Thursday, February 28, 2008

Remove All Doubt

GPop and I used to sing in a local performing arts organization. We volunteered our time to help out in a number of ways, and we made several friendships that have lasted a long time. Of course, as in any organization, there are certain characters that make the experience much more interesting.

One of these people was Frank Filterless. He didn't seem to have a filter between whatever was going on inside his head and the word generator that made sounds come out of his mouth. He generated a stream-of-consciousness narrative pretty much any time he was near someone else. He was a reasonably nice guy, but trying to follow his conversation was tiring, especially since he had a penchant for non-sequitirs, and his brilliant observations were of the 60W bulb variety. Frank was the athletic type who, in the words of John Prine, "was a pretty nice fella, kind of confused. / Got muscles in his head, ain't never been used..."

A few years back, GPop and I were lined up to go onstage for a performance. The musical director was standing right next to us. Frank walked by, explaining to some unlucky schlub why this year's Academy Awards would be especially glamorous, or whatever, and GPop muttered, "Speak and remove all doubt." The musical director started to shake silently, and he couldn't make eye contact with us during the first two or three songs.

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