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Free Concert

Louisville is a surprisingly happening town, and I was forever too exhausted by the Great Stack to happen with it. Oh, but I was fully able to enjoy the Belle of Louisville and all its calliopeness.

As children of the Ohio River, Julie The Nephews Mama and I were onboard the Belle as a little accountant and little obsessive-compulsive writer, and I brought home a little captain's hat, and so the Belle and I have always gotten along reasonably well. I ain't got no riverboat hate. Then she had to go and piss me right off.

My roommate and I were initially charmed when the Belle, parked on the Ohio directly beneath our window, struck up her calliope. We stood at the window and watched the steam rise from the pipes, wondering how one got to be a calliope player on a steamboat: Do you major in it? Is there a body of serious calliope literature? How, exactly, do you practice without the entire river knowing about it?

The calliope wound down, and we all basked in the glory of it, and lay down on our beds for some hugely needed Great Stack-related recovery, recovery that can only come from utter unconsciousness. "Wasn't that nice to experience?" we said to one another. "Aren't we lucky to have a hotel room facing the river!"

The calliope agreed, and struck up a a Disney medley. We returned to the window. To draw the heavy curtains in a vain attempt to drown out the charmingness. It was done when we returned to bed, but no! Time for "The Entertainer!"

Meghan announced that the baby was kicking terribly, probably because, in his super-intelligent fetus state, he was well aware that "Take Me Out To the Ballgame" was on the horizon.

Every time the music faded, we'd have two minutes of utter silence, during which we said to one another, "Well, it wasn't that bad," and think it was done, and then rrrrtahhhhh!, the thing would start up again. Such was the evil of the calliope: Just when you thought you were safe, it jabbed you in the back of the neck with its old timey-ness and freakin' JOY.

The only resource was to call every single person I knew to complain, since I couldn't very well trot down to the landing and ask the the captain, all, "Yeah, can you turn your calliope down a little bit?"

It didn't help.

steam powered at: mbe@drinktothelasses.com

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Reader Comments (5)

Oh MB, I am so sorry!!!!! That's not fair of them to keep you awake till all hours (did you ever get to sleep?)

The only comparison I can make is being awakened at 6am by mariachi music as the construction crew from Elliot Homes gets their day underway building spec houses across the street from me. This puzzles me, since I actually thought the housing market had slowed waaaaaay down. Why the rush to get busy at 6am? Oh, wait, we're in Arizona and it's summer. I forgot.
I have been corrected several times by friends who feel it necessary to remind me that if it's more brass horns than guitars, it's actually not mariachi music, but is instead banda music. I don't care much what they call it. I don't wanna hear it blaring into my bedroom at 6am!!!!!
I feel your pain.....

June 15, 2008 | Unregistered CommenterWiserlemmingAZ

Thank you for sharing that nice "Awwwwwwww!" picture :-)

June 15, 2008 | Unregistered Commenterred pill junkie

LOL WiserlemmingAZ, I still remember when my sisters' idiot boyfriends—or at least their wannabes—brought mariachis to give them a serenade in the middle of the night! Luckily for me I have a terribly paranoid and frightening father, so the events were sporadic.

And I don' care much for Banda music either. Mariachi is great ONLY when you're in the mood for it—like when you have a bottle of tequila available ;-)

http://youtube.com/watch?v=8Vgj-jH9l0E" rel="nofollow">Here, a little treat so you can see there's more to mexican music than just mariachis (BTW, the elderly gentleman with the baton is Mr. Placido Domingo, of '3 Tenors' fame)

June 16, 2008 | Unregistered Commenterred pill junkie

Wiser -
perhaps if you retaliate with "Dueglo" at 6 am they'll get the idea (the trumpet music from the Alamo?)

June 16, 2008 | Unregistered Commenterstarnarcosis

Redpilljunkie - thanks for sharing the mexican composer on youtube, nice music. Neat to see Domingo conducting. The best moment, though, is about 45 seconds in with the Most Serious Tambourine player EVAH.

June 17, 2008 | Unregistered Commenterstarnarcosis
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