As I got ready for work this morning, my phone rang. I looked at the number in the display and, not recognizing the area code, let the machine get it.
A cacophony of noise erupted from the machine, and for a moment I was sure someone had drunk-dialed my number by mistake from a Pakistani house party. I listened closely, and then realized two things:
1. Sven's EBay ukulele had arrived.
2. He was singing to its accompaniment.
I picked up the phone, got a lovely medley and then said goodbye, as I had to go to work. I'd debated riding in, as I'd been kind of fed up with the El, and missed how I feel when I have my daily ride. WBEZ weather talked of cold and a wind-gust advisory, but I decided to do it anyway. I got on my warn and windproof gear, and rode the bike path in.
And you know what? It was great. The exertion took care of any chance of being cold and the wind wasn't that bad. The only drawback is that I don't have riding goggles and the cold wind in my eyes has left them puffy and itchy. I may have to get goggles before I ride again; don't want to take chances with the eyes.
At work i got another phone-call serenade in the afternoon.
"Strumming my face with his fingers..."
"Uh, Buddy; it's 'strumming my pain.'"
"really? OK. Strumming my pain with his fingers..."
"Hey, Sven, I heard a little trick once that comes in handy when you play a stringed instrument."
"It helps enormously if what you play sounds like what you're singing. Tuning is also somewhat germane."
I then called Andrew.
"Andrew, there's good money in it for you if you make that thing go away."
"Oh dear. Did he play "Killing Me Softly"?
"He did indeed. And he killed me. But not softly."
A little later Sven called back, strumming a tuned uke. Sounded much better. I hear there's a concert in my future. Since I arrive in 14 days, it gives him PLENTY of time to practice.