Saturday, December 11, 2010

Silent Night, Froggy Night

As they have in years past, Dallas Heritage Village asked Dallas Ukulele Headquarters to participate in their Candlelight Celebration. And as in years past, DUH put the word out for volunteers, and we rehearsed for a month to present our version of Christmas music.

I say “Our Version” – We got our music graciously from the tremendous Dr. Uke site, with the good doctor’s blessings. Now we did tweak it here and there: The good doctor wrote nothing for kazoo, and of course it wouldn’t be a DUH concert without kazoos. And you never really do know what our group will do with chord transitions! All the stuff that worked great, Dr. Uke shares the credit. If it didn’t work, it’s all about DUH.

Our rehearsals were all in a local barbecue joint, Marshall’s Barbecue. The food was good, adult beverages were brought in and shared, and everyone had a good time just rehearsing.

Now, here’s the skivvy on Heritage Village: This is a collection of 100+ year old buildings that were bought by the city and moved to Old City Park to preserve them. They have created a sort of little town, complete with doctor’s office, hotel, schoolhouse, blacksmith shop, and a church, among many more structures. For the Candlelight Celebration, the whole park is lit by candles in hurricane lamps, and people in period costume walk around. There are wagon rides, kettlecorn, barbecue, and all sorts of entertainment.

We were performing in the church, and we weren’t in period attire. Instead, we had cute embroidered shirts which read: Merry Christmas, Dallas Ukulele Headquarters, DUH-Humbug. Very cute. We were excited and ready.

And perhaps you can guess what happened: The Monday before the performance, I developed a sore throat. Perhaps I should have run to the doctor immediately, but I didn’t. Perhaps I should have stayed home and rested, but I didn’t. Instead, I continued working on Tuesday, and Wednesday, and my throat got continually worse. I could only speak in a whisper. I tried communicating with my wife, Kathy, via text message, but this annoyed her more than opening up a means of talking.

Finally, I stayed home to heal Thursday, but it was too late. I felt better as the day progressed, but not much. Kathy was terrific about fetching me tea, and bringing me comfort foods. My Facebook friends suggested salt water gargle, pickle juice gargle, Vick’s Vapor Rub on my chest, and just a bunch of well wishes.

Friday morning dawned, and I still couldn’t speak. My energy level was low. I decided I wouldn’t be able to sing at all for the concert the following evening.

Now in a way, this wasn’t too bad a crisis. I mean, it’s not like I’m Brittany Spears, and have thousands of people paying hundreds of dollars for them to come see me wiggle my hinny. There are no solo singers in our group: All I REALLY had to be able to do was say, “One Two Ready Go”

I couldn’t say “One Two Ready Go” – The best I could manage was a cracked and evil sounding “ribbit”

So, Saturday morning, as a last measure, I finally went to visit my local Doc-In-The-Box. She confirmed that my throat was inflamed. She even informed me that my ears were inflamed – Who knew? And she suggested the best treatment I could have was really over the counter. She said to get Theraflu.

So, we left. $150 lighter in the pocket for the visit, but with a lead to a $5 medicine recommendation that was doctor recommended. Well, recommended by THIS doctor, anyway.

We had little hope. But we took the Theraflu, and hoped for the best.

And I must say it was amazing. Did I sing? Not a chance! But the throat was tamed down enough that when it came time to perform, I COULD say “One Two Ready Go,” and mutter a few words about the songs we were playing.

And the crowd liked us: How could they not, really? Candlelit turn-of-the-century village, ukuleles, Christmas music. And this one, hoarse, froggy guy at the front announcing songs. I’d say we had the Professor Harold Hill effect working full time for us. And everyone BUT me sounded terrific.

Now, time to dope up on Theraflu before the NEXT concert…

(Thank you for reading Uke Plucks! My goal is to continually provide something interesting and of value to uke fans, uke players and uke group organizers. Please see our official website, for more information, and DO sign up even if you are out of the area. That way you can see first hand what Dallas Ukulele Headquarters is doing. Also, DO click on the FOLLOW BLOG button at the top of the page. This helps me to know who is reading and what topics to cover. Plus, it's a little stroke to my ego every time someone adds me. And finally, DO leave a comment. Did you like this post? Not like it? What would you like to see me cover? Again, everything helps! And remember: Without "U", it's just Kulele!)

1 comment:

  1. Mark, I can say that an early flu shot plus Airborne seems to work pretty well to keep away the bugs.