy to regurgitate it into your sweet little mouth:

"Disclaimer: This blog is not responsible for those of you who start to laugh and piss your pants a little. Although this blogger understands the role he has played (in that, if you had not been laughing you may not have pissed yourself), he assumes no liability for damages caused and will not pay your dry cleaning bill.

These views represent the thoughts and opinions of a blogger clearly superior to yourself in every way. If you're in any way offended by any of the content on this blog, it is clearly not the blog for you. Kindly exit the page by clicking on the small 'x' you see at the top right of the screen, and go fuck yourself."

Saturday, April 18, 2009


My wife and I went to go see Garnet Rogers last night at the Steel City Coffee House. See him if you ever can: you'll never look at another guitar, or guitarist the same, ever again.

And his voice will melt you where you stand.

Singer songwriters are my celebrities, and I, like most people are deep down I think, am completely intimidated by celebrities. I've been going to folk concerts and seeing my own little celebrities for over a decade now, and I just can't bring myself to talk to them. I finally got up the nerve to chat with Bill Staines a few months ago. It was to apologize to him for leaving his concert early. It was on a Thursday night and his first set got started real late because of the red-haired schmoe who opened for him.

"Hey, don't worry about it," he said to me, "You guys have to work tomorrow."

Spoken like a true folk hero.

He smiled as he autographed my CD.

"This is the first CD anybody's ever autographed for me," I said. He looked up at me. "This is a big moment."

I'm always afraid of embarrassing myself, of coming off like a stalker, of saying something incredibly stupid. Of doing the wrong thing. Supposedly, according to John Cleese's monologue in "A Fish Called Wanda," British people are stifled into emotional deadness by this fear.

Maybe I'm really English after all.

There was a song I really wanted to hear last night, and Mrs. Apron, who is big on getting me to conquer my fears (hence: 5 planes to Bali for our honeymoon) kept asking me if I was going to request the song. She especially turned up the heat after Garnet, who was about to close his first set clinched the deal by stating,

"So, I have no agenda for the second half. If you want to hear something, um, just come up to me during the break and ask."

This, at least, ameliorated my fear of shouting things out loud during a concert. Being mildly witty, I usually have one or two sure-fire funnies that pop into my head as a folk singer is telling an amusing story during a song break. A comment from me could add to the enjoyment of the evening, maybe even garner a smattering of appreciative applause. But I'm always afraid, when I open my mouth, all that will come out is this strangled, wrenching screech. Or that I will, instead of the funny comment, say something incredibly inappropriate, either sexually or racially bizarre and/or offensive. I'm sure it would never happen, as sure as I'm sure that one day it will.

So, at the break, I finally got off my ass and walked up to Garnet Rogers, a towering 6'4" man with earrings, a silvery ponytail and hawkish, piercing eyes. After buying one of his CDs, I requested the song I wanted to hear. He looked at me blankly and then cocked his head, in the semi-confused manner my dog does when I ask him how much a cup of tea costs in Brazil. Or his name.

There was an uncomfortable pause.

"You wrote it," I said.

"Oh, right, right, I know I wrote it. It's just... kind of bleak, isn't it? Kind of depressing."

"Oh," I said.

And then I went back to the table.

"You got shot down!" Mrs. Apron said to me. I looked sheepishly back at Garnet.

"I didn't mean to shoot him down-- it's just a really depressing song."

As if that weren't bad enough, during three song breaks of the second set, he made reference to "people who request depressing songs" and trying to figure out their motives for so doing.

I wanted to be like, "Yo, Garnet-- I just put fifteen bucks in your hand. You can have the CD back and keep the $15 if you'll just play that song."

But I didn't, because I'm not that guy.

The funny thing is: I never thought of that song as depressing. It's about aging Canadian veterans, lining up in formation at a Veteran's Day ceremony. It's a proud, strong, gentle, compassionate song. It's also the song that first introduced me to Garnet Rogers-- so I guess I have a sentimental attachment to it.

Usually, my behaviors get rewarded. I leave the house an hour early for a doctor's appointment that's fifteen minutes away, and I get taken in to see the doctor as soon as I arrive. I'm quiet and unassuming and I usually get left alone. Last night, my behavior was not rewarded, but that's okay. I need to stop being afraid of singer-songwriters, the same as I need to stop being afraid of navigating the New York City subway system, people judging me, and airline disasters.

It's a work in progress.


  1. that guy sounds like an ass... sorry.. I am sure he rocks..but that would piss me off.
    p.s I DID SAY something mildly racist at a PTA meeting.. as the words were vomiting out of my mouth I thought.. thats not WHAT I MEAN.. OMG shutup SHUT UP. The man I was speaking to in front of the whole meeting (!) looked at me like I was scum and kept looking at me that way til we moved away. If it was the other way around I would have looked at him the same way UNTIL he moved away! ha ha ha! I apologized profusely and somehow that made it worse.
    So I know exactly what you mean when you WANT to say something because that would never happen as surely as it could.. Well put!

  2. This comment has been removed by the author.


Got something to say? Rock on with your badass apron!